Abacot Ranger Duck

Abacot Rangers are extremely rare, beautiful dual-purpose light ducks. They’re also known as the Hooded Ranger in America, the Streicherente in Germany, and the La Canard Streicher in France. Between 1917 and 1922, Oscar Gray of Colchester in Essex, U.K. created the Abacot Ranger by breeding Khaki Campbells and white Indian Runners. The breed was popular for a short while, and then would have died out if it wasn’t for H. Lieker in Germany, who stabilized the color and helped the breed become more noticed in the poultry world.

Females have a buff-colored “hood” on their head and males have an iridescent green hood when in nuptial plumage (during breeding season) and a black hood when in eclipse plumage. The bill color of the Abacot Ranger is sex-linked: by eight weeks of age, the sex of the ducklings can be discerned by their bill color. Males will have olive green bills, and females will have dark slate grey bills.

Abacot Rangers weigh 4.5 (2 kg) to 5.5 pounds (3kg). They’re not good fliers. They lay 180-200 eggs a year, sometimes more or less. In the Wye College egg-laying trials in 1922-23, four Abacot Rangers laid 935 eggs in a year, which determined the Abacot Ranger to be one of the very best egg-laying duck breeds. Even being so prolific in the egg department, they’re actually not bad mothers and sitters. Some individuals aren’t interested in going broody, but others are. Better yet, they’re a lot stockier than many of the other excellent egg-layers, so they’re pretty good meat birds. They’re also very active foragers, and they usually live for at least ten years.

It’s a pity the Abacot Ranger is so rare. Many people have never heard of or seen one. I encourage all prospective duck owners to take a look at this beautiful breed. They’re not only extremely talented egg-layers, they’re also good for meat, good foragers, long-lived, friendly, hardy, and absolutely gorgeous.