Abacot Ranger

Abacot Rangers Abacot Ranger ducklings

Key Characteristics

Like other light ducks, this breed is lively and active and a good forager.


  • The Abacot Ranger was one of many breeds developed from (or crossed with) Indian Runners. 
  • Mr Oscar Gray of Abacot Duck Ranch, near Colchester developed the breed, originally called the 'Hooded Ranger' using Khaki Campbells and Indian Runners. 
  • Imported into Germany via Denmark in 1926, it was ‘stabilized’ as a colour form by H. Lieker, whence it acquired the name ‘Liekers Streifere’ (Lieker’s Ranger or Scout). 
  • In 1934 it was eventually standardized under the name of Streicher-Ente (Ranger Duck). 
  • Later standardized by the Poultry Club and the BWA in 1987, the modern Abacot Ranger owes both its survival and written standard to the work done in Germany.


  • The breed is similar in shape to Khaki Campbells, although larger.
  • They are known as ‘Hooded Rangers’ in USA as both the males and females have distinct solid coloured heads.
  • In the female, the head is fawn and the bill a dark slate grey.
  • In the male, the head is black with a green lustre with a white ring around the neck and an olive green bill.
  • The legs and webs are dark, ideally steely grey.
  • The ducklings have distinctive dark fringes around the tail and on the head and the bill has a darker tip. The male ducklings at this stage have more dark shading on the head.



The breed is a good egg layer, producing a reasonable sized egg. Wye College Duck Laying Test of 1922-3 indicates the breed used to be one of the best: the breed came top with 935 eggs in the four bird section.

Did you know?

Abacot Ranger ducklings can be sexed easily from 8 weeks of age. The male has an olive green bill, whereas the female’s is a dark slate grey.

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is the leading national charity working to conserve and protect the United Kingdom's rare native breeds of farm animals from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants and donations from the public to raise the £700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare UK native breeds of farm animals. Visit www.rbst.org.uk to see how you can help.

Support RBST

Your support can help us save the UK’s rarest breeds of farm animals.

Upcoming Events