011 646 2000 | Home | Contact |    
Johannesburg Zoo

The domestic duck is distributed throughout the world. Ducks are easy to keep, adapt readily to a wide range of conditions, they are also easily managed under village conditions particularly if a waterway is nearby. They appear to be more resistant and more adept at foraging than chickens.
Several distinctive types of ducks have been developed in various regions. Most have lost the ability to fly any distance, but they retain a boat like posture and a labored, waddling walk. Domestic ducks range in body size from the diminutive Call, which weighs less than a kilo to the largest meat strains weighing as much as 4.5 kg.

Ducks thrive in hot, humid climates, however during torrid weather they must have access to shade, drinking water and bathing water. They are adapted to rivers, canals, lakes, ponds, marshes and other aquatic locations. All domestic ducks interbreed freely, eggs normally take 28 days to incubate, brooding and rearing is done solely by the female.

Ducks are shy, nervous and seldom aggressive towards each other or humans. Skilled and enthusiastic swimmers from the day they hatch, they spend many hours each day bathing and frolicking in any available water. Most breeds can however be raised successfully without swimming water. Wild ducks normally pair off; however, domestic drakes will mate indiscriminately with any females in a flock. Ducks are vulnerable to predators as they are almost incapable of defending themselves. They are also poor mothers.

In the zoo we have Indian Runner, Crested and Call Duck
Indian Runner duck
Originated in India and brought to England from Malaya by a ship�s captain in 1830, Indian Runner duck has a distinctive �racy� look-long, flat, head and long, slender neck and stands upright. Drake weighs between 1.6 to 2.25kg whilst duck weighs between 1.35 and 2 kg.

Crested duck

Call Duck
This is the comedian of the duck family � nosy, small and cute. The females in particular have a very loud quack. They originated from England. They were developed as decoys to �call� wild ducks down on to a lake to be hunted. There are 2 varieties of call duck: grey, with Mallard markings and white, although they can be any of an amasing array of colours. They are small with a mass of 570g to 800g for a drake and 450 � 700g for duck.

Ducks are used as a meat source. They are larger than hens and the meat remains tender and palatable even in older birds. Eggs are typically larger than hens� eggs. The eggs are nutritious, have more fat and protein and contain less water than hen�s eggs. Down is sought as filler for pillows, comforters and winter clothing. They have a special fondness for mosquito and beetle larvae, grasshoppers, snails, slugs and crustaceans and therefore are effective pest control agents.

Johannesburg Zoo
Copyright 2016 Johannesburg Zoo                                                                                                                                                                 Back to Top
Information manuals