Saxony Duck

Saxony Duck

The Saxony duck is a heavy duck breed, one of the best dual-purpose breeds there is.

Their status is listed as threatened by The Livestock Conservancy, meaning there are less than 1000 known breeding birds in the United States and likely less than 5000 worldwide. In 2013, Germany recorded 1173 Saxony ducks nationwide.

saxony duck breed infographic

Saxony ducks only come in one color and pattern, and it’s a good one. They are often considered one of the most beautiful duck breeds, and their coloring is almost completely unique. There are some Runner ducks and Call ducks with “Apricot Trout” coloring, identical to the Saxony, but they are rare.

Their color genotype is light phase wild-type mallard with a double blue dilution.

Drakes have a silver or blue-gray head, back, and wing markings. They have a rust-colored chest, cream belly and flanks, and white neck ring.

saxony drake exhibition
A Saxony drake at a show in 2015. Photo courtesy of Rupert Stephenson; photo from The Domestic Waterfowl Club of Great Britain.

Ducks are a beautiful, rich buff or apricot color, with two creamy white stripes on the face and white marks on the chest and wingtips. Both sexes have orange feet and an orange-yellow bill, although males’ bills can have green shading and females’ bills can have brown shading.

saxony duck breed
A beautiful Saxony duck. Photo courtesy of “ssbobon.”

The Saxony is excellent for both meat and eggs, laying about 100-240 white eggs a year. They weigh 7-9 lb (3-4 kg), so they’re one of the largest duck breeds. They are not particularly fast-growing, but their meat is flavorful and lean.

They don’t fly, are good foragers, and tend to be good broodies and mothers. They also tend to be very calm.

Overall, they’re a wonderful, beautiful breed that really deserve more attention and popularity in the poultry world.

saxony drake and ducks
Saxony drake and ducks, who (according to their owner) get all the credit for this picture for being “mega sweeties.” Their names are Blue (the drake), Derpy, Alpha, and Lil’ Cutie.

History

The Saxony duck was developed from Rouens, German Pekins, and Blue Pomeranians in Chemnitz in the German state of Saxony, by a man named Albert Franz. They were first exhibited in 1934.

In World War II, Albert Franz was taken prisoner and nearly all of his ducks were lost, but he was able to continue breeding them in 1952. The Saxony was recognized as a breed in East Germany in 1957, in West Germany in 1958, and in the UK in 1982.

Holderread Waterfowl Farm imported them to the United States in 1984, and they were admitted into the APA’s Standard of Perfection in 2000. They have garnered some popularity, but they remain relatively rare.

PHOTO AND VIDEO GALLERY

A good overview of the Saxony duck breed:

saxony duck
Saxony duck. Photo courtesy of Michaela Knott.
female saxony duck exhibition
A female Saxony at a show. Photo from The Domestic Waterfowl Club of Great Britain.
two female saxony ducks
Two beautiful female Saxony ducks. Photo courtesy of Aimee Brown.
saxony duck
Saxony duck. Photo courtesy of Michaela Knott.
saxony drake head closeup
Head of a Saxony drake.
female saxony duck head closeup
Head of a Saxony duck.
two saxony ducks with ducklings
Two Saxony ducks and ducklings. Photo courtesy of Michaela Knott.
two broody saxony ducks
Two broody Saxonies coparenting.
saxony drake
A handsome Saxony drake.

Similar Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

16 Comments

    1. Hi Tavi,

      Here’s the basics of caring for ducklings:

      1. At first, they will need to be in a brooder, which is a box or tote with heat lamps for warmth. Here are some links on setting up a brooder:
      https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/duckling-care-brooder-ideas.64854/
      https://www.thecapecoop.com/diy-brooder-box/

      2. Once they are old enough to stay warm by themselves, they will need permanent housing. Most people keep their ducks in a small house, crate, or coop, for the night, and let them into a run or yard for the day. This is a big subject, so I can’t cover it in one comment very well, but you can research duck housing yourself. If your weather is good, you can let them outside under supervision even from day one, as long as you make sure they don’t get cold and are safe from predators.

      3. Here’s my article about feeding ducklings: https://www.raising-ducks.com/feeding-ducklings/

      4. They need water that is deep enough to dunk their head in. Chick waterers may work for the first few days, but they need some kind of pan or bucket so they can dunk their heads. They are extremely messy with water, so it would be a good idea to build an anti-mess water station. The best one I’ve seen was a wire platform over a bowl, with the waterer on top. All spillage would go through the wire and into the bowl underneath, instead of into the bedding. (Once they move outside, this won’t matter so much.)

      5. Swimming water isn’t absolutely necessary, but it’s nice. As ducklings, you will need to supervise all their swimming sessions. Ducklings CAN drown very easily! When they have a real mother, she can tell them when it’s time to get out, but since you will probably be the mother, you will have to do it for them. Limit baths to once a day and probably no more than 10-15 minutes.

      6. There are many things you’ll need to know, especially once they become adults. Just make sure you research and read as much as you can before you get the ducklings, so you know what you’re doing.

      Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Sincerely,
      Hannah Miller

    1. Hi Dana,

      The females should begin laying when they’re around 20-24 weeks old.

      Some ducks won’t use nest boxes. Some will just lay in the corner of the coop or something. And some ducks will actively seek out nests, and the more private and dark, the better.

      You might try something like this, though (plastic totes with holes cut in the sides): https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/nesting-boxes-for-ducks-made-easy.1315536/

      A few other ideas:

      https://www.lifeisjustducky.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/nesting1.jpg
      http://petdiys.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DIY-Barrel-Duck-Nest-Box1.jpg
      http://blog.mypetchicken.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Duck-Nesting-in-Milk-Crate-credit-Sasha-Fox-e1550070345928.png
      https://www.raising-ducks.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/nest2.jpg

      Hannah

    1. Where did you get the duckling?

      The only way to know for sure is to find out from the breeder. If they don’t know, it’s a mixed breed. Purebred ducks, especially rare ones like the Saxony, have to be intentionally bred. It’s easy to make random crosses that happen to look like a purebred (in coloration, if nothing else), but that doesn’t mean anything. I’ve seen random Mallard crosses that looked like Blue Swedishes, Appleyards, and other breeds.

      You could also compare your duck’s characteristics (when she’s an adult) to a Saxony and see if it matches. But you’ll have to look at conformation, weight, egglaying, and other characteristics, not just color.

      Also, do you have any other ducks? Ducks need a companion.

      Hannah

  1. We have 3 total. One is about 10 weeks old, the other two are about 5 weeks old. We had 4, the other would’ve been about 10 weeks of age, but she unfortunately passed. The oldest has buff, I think it’s called, feathers. The younger two still has the yellow duckling fuzz. Lol. They came from Tractor Supply. I thought she was a Pekin, but her feathers aren’t all white. And they couldn’t tell me the breeds of any of them. Thank you for your reply!

    Amanda D Scudder
    1. Oh, Tractor Supply. Then your ducks are probably purebreds of some kind. They get their ducklings from various large hatcheries (depending on your location). I don’t have TSC where I live, but from what I’ve read, they often don’t know what breed their ducks and chickens are. I don’t know if it’s because they mix all the ducklings together or what.

      I’ve heard of TSC getting their ducklings from Mt. Healthy Hatcheries, Townline Hatchery, Ideal Poultry, Privett Hatchery, and Cackle Hatchery.

      Cackle Hatchery is the only one of those that sells Saxony ducks. If any TSCs use Hoover’s Hatchery, they also sell Saxonies. So if you can find out what hatchery your TSC uses, and if they stock Saxonies, and if your duck looks like a Saxony as an adult, that would be proof, I guess. A lot of those hatcheries also sell Buff Orpington ducks and some others that have buff or buff-like coloring.

      Hannah