Are you a new homesteader looking for Saxony ducks to kick off your homesteading journey? These dual-purpose ducks are rare, but they’re a prized bird with a visual treat for every owner.
But how do Saxony ducks perform in the egg laying and meat department?
In this comprehensive Saxony guide, we’ll discuss:
- The distinct physical characteristics of this duck breed
- Their origin and how it influenced their egg laying capabilities and meat quality
- And Saxony ducks’ temperament to know how they behave and if they’re suitable as pets
Should you pursue raising Saxony ducklings and ducks? Don’t worry! We will also reveal their pros and cons. Our care tips will guide you all the way through.
But before we unveil all those interesting details ahead, here’s a little overview that’ll help you get some insights about Saxony ducks.
Quick Facts About Saxony Ducks
|Size:||Females: 8 lbs|
|Drakes: 9 lbs|
|Egg Production:||190 to 240 eggs per year|
|Starts Laying:||Around 26 weeks (6 months)|
|Egg Size:||Large to extra large|
|Primary Purpose:||Egg laying and meat production|
Saxony Ducks’ Origin and History
Saxony’s origin can be traced back to Europe in Saxony, Germany. It was originally developed by Albert Franz in 1930 by breeding Rouen, German Pekin, and Blue Pomeranian ducks.
His goal was to create a dual-purpose duck that can grace an exhibition and show, lay lots of eggs and produce tasty meat.
The breed was first officially shown at Chemnitz-Altendorf’s “Saxony Show of 1934” and it was named after it.
Unfortunately, almost all of the Saxony stock was lost during World War II. But Franz managed to continue his breeding program using the remaining stocks.
He has successfully recovered the breed and it was finally recognized as a distinct breed in Germany in 1957.
It soon made its way to England and other European countries and arrived in the United States in 1984 when Holderread Waterfowl Farm imported the breed.
The American Poultry Association (APA) then admitted the breed in 2000.
Saxony Duck Characteristics and Appearance
Female and male Saxony ducks share several features including the dark orange bill and feet, cream-colored bellies, and dark brown eyes.
How Can You Tell If a Saxony Duck is Male or Female?
Notice the differences between their appearance using the following distinctive features.
Male Saxony ducks boast fine-looking gray heads with deep chestnut or burgundy chests and a unique white ring around their necks.
And they’re normally a pound heavier than their female counterparts. So, it should be easy to distinguish them.
Female Saxony Duck
The female counterparts show off a peach or salmon-colored plumage with splashes of white and gray on their wings and white eyeliner around their brown eyes.
Furthermore, female Saxony can grow up to 8lbs in their adulthood.
You may also be wondering “what do Saxony ducklings look like?”
Well, these tiny creatures are yellow with subtle faint lines around the eyes. But they begin to darken as they grow and become peach-colored.
The color variations between male and female Saxony gradually become more visible as they mature. And there’s no other variety aside from buff or salmon color.
Saxony Duck Temperament and Personality
Saxony ducklings are naturally curious and fearless. The adult ones are also inquisitive and wonderful.
They’re friendly and gentle but they can be rather loud especially when food is involved.
They may also gently nip at your feet, reminding you to feed them as soon as possible. But the good news is they’re not aggressive nor flighty.
Saxony ducks are docile yet lively birds. Even young children will enjoy playing with them.
Unlike other breeds, Saxony drakes are more easygoing and hassle-free because they’re calm and don’t quack as much as other ducks. The hens in contrast tend to be loud and they get easily worked up.
Saxony Duck’s Purpose
Although known as a dual-purpose breed, these ducks can actually serve 3 purposes on your farm or homesteading.
Did you know that Saxony ducks are one of the best duck layers?
How Many Eggs Do Saxony Ducks Lay?
Saxony ducks can lay 190 to 240 large white eggs annually. Their eggshells are thick and the yolks are large, bright orange, and firm while the whites are thick.
Duck eggs are perfect for baking and pasta recipes. And as you probably already know, Saxony duck eggs are more nutritious than chickens.
This breed along with Silver Appleyard can compete with the most prolific chicken egg-layer breeds.
What Color Eggs Do Saxony Ducks Lay?
Saxony ducks are known for their elegant appearance and their calm, docile nature. Saxony ducks are also unique in that they lay white eggs, which is fairly unusual among duck breeds.
Most ducks lay brown or tan eggs, with only a few breeds laying white eggs. The color of a duck’s eggs is determined by the presence of a pigment called protoporphyrin IX.
This pigment is found in the cells that produce eggshells, and it gives the shells their distinctive color.
Saxony ducks lack the gene that produces protoporphyrin IX, resulting in white eggs. While the vast majority of Saxony ducks lay white eggs, there is a small percentage that will lay blue or green eggs.
These unusual colors are caused by impurities in the calcium carbonate used to make eggshells.
What Age Do Saxony Ducks Lay Eggs?
They usually reach maturity and start producing eggs when they’re 25 weeks old.
How Long Do Saxony Ducks Take to Hatch?
The hatching time of Saxony ducks lasts for 28 days.
Saxony ducks aren’t fast-growing but their meat is flavorful and lean and their white skin is tasty and their fat is delectable.
So, they make an excellent table meat option for your family too!
Can You Raise Saxony Ducks for Meat?
You bet you can! Saxony ducks are a great choice for those looking to raise ducks for meat.
While they don’t grow quite as large as some of the other meat breeds, they more than make up for it in taste.
Plus, they have the added benefit of being relatively easy to care for. When it comes time to butcher, you can expect to get about 4-5 pounds of meat from a single Saxony duck.
So if you’re looking for a delicious and reasonably priced option for duck meat, Saxony ducks are the way to go!
Duck’s down and feathers are as valuable as their eggs and meat. You can utilize it on your pillows which are more durable than synthetic ones.
It can help you save more and earn more if you can sell it too.
And aside from being good egg and meat producers, they also forage for slugs, snails, and spiders without scratching up the lawn.
So, raising these birds is worth it!
Pros and Cons of Raising Saxony Ducks
Although raising ducks on your homestead comes with multiple advantages, it also has several downsides. So, before purchasing these birds, weigh in the pros and cons below to ensure if it fits your needs.
Advantages of Raising Saxony Ducks
Today, these ducks are popular among backyard poultry enthusiasts for their friendly personalities and egg-laying abilities.
While Saxony ducks are not as prolific as some other breeds, they can still lay many eggs per year.
In addition, Saxony ducks are resilient and do not require a lot of space. As a result, they are well-suited for small homesteads and urban farms.
Whether you are looking for a new addition to your flock or simply want a pretty duck to watch in your backyard, Saxony ducks are a great choice.
Here are the following advantages of raising Saxony duck breeds:
- This dual-purpose breed provides meat and eggs for the family.
- Ducks provide down and feathers which are useful in making your own pillows and duvets or clothing articles.
- They can produce 240 large eggs that are healthier than chickens and rival the best egg-laying chickens.
- Saxony ducks can lay during winter without artificial lights.
- This breed is friendly and suitable for young children.
- Saxony duck breed is healthy and hardy and not prone to various diseases.
- They’re excellent foragers and will get rid of insects and larvae and eat weeds and destructive garden bugs that chickens won’t dare to touch.
- These ducks won’t destroy your garden and flower beds.
- By raising a Saxony duck, you’re helping save this heritage breed and increasing its numbers.
Downsides of Keeping Saxony Ducks
While Saxony ducks are known for their beautiful plumage, there are some potential disadvantages to raising them.
For one thing, they are a bit more prone to illness than other breeds of ducks. They are also not as good at foraging for food, which means they may require more supplemental feed.
Additionally, Saxony ducks tend to be less heat-tolerant than other breeds, so they may need to be kept in cooler climates.
Finally, because they have such long necks, they can be more difficult to catch if they escape from their enclosure.
While Saxony ducks can make beautiful and enriching additions to any farm or backyard, it is important to be aware of their potential drawbacks:
- Saxony ducks are louder than other breeds and even the ducklings can get loud when they get too excited about food.
- They need more feed to serve their purpose, especially during winter when there are fewer foraging opportunities.
- Saxony ducks grow slower because they’re a heritage breed.
- These birds are productive egg layers for years but their productivity decreases as they age.
As you see, these birds have a lot to offer and the advantages often outweigh the cons. But if you want to add them to your homesteading, follow the tips below to ensure they’ll grow and thrive.
How to Raise Saxony Ducks
Saxony ducks are easy to care for but if you want them to grow and thrive, you must provide them with the following:
Diet and Nutrition
Saxony ducks are good foragers so they can look for their own food when given enough space to do so.
So, What Do Saxony Ducks Eat?
They feed on grasses, weeds, berries, insects, and other protein sources in ponds and lakes. But how about those on farms without sufficient space for foraging?
Saxony ducks will thrive despite limited space if you’d provide them with nutritionally balanced duck feed pellets.
They also enjoy gorging on cracked corn, peas, cut cucumber and tomatoes, and other fresh snacks.
Since ducks have higher niacin requirements than chickens, it’s best to choose a duck feed specially formulated to meet their needs.
If it’s not available, you can supplement their food with brewer’s yeast to increase their niacin intake.
And when Saxony hens are laying eggs, we recommend adding crushed oysters or eggshells into their feed to help strengthen their eggshells.
But How Much Do Ducks Eat?
An adult duck can consume 4 to 6 ounces of feed per day but they eat more during winter and less in the summer when there can forage more.
Feeding Saxony Ducks
While ducks may seem like simple creatures, they actually require a fairly specific diet in order to stay healthy. In the wild, ducks eat a variety of plant life, including water plants, seeds, and insects.
However, when kept as pets, ducks should be given a specially formulated diet that meets their nutritional needs.
The best way to ensure that your ducks are getting the proper nutrition is to purchase high-quality duck food from a reputable pet store.
In addition to pellets, this food should also contain some chopped vegetables and fruit, as well as a small amount of grit to help with digestion.
By providing your ducks with a balanced diet, you can help them stay healthy and happy for many years to come.
Ducks are waterfowl, so it’s expected that they love water. They’d be happier if they can access a small pond or pool where they can swim and bathe all day.
So, you must provide them with a pool or pond aside from clean drinking water where they can dunk their bills and heads for self-cleaning.
Not only do they have webbed feet that help them swim, but they also have special filters in their bills that allow them to strain food from the water.
But how much water do ducks actually drink?
While it depends on the size of the duck and the temperature of the water, ducks typically consume between 2 and 4 ounces of water per day. In hot weather, they may drink even more to stay cool and hydrated.
Saxony ducks are playful and active birds and they need exercise to stay healthy and fit. Just let them free-range in a safe space so they can roam around freely.
But if that’s not possible, you can try using the pool or pond so they can swim as part of their exercise routine.
You can utilize chicken coops to serve as their home and you can house ducks with chickens.
But you may also separate them and give them converted sheds but each duck must have at least 10 square feet of space.
Unlike chickens, ducks don’t roost because they prefer sleeping on the ground and they don’t need nest boxes.
They can just burrow into their bedding and lay feathers on the holes before laying on it and covering it. Therefore, you can just use the deep litter method and you wouldn’t have any problem.
Ducks don’t need to be kept in pairs but they do need other ducks for companionship. Just keep the right drake to hen ratio and you won’t have much problem with breeding.
Saxony ducks can survive as pets or alone but they’re social birds who enjoy swimming and preening together.
You can keep them in small groups or pairs that make them more comfortable.
Common Health Issues of Saxony Ducks
The Saxony duck breed is hardy and rarely has any health issues. However, you still need to get these birds vaccinated and keep their vaccination up to date.
You also need to check their feet regularly to ensure they’re free from Bumblefoot. And similar to other birds, de-worming is also a must to protect them.
Most importantly, ducks must have constant access to clean water to prevent the preening gland from drying out and ensure they don’t develop “wet feather” disease.
Water is also crucial to keep them hydrated and protect them from mites, fleas, ticks, and lice.
Where to Find Saxony Ducks for Sale?
Since genetics influence the duck’s size, health, temperament, and egg laying performance, it’s best to buy Saxony ducks from reputable breeders who are passionate about the breed.
However, these birds are rare. So, if you can’t find dedicated Saxony duck breeders near you, we recommend checking out the following farms:
You can also get in touch with the American Livestock Conservancy to find other reputable breeders of Saxony.
Common Questions About Saxony Ducks
Are Saxony ducks friendly?
Yes, Saxony ducks are friendly and gentle ducks but they’re active. These docile birds are easy to manage and care for.
Are Saxony ducks noisy?
Saxony ducks tend to be loud when agitated. But compared to other breeds, they’re quieter. These birds tolerate confinement and are not flyers so you don’t have to worry about them escaping as long as you have decent fencing.
Are Saxony ducks good pets?
Saxony ducks as pets are friendly and calm. That’s why they’re popular in Australia. Furthermore, they’re not flighty nor aggressive towards their children.
Is this duck breed rare?
The Livestock Conservancy listed the Saxony duck’s status as “threatened” because their population in the United States is less than 1,000. And the estimated total population in the world is less than 5,000 birds.
Despite their striking appearance, the Saxony duck breed is not currently considered to be rare, though it can be difficult to find a good breeding stock in the United States.
They are still fairly uncommon in North America and may be difficult to find outside of specialty breeders.
Nevertheless, the Saxony remains a popular choice for those looking for a unique and beautiful duck to add to their flock.
Can Saxony ducks fly?
Saxony ducks don’t fly. So, you don’t have to worry about them escaping nor put up high fences to keep them confined.
Do Saxony ducks need a pond?
Like any other breed, the Saxony duck loves water. So, if you have a small pond or pool or anything they can swim and bathe in like a plastic kiddie pool, they’d surely be happier.
Are Saxony ducks cold-hardy?
These ducks are extremely cold-hardy and thanks to their size, they’re less vulnerable to aerial predator attacks done by hawks. These birds don’t have combs and wattles like chickens, so the chances of getting frostbite are very low.
How big do Saxony ducks get?
Mature Saxony ducks weigh around 8 to 9 pounds. They’re among the largest duck breeds and they boast a compact, long body, broad shoulders, and a prominent chest.
How long do Saxony ducks live?
The average lifespan of this duck breed is 9 to 12 years. Therefore, they’re one of the longest-living duck breeds for their size.
Are Saxony Ducks Friendly?
While all ducks are different, this breed is generally known for being friendly and docile. They make great backyard pets and are good with children.
Saxony duck breeds are also relatively quiet, so they won’t disturb your neighbors. However, like all animals, they can have their own unique personality.
Some Saxony ducks may be more shy than others, or more independent. But in general, these ducks are gentle and make great companions.
If you’re looking for a friendly duck to add to your family, a Saxony duck is a great choice.
Are Saxony Ducks Good in the Cold and Heat?
Are Saxony ducks good in the cold and heat? This is a common question that potential duck owners ask. The answer is that they can do well in both, but there are some things to keep in mind.
In general, Saxony duck breeds are hardy birds and can tolerate colder temperatures better than many other breeds.
However, they will still need access to shelter and a source of warmth if the temperature dips below freezing.
During the summer months, Saxony ducks will appreciate having a pool or pond to cool off in.
They may also benefit from being given access to shade during the hottest hours of the day. With proper care, Saxony breeds can thrive in both hot and cold weather.
Do Saxony Ducks Make Good Pets?
While some ducks are bred for their meat or eggs, the Saxony duck is a popular choice for those looking for a pet.
These ducks are known for their calm temperament and intelligence, making them easy to train.
They also have a very striking appearance, with blue and white feathers that make them stand out from other breeds.
In addition, Saxony breeds are relatively quiet, so they won’t disturb your neighbors.
Is Saxony Duck Right For You? Final Thoughts
Saxony ducks are friendly and low-maintenance birds with solid egg-laying performance and tasty, tender meat.
However, their growth is not as fast as other breeds.
And although having a gigantic size comes with many advantages, it also means higher feed costs.
But the good news is you can save a considerable amount if you have enough space where they can forage for food. But because of their size, they’re not ideal for small backyards or urban areas.
They can be loud, especially during the breeding season. So, it’s worth considering if you’re living with noise-sensitive close-by neighbors or in a suburban area.
But overall, Saxony ducks make good pets and are excellent egg and meat producers.