Santa Barbara, California
Other name(s): Australian Spotted;
Scientific name: Anas platyrhynchos domesticus
Country / Place of origin: United States
History: The Australian Spotted duck originated in the early 1900’s in the United States. The Mallard Duck and other wild American and Australian species may have contributed to the genetics of the Australian Spotted Duck.
Current Uses: Meat, eggs, ornamental, pest control.
Appearance: Australian Spotted Ducks are a bantam breed. They have a more horizontal backline, small round heads with puffy cheeks, and a medium length bill. They come in three color varieties which describe the male head’s color; greenheads, blueheads, and silverheads. The coloring of the greenhead Australian Spotted Duck Duck is much like a Mallard Duck. Compared to the Mallard, the male greenhead will have more grey-white feathers on the underside and the female will have a more spotted plumage. In all the color variations both males and females will have a spotted plumage and the males will have a white neck ring. Their bills are orange to yellow and may be spotted.
Average weight: 2 - 2.2 lbs.
Lifespan: 9 - 12 years
Diet: Ducks are naturally omnivores eating a variety of aquatic plants and organisms, grasses, and insects. They do not, however, thrive on bread. Feeding bread causes many health problems for waterfowl including deformities. To feed your pet duck a healthy diet you can provide a pelleted waterfowl maintenance diet supplemented with greens. They will also need access to grit and calcium in the form of oyster shells should be given to hens when they are laying. They should have access to fresh drinking water at all times. There are formulated diets for each life stage of ducks.
Housing: Australian Spotted Ducks can fly well so they should be kept enclosed or have their wings clipped. The minimum enclosure size for a pair of ducks should be no less than 250 square feet. Within their enclosure they should have a pool that is kept clean and full of fresh water and a night house. To keep their feet healthy they must have a variety of easy-on-the-feet substrates. Immediately surrounding the pool should be gravel or rubber mats to prevent a sloppy muddy mess. The rest of the enclosure can have grass, sand, and logs to perch on. They will appreciate some shrubs for shade and enjoy will enjoy a run through the sprinklers. Fencing should be escape proof and predator proof and have spacing too small for the ducks to stick their head through. Pools and water bowls will need daily cleaning. The gravel can be hosed daily to allow feces to pass through. Other ground areas will need raking several times a week to keep clean.
Health issues: Most health problems in ducks can be avoided with good husbandry, diet, and regular vet care. Some of the common ailments that affect ducks are bumblefoot; foot sores that are caused by improper substrates, parasites, and respiratory diseases. With in depth research on the care of ducks most of these conditions can be avoided.
Behavior / Temperament / Activity level: The Australian Spotted Duck is an active and animated bird that can become friendly with their owners.