Saxony Duck

Saxony Duck

The Saxony duck is a heavy dual-purpose duck breed that is considered one of the most beautiful breeds. Its status is threatened.

They are marked similarly to the Rouen Clair, except that the coloring of a Rouen Clair is termed “Light Mallard,” whereas the Saxony has blue dilution genes and is called “Apricot Light Mallard,” which is unique to the Saxony. No other duck breed is colored like them.

saxony duck breed infographic

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

Ducks are a beautiful rich buff color, with two creamy white stripes on the face and white marks on the chest and wingtips. They usually have orange feet and bill.

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

These ducks weigh 7-9 lb (3-4 kg) and lay about 190-240 eggs a year, so they’re excellent for either meat or eggs.

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

Overall, they’re a wonderful, beautiful breed that really deserves 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 was developed in 1930 in Germany by Albert Franz from Rouens, German Pekins, and Blue Pomeranians. They were recognized as a breed by 1957 and have since 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.
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.

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

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