It is their random, Dalmation like patterns that grabbed my attention initially. Reading accounts of current owners who bestowed the virtue of this mid-size duck, and I knew I had found the perfect duck for my little homestead. On an average day British Columbia’s rainfall does not appeal to the hardiest chicken, and when I would look out my window and see only my pair of call ducks happily utilizing the barn yard, I thought perhaps ducks rather than chickens were a better choice for this temperate rain forest farmstead. Having exhausted my search for the Ancona duck in Canada, I imported hatching eggs from the US in 2012.
A conservative effort is underway to have a standard accepted into the American Poultry Association. I am working with a group of devoted American and our standardization project is entering it's 4th year. My breeding goals are for conformation and production for both eggs and meat. I continue to show my birds in APA sanctioned events.
Everything we know in regards to the birth of this breed has been called in to question. The breed may very well have been created in the United States and not England as we have been previously led to believe.
Ancona’s are a flightless duck, so they don't migrate. They are pleasant, calm and excellent layers. They are also excellent foragers, and will happily help rid your farm of slugs, and insects. I was surprised at how quickly they grew.
"As with all rare breeds, it is especially important to choose stock birds that are vigorous, free of physical deformities and have classic breed traits. Since it is an excellent layer, productivity should be given a high priority in breeders. To produce the highest percentage of offspring with unique patterns, select birds with definite colored areas under their eyes and at least a bit of color in their chests. Avoid specimens that are either solid white or primarily colored with a white bib." (Holderread 2001, 53)