Nantahala Farm & Garden
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I no longer sell Ancona duck eggs. If you sell Ancona ducks or eggs, contact me and I'll add you to this list. You can find people with ducks or hatching eggs here:
The Livestock Conservancy: Rare Breeds
The Livestock Conservancy: Ancona Duck
Ancona Duck Breeders Association
Ancona Ducks- ISO and Where to Find
Heritage Ancona Ducks- Facebook: Follows Dave Holderread's breeding guidelines. See “Storey’s Guide to Raising Ducks”. This is a non-APA (American Poultry Association) Ancona group. There is no APA-accepted standard for the Ancona. We strive to preserve the original "Holderread" lines. We do not agree with the proposed standard. It would require culling Anconas which have any plumage colors other than black and white, and culling Anconas which lay any egg color other than white. Decreasing the gene pool and genetic diversity in an already-rare breed is a recipe for a disastrous decrease in health and vigor.
Ancona Ducks- Facebook: Wants American Poultry Association breed standardization of only black/white feathers with white eggs. Anconas have many varieties. Each color is a separate variety. The same holds true for all breeds of poultry. Many breeds having many varieties accepted by the APA. Each variety is a separate project and has to be admitted individually. Tri-color Ancona ducks will not be allowed.
North American Duck Alliance,

Worth It Farms: Ancona Ducks for Sale, Atlanta, Georgia,
Victoria Couch in North Carolina,
Mary Z. Ruby, The Ruby Roost, Marshall, North Carolina,
Junifer Johnson, Lance-a-lot Ducks, York, Nebraska,
Jackie Mobley, Five Pine Farm, Green Mountain, North Carolina,
Sofia Bent, Logsden, Oregon,
Delaney McMaster, Taylors, South Carolina,
Audrey Geier, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada,
Emily Rothrock, Louisburg, North Carolina,
Ana Nelson, Dade City, Florida,, 352-769-2869,
Michelle Jones, Western North Carolina,, 910-262-0395,
Angie Cordray, Ancona Acres, Missouri,
Jennifer Miller, Fredon Township, New Jersey, Flock is NPIP H5/H7 AI clean.
Cindy Loos, Weiser, Idaho, 208-549-3928, Hen raised ducks. Excellent mothers.

Breeding stock: Black, Chocolate, Blue, Lavender, Lilac, Silver, TriColor
Ancona Duck Hatching Eggs
Ancona Ducks #1
Ancona Ducks #2
Ancona Ducks #3
Ancona Ducks #4
Ancona Duck Colors: Part 1
Ancona Duck Colors: Part 2
David Holderread, Ancona Breeder
About Green & Blue Duck Eggs

Feed Comfrey to Poultry
Shipping Hatching Eggs
Types of Incubators
Make A Poultry Incubator
How to Incubate Eggs
Duck Eggs Hatched by Chickens
Duck Eggs Hatched by a Goose
How to Help Hatching Babies
How to Brood Poultry

Ancona Ducks: A Critically Endangered Bird
Great for the self-sufficient homestead. Fun to raise. Good pets.
"Your ducks are so beautiful- the ones we hatched are vibrant!" -Kat, Gainesville, Georgia

Ancona Duck - Hardy, All Purpose Domestic Waterfowl
Ancona Ducks Ancona ducks make good pets because they do not migrate, do not even fly, and like staying close to home. They are calm, and if handled when young are friendly and affectionate.

"I hatched Ancona duckies in my senior year in high school and they all imprinted me! They followed me everywhere just like the geese in the movie Fly Away Home. (Without the flying part since mine didn't fly.) It was an awesome experience I'm hoping to have happen again :)" -Ashley, Newberg, Oregon

The hens are excellent layers usually laying 210-280 cream (off-white), green or blue eggs each year. Most of my Ancona ducks lay cream eggs. A few lay green eggs. Their eggs are larger than chicken eggs.

If we raise a duck or chicken as a pet, we do not eat them. They live a full life until old age comes. But we do raise some for eating and don't become too friendly with them. They have a very good life, enjoying the pasture and the natural farm life.

Ancona ducks grow fairly quickly producing high quality meat that is more flavorful and less fatty than Pekin ducks (Long Island duck). We had one male duck for Christmas dinner and were very happy with it. They are a great dual purpose (meat and egg) bird.

Ancona Ducks are robust and capable of enduring hard conditions. They adapt well to various environments. (Of course, the better their environment, the healthier they will be.) They are good foragers even being able to eat banana slugs (a large land slug) and other unwanted garden pests. They like greens and insects.

They are large birds so most winged predators leave them alone. It is good to provide some protection against predators such as dogs. An outer perimeter fence is a good idea.

We let our chickens and ducks share the same coop though some recommend keeping them apart. They get along fine. They lay their eggs in the same nest boxes as the chickens. During the day the ducks forage together as a group.

The top photo is 2 drakes and 2 hens. The drakes are bigger. Drakes also have a curl at the end of their tail. Then 2 ducklings. One is a Tricolor. (Photo from Rachele, Fort Myers, Florida.) Then a photo of 3 Ancona ducklings and 1 Dominique chick.

"We ordered five of your Ancona duck eggs to hatch. We live on a farm, and have a pond and a two-year-old farmboy but no ducks...must remedy this situation! Thanks so much for providing duck eggs for our incubating experience in a small quantity and for a great price." -Abi, Fulks Run, Virginia

Ancona Breed Characteristics
Ancona DucklingsThey are descended from Indian Runner ducks and Belgian Huttegem ducks. This is the same foundation stock as Magpie ducks and Dutch Hookbills. They were developed in England during the early 1900s but were not shipped to the United States until 1984.

Ancona ducks weigh about 6 to 6.5 pounds as adults. Males weigh more than females. It is stockier than the Magpie duck. Ducks live to be 10 years or older.

Adult plumage is white with pinto (dappled, speckled) markings (each animal has a different pattern). Colors include black and white, blue and white, chocolate and white, silver and white, lavender and white, and tri-colored. The most common is black and white. Any pattern combination is acceptable as long as there are broken colors on the duck.

Some are all white though this is not the breed standard. Ducks with an all white bib are not the breed standard either. The Ancona is not yet recognized by the American Poultry Association. Unique patterns are preferred. Birds with high egg production are also preferred.

Chocolate color is sex-linked (carried by the male only) and recessive. If a chocolate drake (male) mates with a black hen, all female offspring are chocolate and all male offspring are black. A black drake mated to a chocolate hen produce only black offspring.

The neck is usually solid white. The bill is yellow with dark green or black spotting. The legs and feet are orange with black or brown markings (spotting) that increase with age.

Ancona Ducklings Female ducks start to lay eggs from 17 to 34 weeks (4 1/4 to 8 1/2 months) old. They lay for 5 to 8 years with the most productivity in the first 3 years. Eggs get bigger as the birds get older. They usually lay their eggs between 4 and 7 am. The eggs incubate for 28 days.

"Just candled, and it looks like I have 6 Ancona duck eggs that are fertile and growing! Clear tiny little heartbeats and veins. I am so excited!" -Jill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Ducklings are yellow with spots or speckles. Yellow markings turn white when they become adults. When brooding ducklings, they like a shallow plate of water to bathe in. But it should not be too deep because ducklings can drown. Raising them is the same as chickens except they need more B vitamins than chicks. Get a good book on ducks such as "Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks". They are a lot of fun.

Raising Rare Duck Breeds
Ancona DucksAncona Ducks are considered rare (critical status) by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC). In 2000 ALBC's census of domestic waterfowl in North America found only 128 breeding Ancona ducks.

Ancona ducks are a lively bird to raise. Some people spell it Anacona or Anaconda. They are fun to watch as the group moves around the pasture. If they are disturbed by what is going on, they make noise to let everyone know.

They love having a pond but if you don't have one you can use a kiddie pool or other container that has a ramp in and out of the pool. In the winter empty the pool when you close up the coop for the night. Then refill in the morning. The water won't freeze here in Western North Carolina except on really cold days.

The photo to the left is 2 hens. One is black and white. The brown one is a Tricolor with gray and wild mallard patterns. Notice the speckled beak.

"Our 15-year-old granddaughter is very involved in FFA (Future Farmers of America), and this is a school/FFA project we are assisting her with. The duck pond is nearly complete, then the duck house, and the project will culminate with the hatching of our first Ancona ducklings." -Ray, Louisburg, North Carolina

This Ancona duck egg has been incubating for 8 days. The photo was taken by Liz in Franklin, North Carolina. A perfect egg!

"We have candled our eggs, and 6 out of the 8 are fertile and looking nice and healthy. Lots of veins! We are enjoying this process and can't hardly wait to meet our ducklings!" -Liz and Dylan, Franklin, North Carolina

"My biggest problem is leaving the eggs alone and not watching growth through candling all the time. I find it so fascinating!" -Kathy, Rough and Ready, California

This Ancona duck egg has been incubating for 21 days. The photo was taken by Liz in Franklin, North Carolina.

"Eggs have really filled up with ducklings! One week to go till we meet our babies...will send you more pics on their birthday." -Liz, Franklin, North Carolina

4 Ancona duck eggs starting to hatch.

Next is a just-hatched duckling still wet from the egg.

Both photos are from John.

"The box arrived in excellent shape. I let it sit overnight so the eggs would settle. The 15 duck eggs are in the incubator, and the science teacher will help me candle them on day 8." -John, 6th grade teacher, Spruce Pine, North Carolina

Then 28 days later:
"The first duck is out! All my students are so excited. He chirps a lot! We expect more birthdays today." -John, 6th grade teacher

This photo is from Betsy in Indian Trail, North Carolina.

"The first duckling hatched today. Beautiful and loud. Three more eggs are notched."

Update: "I have seven healthy ducklings that have tripled in size in less than 2 weeks." -Jay, Raphine, Virginia

It's a big world when you are a small duckling. This photo is from Ray in Louisburg, North Carolina.

"We candled the dozen eggs last night, and 11 of 12 are fertile and doing great. We are very happy." -Ray, Louisburg, NC

A cute duckling enjoying life on the lawn.

This photo is from Liz. The below 2 photos are also from Liz. The photo with the mountains is 6-day-old ducklings.

"All 6 ducklings are doing great and already helping in the garden at only 2 days old." -Liz, Franklin, North Carolina

These 2 photos are from Betsy in Indian Trail, North Carolina.

"We had 5/6 successfully hatch!!" -Betsy

Ancona duckling in his green "pond" with friends. This photo is from Mihai in Romania.

Sweet Ancona ducklings. Photo by Bryan in Asheville, North Carolina.

"We have raised 3 absolutely beautiful Ancona ducks from egg hatchlings that we purchased from you a few months back. They are vibrant, healthy, and lots of fun to watch." -Steven, Cullowhee, North Carolina

A group of older Ancona ducklings by their kiddie pool / "pond". Photo by Bryan.

"Your Ancona duck babies from last year developed into a chattery, healthy flock. We LOVE them!" -Anja, Bend, Oregon

The same ducklings as the above 2 photos that are a little bit older. Photo by Bryan.
Three Ancona ducklings enjoying a swim in a metal tub. Photo from Jill.

"I'm pretty much run by ducklings at the moment! They are still such little delights. Some are really starting to find their quacks, and enjoying being in the yard. All 6 are doing well, looks like 5 black and white and 1 tricolor. Such sweet babies, 3 weeks old yesterday!" -Jill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

A 3-day-old duckling with a 33-day-old duckling. Ducks grow a lot in only 1 month! Photo by Ray in Louisburg, North Carolina.

"We are very happy and pleased to be growing our duck family, and expanding yours in to North East NC. We have 10 healthy ducks with three at 33 days old and the other seven at 1-3 days old." -Ray, Louisburg, North Carolina

This photo is from Jill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. These ducks were incubated together. They are 11 weeks old. The all-black ducks are Cayuga.

"They are pretty spoiled. I figured this was a new one for you - ducks on the slip and slide! They loved the spray part and kept biting at it, getting braver and braver. Also a testament to their friendliness, as my 3 kids were feet away splashing in a kiddie pool." -Jill

Ancona ducks like snow. They do better in cold weather than chickens do. They especially like it when it rains.
More fun in the snow. You can see the curled tail of the chocolate and white male. Also a curled tail in the next photo.
Ancona Ducks "I think part of what makes Anconas so much fun is that you can tell all the individuals, at least you can if you keep all the colors and patterns. I think separating them by color is a step in the wrong direction. Also, part of their behavior may depend upon the fact that they can so easily tell each other apart. I noticed that Anconas treat single-color breed ducks as generic ducks, not as individuals. I also suspect the vigor of the breed is because they are very heterozygous for all the chromosomes involving color genes. Pure color groups is just a bad idea, I think. It is failing to appreciate what is unique about this breed." -Carol Deppe, Ancona Duck Breeder, 2010
The book "The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times" by Carol Deppe has a chapter on Ancona ducks. See quote from it below.

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."


Buying Ancona eggs.

Get all your ducks in a row! This photo of Ancona ducks is from Kat in Gainesville, Georgia.
This photo is also from Kat. There are goats in the background. They get along great with ducks.
This photo is from Jason in New Martinsville, West Virginia. The adult is a Muscovy duck. There are Muscovy and Ancona ducklings with her. All the ducklings get along well with each other.
A flock of Ancona ducks in a pond enjoying the good life. This photo is from Bryan in Asheville, North Carolina.


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