As you would expect with such a northerly origin, they are quite tough. They are very busy little ducks, always active and foraging, as they would do in more natural surroundings on the Shetland Isles. Whilst being extremely active foragers they are have tough, character, appealing and productive little duck to anyone, experienced or beginner alike. They hatch both under broodies and also in an incubator to good effect and with a good fertility hatching and raising stock is not difficult. As a breed this must be one of the rarest breed of ducks and warrants special attention to conserve this breed.
The Shetland duck as it would suggest originates in the very north of Scotland in the Shetland Isles.
- It is a very appealing little bird, a little bigger than a Mallard.
- It has glossy black plumage shot through with green/blue like a Cayuga, but with a white breast and sometimes white spots on the head too.
- As the ducks age, they gradually increase the white plumage, some turn completely white in old age. Shetlands lay a good-sized egg, which varies in colour from white to grey. The drakes sport a yellowish bill and have orange on their legs and the ducks, which are slightly smaller, have black bills and legs. The ducklings are very sweet, being black and yellow spotted.
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.