Non Standard Calls
Call ducks were originally used as decoys for people shooting wild ducks, probably because the female Call is very noisy and would certainly be heard from quite a distance away. The drakes, on the other hand do not make very much noise at all. They can make ideal pets: they are small, make little mess and are aesthetically pleasing with their bright, attractive colours.
These are some of our 2001 hatched Call ducks
Call ducks are not difficult to look after. This is because from a fairly early age they need no heat and are content with either a restricted small supply of water, or free access to a larger pond. Indeed we started out by sinking black tubs into the ground and we now have several ponds. They keep themselves fairly clean, but Calls being Calls, just love to poke their bills into any muddy patch that they can find. Even if there is no mud to start with they only need a small amount of water to turn grass into mud and get themselves covered in it!
|2000 hatched Silver Call drake
|2000 hatched white Call drake
Call ducks are vulnerable to predators because they are small and easy to kill. Recently we have been having a lot of trouble with an over-active population of stoats, however they are soon caught with a few traps. Calls can also be taken by foxes, badgers, otters, mink and birds of prey. The only ‘good’ thing about stoats, is that so far they have only killed one or two ducks at a time, whereas the fox, mink and badger,if they got into the pen, would kill every single one just for fun and leave the carcases lying. To try to prevent this happening we confine all of our ducks to their huts as it becomes dark. However we have been told if a badger wants in there is little you can do to stop it, as they can get through almost anything).
Although there are many different colours of Calls, standard or non-standard, the basic Call type remains the same. A good Call Duck should have a big, round head with a short, wide bill. The crown should rise sharply from the bill. The eyes should be large, round and give a sharp appearance to the head. The cheeks should be full and round. The body should be wide and deep, showing a full breast with an almost horizontal carriage.
There are currently ten standard colours of Call ducks : Apricot, Bibbed, Black, Blue Fawn, Dark silver, Magpie, Mallard, Pied, Silver and White. Detailed descriptions for these can be found in the ‘British Waterfowl Association Standards’ book. As a result of the fact that the number of Call ducks being kept has multiplied, there has subsequently been a rise in the number of new colours. These are referred to as ‘Non Standard’.
|Non Standard Calls
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