The Duclair duck is an old French breed of duck that used to be an extremely popular meat bird, but is now difficult to find. Most Duclairs are either black or blue. Both have a white feather on each wing and a white “bib.” Males have an iridescent green head, while females have a black head. The blue variety closely resembles the Blue Swedish duck.
There is also a white variety that resembles the Pekin. Metzer Farms raises a special variety of White Duclair that excels at egg laying, producing 130-200 eggs a year, as opposed to the 80-100 produced by standard Duclairs. Their eggs are blue or green.
With the exception of the White Duclair, most Duclairs are primarily meat birds, and in fact are prized for their excellent-tasting meat and are served at several extremely high-end restaurants. Drakes weigh up to 7 pounds (3.0 kg) and ducks weigh up to 6 pounds (2.5 kg.) They’re very fast growing, being table-ready by eight to twelve weeks. Their meat is said to taste like a cross between veal and lamb.
Some say they are a variety of Rouen, others say they were developed as a cross between various farmyard ducks and wild migrating ducks. Either way, we do know the location they originated: the town of Duclair in Normandy, France, where they were quite popular as meat birds for many years. Now, their popularity has decreased.
They were first recognized as separate from the Rouen and standardized on November 11, 1923. However, they are not recognized by the American Poultry Association (APA).
The Duclair may also be related to the Blue Swedish, Dendermonde, Termonde, Shetland, Huttegem, and Pomeranian duck.
They’re friendly, calm, active, good at foraging, hardy, poor fliers, good mothers and broodies, and fabulous pets. Overall, they’re a great choice for any backyard duck raiser and definitely worth preserving.