Ducks

  • Duck is the common name for a large number of species in the waterfowl family Anatidae. Swans and Geese are also part of the Anatidae family.
  • There are more than 40 different breeds of domestic ducks. The most common is the Pekin duck.
  • The male duck is called a drake. The female duck is called a hen. A baby duck is a called duckling.
  • Ducklings are precocial. When they hatch they are relatively mature and mobile and can find their own food.
  • It takes a duck about 2 weeks to lay a nest full of eggs before she starts sitting on them. The first egg may be 2 weeks old before it is warmed up and development starts.
  • Duck eggs typically take between 28 and 35 days to hatch.
  • Ducks lay between 60 and 300 eggs per year depending on the breed. The average is 180 eggs per year.
  • Duck eggs are good in the refrigerator for about 6 weeks.
  • Duck lives between 2 and 12 years depending on the breed.
  • Ducks do not have nerves or blood vessels in their feet. This allows ducks to swim in cold water, walk on ice or in snow because they don't feel cold.
  • Ducks have 3 eyelids. In addition to having an upper and lower eyelid, ducks, as well as all birds, have a third eyelid called nictitating membrane. The nictitating membrane is a thin fold of skin that is nearly transparent and whitish in color. Its purpose is to moisten, clean and protect the surface of the eye.
  • Ducks have three types of feathers: contour, flight and down.
  • Down feathers serve as an inner layer of insulation that traps warm air against the ducks body. Down feathers are used to line blackest, clothing and sleeping bags.
  • Contour feathers serve as the protective outer shell. They overlap one another forming a barrier from wind and moi
  • sture.
  • Flight feathers serve as an aid in the generation of both thrust and lift and enabling them to fly.
  • Ducks waterproof their feathers by coating themselves with an ointment that’s secreted from the uropygial gland (aka. preen gland) at the base of their tail.
  • During the egg-laying process, hens pull more and more down feathers from their body to create a bare patch on their abdomen called a “brood patch.” This allows the hens to more efficiently transfer heat from their bodies to their eggs. When they briefly leave their nest they will pull a layer of down feathers over the eggs with their bills to protect them and keep them warm while they are away.