“In eastern Germany, Albert Franz of Chemitz began developing a new multi-purpose duck in 1930. He used Rouen, German Pekin, and Blue Pomeranian ducks in his breeding program and introduced this new creation at the Saxony Show of 1934.” (Holderread, 2001) Most Saxony ducks didn’t survive World War II, so Franz renewed his breeding program after the war. In 1957, Germany recognized them as a distinct breed. Saxony ducks made their way to the United States when the Holderread Waterfowl Farm imported them in 1984. They were admitted into the American Poultry Association’s American Standard of Perfection in the Fall of 2000.
Mature Saxonys weigh between 8 to 9 pounds. Its large head is somewhat oval-shaped and blends smoothly with a medium-thick neck that’s slightly arched forward. Their compact body is long, broad across the shoulders, and has a prominent chest that is smoothly rounded. This duck’s carriage is 10 to 20 degrees above horizontal when relaxed.
Drakes display the typical “Mallard” pattern, but their colors are distinct from any other breed. The drake’s head, back, and wing markings are blue-gray. The breast feathers are a rich chestnut-burgundy, the underbody and flanks are cream, and the neck ring white. Legs and feet are orange or reddish-brown and the bill is yellow or orange, often with pale green shading. The females are buff with creamy white facial stripes, neck ring, and underbody. The bill is orange, often with brown shading. The legs and feet are orange to reddish-orange.
The Saxony is an active forager and excellent layer with typical egg production at about 190 to 240 large white eggs annually. Saxony don’t grow quite as fast as some ducks, “but they have interesting plumage, produce meat with more flavor and less fat, are better foragers, and are more likely to incubate and hatch their eggs. Saxonys are one of the best large all-purpose breeds of ducks and adapt well to a wide range of environments.” (Holderread, 2001)
When choosing a Saxony duck for your flock, select vigorous, strong-legged birds that are free of physical deformities. Consider growth rate, egg production, and forage ability for utility birds. For show birds, choose birds that conform to the standard. (Holderread, 2001)
Holderread, Dave. Storey’s Guide to Raising Ducks. Pownal, VT: Storey Publishing, 2001.
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