Saxony Duck: History, Characteristics, and Caring

The Saxony duck is one of the big domestic ducks. It originates from Saxony, Germany. Albert Franz was the first person to breed this duck. He crossed the blue Pomeranian, German Pekin and Rouen ducks to create the Saxony duck. The Germans call this duck “Sachsen Enten” while the French people call it “Le Canard de Saxe”. Many people keep this type of duck for meat and eggs, while some keep it as a pet.

The Origin History of the Saxony Duck

This breed was invented by a person called Albert Franz in the 1930s. He lived in Chemnitz, part of Saxony, Germany. He crossed three varieties of ducks, which are the blue Pomeranian, German Pekin and the Rouen duck. These three varieties gave rise to the current Saxony duck. Albert’s objective was to create a duck that will mature in a short period of ten weeks and will produce a high quantity of meat.

In 1934, Albert introduced this new duck breed in a show. Unfortunately, he lost all of his breeding stock during world-war II. After world-war II he restarted his breeding work. In 1957, Germany recognized this bird as a new duck breed.

This duck was introduced in Britain in the 1970s, but the British waterfowl standards recognized it in 1980. In 1984, this duck made its way into the United States when Holderred farm bought a few of them.

Saxony duck is not a famous duck in the United States. In 2000, it was recognized by the American Poultry Association’s Standards of Perfection. However, this duck is on the Livestock Conservancy critical list in the United States.

Weight and Physical Shape

The Saxony duck can weigh between eight and nine pounds at maturity.

It has a large oval-shaped head.

Its body bends smoothly and the neck is medium-thick but arches forward. This allows the duck to have a carriage between ten degrees and twenty degrees above the horizontal.

It has a long compact body that is broad on the shoulders making the chest to be prominent and round.

Color and Markings

The Saxony duck has a very distinct color from all other duck breeds. It has a blue-grey color on its head, back and wings.

It is chestnut-burgundy on the chest while the lower side and the flank are cream in color.

It has a white neck ring and orange/red-brown legs.

The male Saxony duck (the bill) is orange with some greenish shading. While the female Saxony duck is buff and has some white facial stripes that go up to the neck and the lower body.

It has brown eyes.

Feeding

A duck is an omnivorous bird but gives it foods rich in proteins. Give your Saxony duck healthy and safe foods that have lots of nutrients. Give it a balanced diet to avoid diseases and bird flu. The Saxony duck does not love enclosed spaces, having an open backyard where it can graze and catch live insects or worms.

Give it seeds that are rich in fats and proteins. For example cracked corn, wheat, barley, rice, bird seeds and milo seeds.

The Saxony duck loves vegetable trimmings and peels because they are rich in vitamins. Cut the vegetables into small pieces and feed them to the duck. The Saxony duck grows very fast hence it consumes a lot of food, this is why you should feed it most of the time.

Avoid giving leftovers and stale foods to your Saxony duck. This is because the leftovers might have ingredients that are poisonous to the duck. Stale foods might have molds that are also poisonous to the Saxony duck.

Always give it clean water to drink. Dirty water attracts worms and parasites that are dangerous to the duck’s health.

Breeding

A Saxony duck can lay up to 240 eggs in a year. The eggs hatch in twenty one days. The Saxony duck is an excellent mother and it is large enough to cover over forty ducklings during cold weather. The ducklings grow up very fast and they are mature for meat at seven weeks old.

The Saxony ducks love entertainment before mating. To create a water pool around so that they can play in it before mating.

Housing for the Saxony Duck

The Saxony duck does not need a fancy house. It only needs a safe place to lay its eggs and raise its ducklings. The biggest enemy of a Saxony duck is predatory because it is a slow bird and cannot fly. A duck simply sleeps on the floor hence it needs enough floor space of about four feet for it to be comfortable.

Use pine shavings or sawdust as beddings because they can absorb the moisture in the duck’s feces. The saw dust also insulates heat during cold seasons making the duck house warm the whole season.

Make sure the floor is cemented or wooden to prevent predators from digging and gaining access to the ducks. The duck house must have good ventilation because the ducks produce a lot of moisture when they breathe. Create many air spaces near the roof.

Common Saxony Duck Diseases

1. Duck virus enteritis

It is a fatal disease caused by the herpes virus. It affects the old and mature ducks but is rare in ducklings. The infected duck will be sluggish and greenish to yellow diarrhea that can have some bloodstains. Regularly immunize your Saxony duck to prevent this fatal disease.

2. Aflatoxin poisoning

Molds and fungi that grow on cereals after harvesting are dangerous to the Saxony duck. All duck breeds are vulnerable to this type of toxin. Make sure the cereals are completely dry before you store them. Wet environments encourage the growth of molds and fungi.

3. Duck virus hepatitis

This is a very contagious disease that affects ducklings between one and twenty-eight days old. It spreads quickly and can cause 90% deaths of ducklings. Ducks above four weeks old are resistant to this virus. The ducklings die arched backward. To prevent this keep the age groups separated and make sure you vaccinate your ducklings.

4. Insecticides and rodenticides

The Saxony duck is an omnivorous duck. This is why you should avoid using insecticides and rodenticides that are poisonous to the duck. The common poisonous insecticides are parathion and diazinon. Some rat poisons can cause the duck to be infertile or bleed to death.

Caring and Maintaining a Saxony Duck

Give your Saxony duck a balanced diet. This will make it grow quickly and resistant to common diseases. Do not forget to give it clean drinking water. A single duck can take one liter of water in a day. The water helps to keep its eyes, feet, feathers and bill in good condition.

Give your Saxony duck a small swimming pool. Ducks love playing in the water. Water makes the feathers soft and smooth. Create a pool that is deep enough for it to stick its whole head inside. The pool sides should be slanting to help the ducks come out of the water. Playing in water accelerates mating.

Create a secure pen house that will protect your Saxony duck from predators. The walls and the floor must be solid. You can use welded wire mesh, cement and timber. A predator cannot dig in a cemented or wooden floor. Remember to create a good ventilation system around the roof. You can create windows to increase good air circulation.

Keep your Saxony duck on a soft surface because it has very soft feet that can be injured if it walks on a rough surface. Also remove all obstacles from its playing ground because ducks are very clumsy and they are prone to falling over and injuring themselves.

Conclusion

Albert Franz wanted a big duck that could produce a lot of meat and lay many eggs. So he crossed three breeds of ducks to come up with the modern day Saxony duck. This is a domestic duck that was developed in the 1930s but disappeared during the second world war.

It is a huge duck with a long but compact body. It has broad shoulders and a prominent chest that is rounded. It has an average weight of between eight and nine pounds.

It is an omnivorous duck that loves to play in water pools. Feed it a lot of proteins to build its huge body and seeds rich in oils. Give it clean water to prevent worms and parasites. Vaccinate your Saxony duck against all common diseases. Create a solid pen house with a good ventilation system and you will have a happy Saxony duck.

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