To the Domestic ones we shall give our undivided attention … noting their economic uses: farmed for meat, eggs, and feathers (particularly their down).
|Hen Duck and Drake - Mallards|
The word ‘duck’ comes from Old English … a derivative of the verb ‘ducan’ – “to duck, bend down low as if to get under something, or dive”.
Our domesticated ducks are descended from the Mallard … the wild dabbling duck found in the temperate and subtropical zones … hunted for food throughout history …
|Miniature Silver Appleyards|
There are fourteen types of Duck Breeds at Risk in the UK – the Silver Appleyard was rescued after the War, when poultry in general declined, but has since had a major revival – as an egg producer and a useful table food …
… the Silver Appleyard was imported into North America in the late 1960s but took some twenty years before being readily available as a breed.
|Roast Aylesbury Duck with potato cake, broccoli,|
butternut puree with cherry sauce
We tend to have Aylesbury Duck here for roasting … just too good and utterly delicious, ducky doos!
Now just to make you laugh … a psychologist with his colleagues at Hertfordshire University, here in the UK, had a year-long Laugh-Lab experiment …
... yes, I did say Laugh-Lab, concluding that of all animals … ducks attracted the most humour and silliness: so if you’re ever going to tell a joke about an animal – make it a duck!
“Rubber Duckie” … I’ve never forgotten the C W McCall’s hit song 'Convoy' … using the on-air handle of “Rubber Duck” …
|Daffy Duck as Robin Hood, with|
Porky as Friar Tuck
… but we can never in our Western world get away from Disney’s Donald Duck, Daffy Duck … Howard the Duck, a comic book character …
… and our own Queen apparently having in her bathroom … her rubber duck wearing a crown – who knows, but 'she' looks coy here … still it’s a good story!
Years ago there was a Duck Lane in Queen Anne's time (early 1700s) which was famous for its second hand bookstalls ...
Pope in his "Essay on Criticism" comments:
Scotists and Thomists, now, in peace remain,
Amidst their kindred cobwebs in Duck Lane
That is D for Dramatically Different Ducks … Domestically Ducking too many Duck jokes from Aspects of British County Rare Breeds …
Counties with the letter D …
(note some Counties have been retired!, or amended over historical local government … but some I’ve included)
England: Derbyshire; Devon; Dorset; Durham
Northern Ireland: Down
Scotland: Dumfriesshire; Dunbartonshire; Dundee
Wales: Denbighshire; Dyfed
Other Duck Breeds not mentioned: Abacot Ranger; Cayuga; Shetland; Welsh Harlequin to name a few … see the Poultry Keeper for more information.
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