Campbell ducks are among the most famous domestic breeds in the United States due to their exemplary characteristics and personality. If you want superb egg production, this duck breed will not fail you.
Although they have a wild ancestry, Campbell ducks are surprisingly responsive. Yet, they have other traits that you will find very interesting.
Campbell ducks can fly, but they rarely do. If these ducks try to fly, they cannot fly high or too far.
Despite being lightweight, they are still unable to lift their bodies to fly like Muscovy ducks. So, if predators are present, Campbell ducks will escape only by running too fast, jumping off the fence, or flying about 4 feet high.
Scientifically known as Anas platyrhynchos, Campbell ducks have been around for more than a century and have stood the test of time. If you are raising ducks for profit, this breed can also be a great idea.
So whether you are a beginner or have been raising ducks, this article will teach you everything about Campbell ducks and some caring tips.
Campbell Duck History
Campbell ducks are a British breed that was developed by Mrs. Adele Campbell in the late 1800s. At that time, she wanted to produce a better egg layer for her farm.
Mrs. Campbell then bred her Penciled Runner duck to a Rouen drake. Afterward, she bred the offspring with a Mallard duck, and the resulting breed was the Campbell duck.
The original Campbell duck was first introduced to the public in 1898. But because Mrs. Campbell wanted to create a more attractive buff-colored duck variant, she resorted to further cross-breeding experiments. The resulting variant had a light brown color that reminded her of British army uniforms. She named the breed “Khaki Campbell Duck.”
The Khaki Campbell duck was introduced to the public in 1901 and gained prominence among local farmers. So, in 1923, the Khaki Campbell Duck Club was formed, and Dr. Arthur Campbell (Mrs. Campbell’s husband) became its president. The Campbell breed was first imported to the United States in 1929 by Perry Fish of Syracuse, New York.
Where Do Campbell Ducks Originate?
Campbell ducks originated in Gloucestershire, England, in a village called Uley. This is where Mrs/ Campbell’s farm was located.
The Khaki Campbell duck was admitted to the British Poultry Standard in 1924 and the American Standard of Perfection in 1941. Their population declined for several years, but it increased again after the Vietnam War.
Campbell Duck Identification
What Do Campbell Ducks Look Like?
Campbell ducks look like their Mallard ancestors. They also have dark brown eyes; a refined, slender neck, while their head and bill are long.
This duck breed comes in Dark, Khaki, Pied, and White, but only the Khaki is recognized by the American Poultry Association. As the name implies, Khaki Campbell ducks have light brown plumage.
How Big Do Campbell Ducks Grow?
Khaki Campbell ducks are classified as a medium-sized breed and can grow only up to 1.5-2.0 ft. (45.7-61.0 cm) tall. Since they are almost as small as the Penciled Runner ducks, there are no bantam versions.
Are Campbell Ducks a Heavy Breed?
Campbell ducks are not a heavy breed. In fact, drakes only weigh around 4-4.5 lbs (1.8-2.0 kilos) and ducks weigh about 3.5-4.0 lbs (1.6-1.8 kilos).
Campbell Duck Wingspan
There are no records showing the average wingspan of Campbell ducks. But because they have small wings, you can expect them to have a short wingspan. To give an idea, Mallard ducks have an average wingspan of 81–98 cm (31.8–38.6 inches).
How to Tell Male From Female Campbell Ducks?
Generally speaking, drakes (male ducks) are bigger and heavier than females. But for Khaki Campbell ducks, you can also tell whether they are male or female through their colors.
In most cases, male and female ducklings have no difference in colors and sizes. You can only start noticing the difference once they are about 8-12 weeks old.
Khaki Campbell drakes have a glossy brownish bronze neck and dark orange feet. On the other hand, ducks have brown necks and legs. Ducks are also usually more vocal than males.
More importantly, drakes have some curled feathers at the top of their tails once they are about 14 weeks of age. Meanwhile, ducks don’t have curled tail feathers.
What Are the Distinct Characteristics of a Campbell Duck?
Campbell ducks are unique since they have long, compact bodies with a carriage of 20-40 degrees above horizontal. Both the drakes and ducks have green bills and dark brown eyes.
They can survive for a week in cold regions at a temperature of 0°F (-17.7°C), as well as in humid tropical rainforests with temperatures of 100°F (37.8°C).
What Is Campbell Duck Known For?
Khaki Campbell ducks are dual-purpose birds but are considered better in egg production rather than in meat production. Their meat is soft and delicious, but most farmers are taking advantage of the excellent supply of duck eggs.
How Long Does a Campbell Duck Live?
With proper care, Campbell ducks can live between 10 and 15 years.
What Do Campbell Ducks Eat?
Like other duck breeds, Khaki Campbell ducks eat insects, fish, oysters, slugs, snails, ticks, weeds, worms, and vegetable scraps. They are excellent foragers and get most of their food in ponds and gardens.
This British duck breed does not require any special diet, which means you can feed the ducklings with non-medicated chick starter feed.
Are Campbell Ducks Flighty?
Campbell ducks are not flighty birds. They have light bodies, but their wings are too small to lift them. Therefore, they rarely fly, and once they do, it is only very limited in distance and height.
Campbell ducks Temperament
Campbell ducks are active birds and love to socialize with each other. They are curious, friendly, and easy to tame.
But be aware both sexes are extremely skittish and can easily get frightened. These lightweight ducks tend to jump once they get too excited. Campbell ducks are adaptable to cages and free range and do well even as a solo.
Are Campbell Ducks Good Pets?
Campbell ducks are good pets. This duck breed is friendly, docile, and gentle. No wonder they are highly recommended for beginners and those with small children.
But despite this, Campbell ducks are not lap birds and are not interested in being touched. They might even run away from you and hide unless you offer them food or treats.
When Do Campbell Ducks Lay Eggs?
Aside from being excellent egg layers, Campbell ducks are also considered consistent egg producers. Younger ducks lay more eggs than older ones, but the difference is very minimal.
Most duck breeds have a particular breeding season, but Campbell ducks breed at any season of the year and can lay eggs all year round, even in winter.
How Often Do Campbell Ducks Lay Eggs?
Khaki Campbell ducks lay eggs almost every morning during their first two years and will gradually slow down as they age. They only stop (or reduce dramatically) laying eggs during their molting period, which is usually 2-3 weeks in the summer. Since their feathers will be replaced by new ones, they don’t have enough energy to lay eggs.
What Color Are Campbell Duck Eggs?
Campbell duck eggs are creamy white, but some of them may have a slight green tint. They are graded extra large, and each egg weighs about 65-75 grams (2.3-2.6 ounces).
How Many Eggs Do Campbell Ducks Lay?
Campbell ducks lay 250-340 eggs a year or about 5-6 eggs a week! These prolific egg layers can lay an egg almost every day during their peak period.
At What Age Do Khaki Campbell Ducks Start Laying Eggs?
Like most duck breeds, Khaki Campbell ducks start to lay eggs once they are between 5 and 7 months (20 and 28 weeks) old. But then, this duck breed can continuously lay about 90% of its maximum egg production during the first two years. Interestingly, they rarely stop completely until they are too old to lay eggs.
Do Campbell Ducks Go Broody?
Khaki Campbell ducks go broody but are not excellent sitters. In most cases, they don’t go broody even if there is a clutch of eggs in their nest. This is why you should use an incubator if you are raising Campbell ducks and you want to have lots of ducklings.
Are Campbell Ducks Loud?
Khaki Campbell ducks are not considered a loud breed. They are relatively quiet ducks, even while laying eggs or in cages, as well as in free range.
In fact, the Khaki Campbell is one of the quietest duck breeds in the world. For this reason, you can raise them even if you have neighbors living very close to your property.
Breeding Campbell Ducks
Khaki Campbell ducks are very easy to breed since they are very adaptable in extreme weather conditions. These mighty domestic ducks also don’t have specific genetic problems or health issues.
They are also independent and have a self-sustainable living. When raised by hand, the collection of eggs is effortless since they are not defensive.
Campbell Ducks Care Tips
With all the great qualities of Campbell ducks, they don’t require special care. Being multi-purpose birds, these beautiful ducks also have a good temperament and are not aggressive.
But while you are very unlikely to experience major problems in raising them, they have some characteristics you should focus on. Here are some caring tips:
- Water is a must for ducks in drinking and swimming. Aside from clean drinking water, place a used bathtub or a plastic baby pool. Ducks don’t necessarily need ponds, though.
- As previously mentioned, Khaki Campbell ducks are very active. Each duck should have 2-3 square ft in their coop and around, while 25 square feet of space for free range.
- Duck coops should have a door space that can fit two ducks at a time. The fence can be as low as 1.5 feet.
- Since Campbell ducks seldom get broody, prepare a very reliable incubator or get a broody duck if you are into hatching their eggs.
- Ducks don’t need roost bars and rarely use nesting boxes. Instead, place clean and dry bedding such as pine shaving or straw on the floor corners of their coop.
Do Campbell Ducks Migrate?
Khaki Campbell ducks don’t migrate. Aside from being domesticated birds that can live harmoniously with humans; they cannot fly too high and too far. In general, ducks migrate only if the environment is too cold or there is a lack of food and water.
Can You Eat Campbell Ducks?
You can eat Campbell duck meat since they are appetizing. They may not be as delicious as Pekin ducks, but their meat is very tasty and lean.
Killing and roasting a duck is more challenging than in a chicken. Nonetheless, their meat is fattier, so you don’t need too much oil when frying. It is better to cook their breasts and legs separately.
Are Khaki Campbell Ducks Noisy?
Khaki Campbell ducks are not noisy. As mentioned earlier, they are relatively quiet and are soft chatters wherever you place them. Nevertheless, you can expect them to “quack” if they are hungry or feeling threatened.
List of Sources
Poultry Breeds – Khaki Campbell Duck – http://afs.okstate.edu/breeds/poultry/ducks/khakicampbell/index.html/
Duck Raising – https://cagayanvalley.da.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/duck.pdf
Breeds of Ducks – https://agriculture.gov.tt/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Breeds-of-Ducks-Factsheet-web-April-2014.pdf
Performance of Indigenous, Khaki Campbell and Their Reciprocal Crossbred Layer Ducks Under Different Management Systems