This article is on breeding bantam ducks and is being republished from Acorn Hollow Bantams website with permission from Lou Horton.
Most breeders are obsessed with small size in their birds early in their breeding careers. Some even go to the extreme of purchasing the smallest ducks they can find at shows and breeding them together with the assumption that the result will be tiny offspring. Such efforts are counterproductive in two ways for breeding bantam ducks. First of all, such birds are often lousy breeders. Secondly, picking up birds from different sources may well result in an outcross which may even increase the size of the resulting offspring. One would be better advised to start with related birds which are medium in size but very strong in type. Such birds are likely to breed well and give a decent number of offspring, young birds smaller than their parents but hopefully just as strong in type will be found each year.
Birds which are standard weight and strong in type and color are ideal both in the showroom and in the breeding pen. Experienced judges are not often seduced by tiny birds simply because they seldom exhibit good type and/or condition. In both Calls and East Indies, given the keen competition seen at major shows, lack of prime condition is a recipe for defeat. Usually, tiny birds of either breed are unthrifty in their use of the feed they consume and often exhibit poor feather condition regardless of the quality of care they receive. Such birds are often (usually, in fact) a waste of time for their owners and for anyone who buys them thinking that they have discovered a “diamond in the rough”. Dull, lifeless eyes and dry, somewhat ruffled plumage are the hallmarks of birds well below the weight for which the APA Standard of Perfection calls.
By Lou Horton