If you are thinking about getting some ducks but have limited space or are looking for birds that can't fly, there are some really cute small breeds and some delightful flightless ones which could be ideal choices. However, there are a few smaller duck breeds that boast being incredibly noisy, so if you have neighbours close by, it could prove to be a problem.
With this said, there are many, many breeds of smaller ducks to choose from all of which are great characters to have around and the same can be said of flightless ducks. The thing you need to remember is that all ducks are notorious for ruining lawns because there is nothing they like more than burrowing their beaks in the mud when it rains turning a well kept grassy area into a swampy marsh!
Originally from China, the Pekin is a lovely looking white duck that boast very orange coloured beaks and feet. If you are new to keeping ducks, they are the ideal choice because not only are they pretty hardy, but they love interacting with people too. Being flightless, they do resemble Indian Runners with their upright stance although, the Pekin tends to be a little chubbier.
The other thing that makes the Pekin so appealing apart from their caricature looks, is they tend to be very calm by nature which means they are really easy to train. On the downside, although not as bad as Call ducks, the Pekin is notoriously noisy which means they are not the best choice if you have neighbours living close by.
If you are looking for small ducks and are not worried about neighbours, Call Ducks are lovely. They are often called miniature ducks because these little birds are so compact in size. However, as previously mentioned, Call Ducks can be incredibly noisy which can become an issue with neighbours. The other thing you need to bear in mind, is you may have to clip their wings every now and again to prevent them from flying away!
Call Ducks are direct descendants of the Mallard but through selective breeding, they developed shorter bills and much smaller bodies. You can find them in lots of different colours which includes white, apricot, bibbed, black, blue fawn, dark silver, magpie, mallard, pied and silver.
Originating from the German/Swiss border, the Pomeranian Duck is today considered a rare breed. This lovely blue duck was developed because of their gorgeous colour. Like the Indian Runner, they boast a very upright stance and although they are typically blue in colour, you can find black Pomeranians too which are equally attractive because of the green sheen they have on their plumage.
This is a stunning breed of duck with the original full size duck having been bred by Reginald Appleyard. However, the miniature variety was not developed until 1980 by a gentleman called Tom Bartlett. There's sometimes a little confusion because Reginald Appleyard developed another miniature duck namely the Silver Bantam.
For first-time duck owners, the Silver Appleyard is a great choice because they are small but incredibly hardy and as a bonus, they love to forage on snails and slugs making them the perfect choice for a back garden.
The other thing about these ducks that makes them such a popular choice, is they are great sitters and ducklings tend to be strong. Drakes have a black/green head and a silver band on their flecked throats. Rumps are black/green and wings are tipped with blue. Females are also very good looking with a silvery white head and neck with creamy coloured under-body and wings that are also tipped blue.
The Silver Bantam appeared on the scene in the forties when they were developed by Reginald Appleyard. These lovely ducks came about as a result of crossing a Khaki Campbell duck with a white Call drake and the breed was only standardised in the early eighties. Drakes are gorgeous with black heads and necks and green sheen. The breast and shoulders boast reddish brown lacing with flanks and bellies being a silvery white in colour.
Females have heads and necks that are fawn in colour with a little dark brown graining and boasts a cream breast that has brown streaks on it but her under-body is cream in colour. The colour of their legs is very striking being a bright orange. She is an excellent layer but if eggs are not collected, she will sit tight which could mean you end up with more ducks than you originally planned on keeping.
The breed is known to be hardy and healthy loving to forage around in gardens. Another bonus is these very pretty ducks are calm by nature and extremely friendly which makes them a pleasure to have around. On the downside, Silver Bantams are quite difficult to come across as the breed is now considered to be quite rare.