Call Ducks fit the bill (no pun intended) if you’ve ever wanted a stuffed animal to come alive and be your pet. It’s truly one of a kind.
They are off the charts on the adorable scale. There isn’t a kid (or any critter lover) out there that could pass up a cute little Call Duck as a pet. They are bantam-sized and look like they waddled right out of an animated Pixar flick. I know, I’ve already convinced you in just a couple of sentences…but follow me to the pond for a few minutes to learn all about this special little friend.
What Do Call Ducks Look Like?
Call Ducks are simply delightful in appearance. They truly do look like stuffed animals. They are bantam-sized, which is basically a miniature in the fowl world. Bantams are often a smaller version of a full-sized chicken or duck. In this case, Call Ducks are a true bantam – meaning there isn’t a large version.
These cute little ducks are not only small with a very compact, oval body shape, but they have a short bill too. You may not even realize it until it’s pointed out, but the short beak is one of the things that makes this breed so cute. Their feathers also appear fluffy, which just adds to their stuffed animal look.
The feature that most makes them look like an animated critter is their eyes! They look like little glass beads you would find on a teddy bear. Your heart will be captured in an instant.
Call Ducks are so small that their weights aren’t even regularly listed in pounds, but rather ounces! Hens weigh around15-20 ounces while drakes weigh about 19-25 ounces. Call Duck ducklings are so incredibly tiny, you can hardly believe they are real.
The most popular color is white, but there are many other colors out there. Black, dark silver, bibbed, apricot, chocolate, blue fawn, magpie, and more.
Call Ducks History Snippet
The most common theory is that these ducks originally came from East Asia back in the 1600s, but we cannot be 100% sure of that. We can be pretty sure that the breed was introduced to Great Britain sometime in the 1800s.
Call Ducks are closely related to Mallard Ducks, and you can see the similarities if you compare them side by side. The history of Call Ducks is a little sad to me. Probably because I’m not much of a hunter personally. The name itself is derived from a Dutch word that means trap (and you can probably guess what comes next).
Call Ducks were regularly used as a decoy in hunting. They have a very high-pitched call that travels long distances, and this was cleverly used to lure larger wild ducks into a trap by hunters. Of course, this required the Call Ducks to be tied in place near the trap or within shooting range of the larger breeds.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service refers to this process as baiting. Baiting for waterfowl (duck decoys) is prohibited in many states.
What Are Call Ducks Used For Today?
They are mostly ornamental, just plain fun to watch run around. Call Ducks are commonly used for pets and for show. Apparently, they quite regularly win show championships! If you have the desire to show waterfowl, then you might want to look into this breed.
Call Duck Temperament
I mentioned that these ducks look like they waddled right out of an animated Pixar movie. Well, their temperament is pretty much that of a cartoon character as well. They are as sweet and docile as can be. A lap duck if ever there was one for sure.
Call Ducks are not known to be flighty or skittish like some other duck breeds. Good for both young and old alike, they make a great family pet.
Chatterbox extraordinaire – apparently they have a lot to say. They also like to “call,” as their name indicates. If you think this may bother you, be sure the duck house is not right next to your bedroom window!
Also, if you live close to a neighbor that doesn’t want to hear your ducks chatting it up and calling, then you should move (okay, I’m kidding…but you might actually like these ducks even more than you like your neighbors)!
Call Duck Eggs
So here’s the scoop. I can’t make a case about Call Duck egg production being great. They do lay eggs though. The reports of how many eggs per year are all over the place – from about 50 up to 150. I guess you’ll have to get some Call Ducks and experiment yourself to find out.
Duck eggs are usually larger than chicken eggs, but since the Call Duck is miniature – their eggs are sized more like that of a chicken. And yes, you can eat them.
Their eggs are most often white but can be shades of blue and green as well.
Fast Facts About Call Ducks
- They are adorable (as I’ve already mentioned countless times).
- They are adorable (oops, I already said that…didn’t I?)
- They are very cold hardy.
- They are heat tolerant.
- They lay eggs.
- They are photogenic.
- They are good with kids… and adults that act like kids.
- They are a great choice for showing waterfowl.
- They like to clean themselves…a lot!
The Not So Good:
- They are very small and noisy (the females) which makes them a target for predators (and annoyed neighbors)!
- They like to hang out by your feet (you have to avoid stepping on them).
- They have a loud call which is noisy (but you can always wear ear muffs 😉).
- They are too small to be a good dual purpose breed.
- They lay eggs, but not a hefty amount (which circles back to not being a great dual purpose breed).
Caring For Call Ducks
Take good care of your sweet little pet with high quality feed like Pampered Chicken Mama’s 16% Premium Layer Feed With Black Soldier Fly Larvae, Fishmeal, & Herbs. It’s soy free and has high protein. It’s far superior to common farm store feed.
You should also provide some kind of grit to help them grind and process food in their gizzard. Oyster shells will act as a grit and also provide extra calcium which they need during laying season.
And finally, it’s a good idea to give your duck friends vitamins and minerals, especially since our soil these days is lacking in such things.
Provide lots of fresh water for your mini ducks. They love to swim in water but they also need to drink plenty of fresh water. Water and ducks go together like peas and mashed potatoes, or burgers and fries.
As for swimming, a pond is best. But if you don’t have a pond, you can also use a kiddie pool or large farm tub or tin bathtub or any number of other creative ideas. I have a friend who dug out a spot that looked like a large mud puddle for her ducks.
If you use a pool or tub, you will need to clean it out every few days to keep it safe. If you create a mud puddle, you will want to add water regularly to keep it fresh.
Ducks need a coop or shelter of some kind. They don’t roost like chickens, but they still need a place out of the elements and safe from predators.
Call Ducks are tiny, defenseless little creatures – so free ranging them is a little challenging if you live in a predator heavy area. You will need to keep this in mind. Plenty of people successfully free range this breed, you just need to be mindful of your particular set up.
If you decide to keep them in a run, be sure they have plenty of space. Despite their small size, they still need about 12 square feet per duck to be super happy.
Also, be sure they have water to drink and water to play in.
Give these precious additions to your critter collection lots of love. But I doubt I have to tell you this one! They love attention. They also love treats – you can find some of my favorites here. There’s nothing better than giving treats that have a purpose. These are not like candy suckers that banks try to hand out to your kids, these treats are packed full of nutrients that will keep your ducky healthy.
Final Call (clever, I know)
Was I right? Are they adorable, miniature, and irresistible? You be the judge.
Want to learn about another adorable duck breed? Read all about Runner Ducks here.
A happy wife, mother, teacher, writer, hobby farmer, lover of chickens, and contributor to Pampered Chicken Mama!