Call ducks are a familiar domestic duck species that have managed to reach many human households. The white call ducks were one of the first to be recognized by the British Waterfowl Standards because their calls helped hunt. Interestingly, this waterfowl was first developed from the mallard ducks as decoy birds that helped in trapping wild fowls with its calls. Even though the need for the class has died down in hunting, these brown and blue ducks with green bills have come out as popular pets.
These ducks are one of the bantam breeds; hence it is smaller than the usual domesticated ducks. The tiny size of it, along with its adorable temperament, makes it a great pet for many. When it comes to appearance, the call ducks have a plump body with short legs, a rounded head, and a broad bill. Apart from being good pets, these birds are also good at laying a considerable amount of eggs every year. These call ducks can surely uplift your household and farm with their lovely personality along with their high-pitched calls.
A call duck is a small domestic duck that is a part of the Bantam breed and is thought to have originated from the mallards.
Just like other birds, the call duck belongs to the class Aves. It is also classified under the genus Anas like most of the domestic duck breeds.
Call ducks are one of the most widespread exhibition birds that are found all over the world. Hence, it would be really hard to find an exact number for its population.
Call ducks are said to have been bred in the Netherlands to be used as a decoy for hunting wild ducks and were called coy ducks or decoy ducks. It is thought to have been derived from an Asian duck breed. In the 1800s, the call duck became popular amongst the British, and the mallard and white varieties were one of the first to be standardized. However, its popularity declined, leading to its dwindling population in Britain in the 20th century, but it was soon picked up and re-bred.
The gray and white varieties of the call duck were listed in the Standard of Perfection to standardize it in the United States. It was banned from being used for hunting in the U.S. in 1935. Now, the call duck is present in different parts of the world, mainly as a domestic show waterfowl and as pets. There is a little dispute over the call ducks found in Australia, as the country believes them to be distinct from the other species of call ducks.
The call duck is found in human households and on farms. It appreciates a comfortable shed or duck house where it can stay in peace. Vermin proofing is important to keep other animals from attacking the birds. Water should always be accessible to these ducks, and it should be cleaned regularly. Many people also prefer to keep the call ducks in their house as they can become adorable pets.
Call ducks are quite friendly and calm, so they can be kept with other ducks of the same breed or with ducks of different breeds.
The average lifespan of the call ducks is around four to eight years. With an ample amount of space and lots of care, this duck breed will thrive and stay alive for a long time.
The call ducks have to be bred if you want to get ducklings. It is always recommended to wait until the ducklings turn six months old before trying to breed them. Generally, one drake is placed with multiple hens to initiate the process of breeding. You should follow the guidelines of the British Waterfowl Standards and the American Standard of Perfection to get call ducks in colors that are recognized by these associations.
In general, the sexual mating process of the call ducks is similar to other domesticated ducks. A female can produce up to 12 eggs in one clutch. These ducks white or pale green eggs. Call duck eggs take 25-26 days to hatch. As a domestic poultry waterfowl, the unfertilized eggs of the call duck are also consumed by human beings as food. In a single year, this duck breed is able to produce 50-150 eggs which is quite low compared to other poultry ducks.
As one of the domestic duck breeds, the call duck has not been listed on any conservation lists.
The call duck doesn't have a huge difference in physical appearance compared to other domestic duck breeds. It has a shorter body and stubbier legs, making it look like an adorable soft toy. The legs are usually orange on white call ducks and in other color variants. You will find the legs coming out of its middle body, which slowly tapers into the tail. This bird has a tiny broad bill along with a short neck and a round head. The bill is usually green or yellow or marked with dark brown. Its head also happens to have a prominent high crown.
The colors of its plumage feathers can be found in variants like apricot, blue-fawn, bibbed, black, dark-silver, chocolate, magpie, pied, silver, gray, mallard pied, white, and snowy. The rarer colors may cost you a little more money. Full white call ducks were the first to gain popularity, but many color variants with different head and body shades have emerged.
Call ducks and ducklings are quite adorable because of their small size and extreme cuddliness.
Call ducks communicate with the help of high-pitched calls that have been beneficial to humans for hunting. As a descendent of the mallard duck, the calls of this bird are more diverse than other breeds rather than just plain quacking. Most ducks will also make other calls like whistles, coos, yodels, and grunts to communicate with fellow birds.
The average body length of the call duck is not known, but this breed is definitely one of the smallest domestic duck breeds.
We were unable to get data about the exact running speed of the call ducks, but as descendants of the mallard ducks, we can expect it to be similarly paced.
The average weight of the call duck is around 1-1.5 lb (570–680 g). This breed is especially known for being lightweight.
The male call duck is known as a drake, while the female duck is either simply called a hen.
The baby call ducks are known as ducklings.
When it comes to the food of a call duck, it will mostly rely on the will of its owners. Some like to feed ducks with grains. As this domestic breed is primarily raised as pets, not much attention is paid to its weight. If you think about getting one, make sure to give it good duck feed. Do remember to mix good amounts of poultry grit in its food to help the duck chew its food in its gizzard.
Not at all! Rather than being dangerous, these intelligent ducks have been present with humans from the 1800s. Yes, when this duck is irritated, it may come running after you with its bill open, but they seldom bite.
Yes, the call duck makes an excellent pet bird because of its fluffy body and fabulous temperament. This is a no-fuss bantam duck breed that is not only known for its high-pitched calls but also its cuteness as a pet. The tiny size of these ducks makes them the perfect domesticated bird, especially for kids. Also, several call ducks can be kept together as pets. The Call Duck Association of the U.K. aptly categorizes the breed as a toy variant. Don't fear it flying away as this breed is easily tamed.
Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.
Call ducks are widely available on the market in several colors. The price range for the ducklings is somewhere around $50-$100 depending on the look of its body. White birds may cost the least.
The U.S Standard of Perfection listed the call duck for the first time in 1874.
The call ducks are known as call ducks because it was actively used as a decoy for hunting wild ducks and other wildfowls present within range with the help of its high pitched call. When we look at the history, in the Netherlands the duck's call was used to find wild ducks and lead into funnel traps. This duck's call and the duck itself became a favorite for the hunters who began to domesticate them. An update of the laws regarding animals led to the banning of hunting with the help of call ducks.
The call duck comes in different color combinations and patterns like apricot, blue-fawn, bibbed, black, dark-silver, chocolate, magpie, silver, white, mallard pied, gray, and snowy. The black and white variants are the most common ones, but affinity towards other colors is also increasing.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including king vulture facts or varied thrush facts.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable call duck coloring pages.