Ancona Ducks: A Critically Endangered Bird
Great for the self-sufficient homestead. Fun to raise.
From "The Resiliant Gardener", chapter "The Laying Flock":
"For production of big eggs as well as dual-purpose production of eggs and meat, I recommend Anconas. Anconas lay about 210-280 eggs per year, mostly jumbo and super-jumbo size... Ancona are calmer, more sensible, and easier to work with than extreme-egg breeds (producers of 300 or more eggs per year)."
"They are quite mellow and flexible about their dominance hierarchy. They have one, but nobody seems to take it very seriously. Nobody excludes anybody from anything because of it."
"They rarely have any leg or foot problems. Anconas come in various colors with pinto-style white markings that allow you to identify each individual, even at a distance. The colors are black, blue, chocolate, lavender, and silver."
"Anconas are the best foragers of all the medium-weight duck breeds... Anconas have female flock leaders. Because of their female leaders, Ancona flocks forage better than Campbell or Harlequin flocks. Anconas have more complex flock behavior than other duck breeds, with a more sophisticated ability to communicate."
"Flocks are led by female leaders chosen by the consent of the led. The behavior of Anconas lends itself ideally to egg production under free-range conditions."
"Anconas are very alert and sensible about predators and make better watchdogs than the geese I used to have. They are especially smart about hawks... I can usually tell what the flock is doing just by the sound."
"Ancona ladies are usually capable of hatching out a clutch of eggs and make good mothers."
Nantahala Farm in the Mountains of Western NC
Macon County (close to Cherokee, Graham and Swain Counties)
Topton, North Carolina 28781
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