These little ducks are
addicting. My husband got me some call ducklings for my birthday a couple of
years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. We started with whites and grays,
and now have snowy and butterscotch.
is the original color with white being a sport from them. They were used as
decoys in England to “call” in the wild ducks for the hunters. The females are
quite loud. Ours tend to start calling anytime one of us steps out the
backdoor. They have a lot of personality, and can be easily tamed.
They should weigh from 1 ½-2lbs. Depending on the age and sex of the bird.
Heads should be round and full with a short wide bill. Legs should be centered
in the body and short.
Calls are a challenge to breed, hatch, and raise, but it is worth all the extra
effort. They are seasonal layers. Last year mine produced eggs from February
until June. They were put on Layena pellets in January with supplemental
rabbit pellets. They were also given greens daily either grasses or leftovers
from our garden. I found that the rabbit pellets increased my fertility and
amount of eggs produced.
used breeding hutches and ground pens for breeding. I found that when given
larger spaces my fertility dropped. They were more caught up in hunting for
bugs and eating grass than mating.
used a Brinsea Octagon 20 as my incubator, and a tabletop incubator as a hatcher.
I also used Muscovy hens as
I had about the same percentage
of hatch using either method.
Once hatched most ducklings are vigorous. There are always a few delicate
ones. These usually turn out to be the better quality breeders or the show
ducks. I start my ducklings with a duck starter, but try to switch them to a
lower protein grower at 2-3 weeks of age. They need clean water for drinking
and swimming. I add Oxine to their water for the first few weeks. They also
get lots of greens. Please see my page on