DUCKS. Aylesbury.-There are many varieties of domestic ducks, but probably of them all the Aylesbury is the best known, as it is to be found in large numbers all over the kingdom, as well as in other countries. In plumage it is perfectly white, the slightest discoloured feather denoting impurity of breed, and being regarded as a disqualification in the show pen. The bill of birds of this variety is of a pale pink colour, and the nearer it is to the delicate tinge of a lady's finger nail the better they are looked upon, whilst their legs are bright orange. They are certainly the most easily acclimatised of all the Duck varieties, often thriving in most unsuitable places, and they are very hardy, mature rapidly, and grow to a great size. The only difference between drakes and ducks is that the former are rather larger than the latter and have a curled feather in the tail, by which the sex is easily known. The size of these birds at twelve months is seven pounds for the drake and six for the duck, but, of

and distinct blue, with a white edge on each side. The flights are grey and brown, and the legs a rich orange. The duck has a brown head, with two distinct shaded lines on each side. The breast is brown, pencilled over with dark brown, and the wings have a ribbon mark like that of the drake. The size of these birds is about six to eight pounds. Different birds suit different places, and there are some breeders who prefer the Rouen to the Aylesbury, but we must confess that we do not. That they grow to a greater size

Aylesbury Ducks.

course, by special feeding, which is used for exhibition birds and those wanted for the table, these weights can be exceeded to a considerable extent. Young ducklings generallyweigh about four pounds at seven or eight weeks old, which is the usual age for killing, for when they are older their adult feathers begin to form, and they are neither so plump nor so presentable on the table. It is not very difficult to distinguish this breed, as the pure-bred Aylesbury is perfectly white, is of a boat shape, with short legs and a long, fine neck, and any deviation from these denotes impurity. We often see so-called Aylesburys with a partially erect body, or yellowish bill, or canarycoloured plumage, any or all of which denote Pekin blood, with which many of our birds are crossed nowadays. We do not object to this cross, and it is doubtless very advantageous at times, but we prefer to do it ourselves, and not have others sell us as pure-bred stock those that have been so adulterated. Unfortunately there is too much of this kind of thing.

Rouen.-This variety of duck is very handsome in appearance, and is like the wild duck in plumage, but domestication has resulted in its losing the more

we do not doubt, but they take a considerably longer time about it, and on this account cannot be bred so profitably for table purposes. A Rouen duckling at eight weeks is not equal to an Aylesbury at six weeks. They are, however, equally hardy, as prolific layers, though their eggs are not quite so large, are as easilyreared, and have one decided advantage, namely, that their plumage being dark they do not show dirt so soon, and consequently suit some places where the white-feathered birds would always appear dirty.

Pekin. New varieties of all kinds of animals are often hailed with eagerness, and this was the case with the one under notice, but it has somewhat disappointed the expectations of those who first introduced it, and, after a period of favour, is not so largely kept as it once was. It was imported from China in the first place, as the name implies, and we believe the first introduced to western civilisation was in 1873, when some birds were sent from China to Connecticut, in the United States. American breeders are always on the look out for novelties, and the breed soon began to be talked about. Very shortly afterwards

a few were brought to England, and soon became popular, their apparent great size and peculiar carriage, as well as hardiness and capital laying powers, making them at once sought after. But, as we have already stated, the result has not been equal to the expectations, for they are larger in frame than in flesh, and have an abundant plumage which gives them the appearance of greater bulk than they actually possess. They do not mature quite so rapidly as some other breeds, and their flesh is not of the same rich and delicate flavour as that of the Aylesburys especially, and also of the Rouen. On the other hand, they are very heavy layers of large, well-flavoured eggs. The eggs are, as a rule, very fertile indeed, and the ducklings most easy to rear, and for these reasons, as might be expected, they have been crossed with the Aylesbury very largely, in order to overcome the injury done by in-breeding in some strains. On the water the Pekin duck looks very graceful, and as there is not the same trouble to secure the delicate colour of bill as with the Aylesbury, it is very suitable for keeping on lakes and ponds. For commercial purposes we recommend that it be crossed with the Aylesbury, as this gives to




graceful shape of the latter, and it is thicker and heavier in build, but it has the decided advantage of being more easily fattened. The drake has a clear yellow bill, with a slight greenish tinge, and in shape long and broad. The head is rich green, glossed with purple, and this extends down the neck, where there is a ring of pure white. The breast is a rich, deep, claret brown, and the under parts are a delicate French grey. The back is a rich greenish black, and the curls in the tail dark green. The wings are greyish brown, and have a ribbon mark across them, which is a bright

the progeny rapid growth, great size, and such a combination of qualities that makes it most suitable for ordinary purposes. This cross. is easily fattened and has fine flesh, two most important matters to those who wish to obtain a rapid return for their money.

Cayuga. Of a different description altogether is the Cayuga duck, which is a variety that should be more kept in this country than it is, as it is a most useful fowl for commercial purposes, of capital size and extraordinarily good as layers. Cayugas are very hardy, mature rapidly, fatten well, and their flesh is of high flavour-said to be even better than that of the wild duck. The drakes weign about nine pounds, and the ducks a pound less when matured; and they have one most favourable quality, namely, that they do not wander away from home, but can be left at liberty without fear in this respect. They are

very similar in colour to the East Indian ducks, being of a brilliant black throughout, with lustrous green reflections on the head, neck, and wings; both male and female have a bright purple or claret brown tinge on the back and wings, the secondaries are more black than green, and the drake is more strongly tinted with green than the duck. The drake's

Black East Indian.-A small ornamental variety, which is also known as the Buenos Ayrean or the Labrador. They are very similar to the Cayuga in shape, colour, and general characteristics, but in size are very much smaller, and are sometimes bred only two pounds in weight.

Mandarin. This must be pronounced one of the most beautiful of all domesticated fowls, especially the drake, and we shall never forget the effect upon us of about a hundred of these lovely birds on one of the lakes at the Jardin d'Acclimatation, in Paris. They are from China, where they are held in the highest estimation,

and are very difficult to obtain. Though wild in that country, they are carefully guarded, and it was with the greatest difficulty that any could be got to bring over here. They are very tame, can be fed very easily, give scarcely any trouble, do not attempt to fly away, and are consequently most suitable for ornamental purposes, for which reasons they are very popular. We have said that they are beautiful, which anyone who has seen them will testify. To describe the plumage of the drake is scarcely possible, as there is in it nearly every shade of the rainbow, mingled or intermingled together in the most delightful manner, and we should require to give so much detail th: t we cannot afford the space. As nearly every good-sized show contains one or more pens of these birds, they being by no means uncommon, readers can see them there for themselves, and will then realise that we have not overpraised them. They are small in size, but are good layers of small eggs.

Pekin Duck.

bill is greenish yellow, but not so yellow as that of the Rouen, and it has a clear black bean at the tip. The bill of the duck is black at the base, and tipped with a greenish slate colour; and the colour of the bill, like that of the Rouen, changes at different seasons of the year. The shape of the bill differs from that of any other of the breeds already named, as it does not come straight from the skull, but curves down to the centre and up towards the tip, in dish shape. The legs are of a smoky orange colour, and from the colour of the plumage it is very suitable for ordinary purposes.

Muscovy. This breed was brought from South America, and they are large, good layers, hardy, easily reared, and rich in flesh; but being most pugnacious and tyrannical

Carolina. This variety stands next in order to the Mandarin for beauty of plumage, but cannot compete with its richer coloured brethren, as it is without the lovely wing fans which are so strikingly characteristic of the Mandarin. It is, as might be supposed from its name, from North America, where it is found in very large numbers.

It is a wild bird, and very difficult to breed, on which account it does not recommend itself to all. The Carolina is about the same size as the Mandarin. The bill is red with a patch of yellow round the nostril, and a black bean mark at the tip. The eye is black in the pupil, the iris being red. Its crest is formed of long feathers, which, with the rest of the head, are deep lustrous green; a clear white band, coming from under the throat, runs round to the back of the eye, making a sort of necklace, which, running back, edges the crest with a narrow white fringe. The breast is claret coloured, spotted with white; a broad stripe of white, and a broad one of black, curves over the shoulders, the wings have a very bright metallic ribbon mark of blue and green with a white edging; the side of the body, under the wings, is greenish drab, with finely pencilled black lines. The wings and tail are a blue-black, the coverts of the tail deep claret, tipped with yellow; the belly is white, the legs are yellow, and the feet are provided with powerful claws. In the female the crest is much smaller, and is similar in colour to the general plumage, which is a dark drab. The


Cayuga Ducks.

in their nature, they cannot be recommended for farmyard purposes. No other fowl can exist with them, and it is necessary either to have no other birds about the place, or to confine them to a run of their own, which is not always a convenient matter. Of this variety there are two colours, black and white; the feathers are very profuse and long, and in the dark drake the colour is exceedingly lustrous. The head is ornamented with a fleshy bunch at the base of the bill, and there is also a red fleshy cere round the eye, the face being of the same substance and bare. The drake is furnished much more profusely than the duck, and the sex is more rapidly distinguished than in any other breed, notwithstanding the entire absence of the usual curl in the tail, as the male is often three or four pounds heavier than the female. These birds are by no means pleasing in appearance, and are not to be recommended for the reasons already given, though they would otherwise be profitable birds to keep, but our readers will probably do well to ignore them.

eye is black with a yellow iris, and is encircled with a white ring; the breast and sides are thumbmarked, with a whitish drab, the colour having a shot-like bloom upon it. A white line runs round the base of the beak and down the throat; the back and shoulders are darker in colour than the rest of the body, and are bronzed in colour. As in the drake there is a wing mark of green and blue. In early summer the male changes his plumage, when he closely resembles the female, but resumes full plumage in the autumn and maintains it through the winter and spring.

Call. Of these there are two colours, the white and grey, which are simply the Aylesbury and Rouen in miniature so far as the colours are concerned, but in other respects they are different. These birds are sometimes called Decoy Ducks, for they were at one time used as decoys for wild birds. In head the Call Duck is very short and round, high in front, with a very short, thick, and broad bill. The colour of the bill is a brilliant orange in the white bird, and the same colour as that of the Rouen in the grey. The body is neat in shape, short and elegantly carried; the neck, though short, is graceful; the legs and feet are orange colour. So far as weight is concerned, two-and-a-half pounds is reckoned full size, and, when showing, as much smaller as possible. This breed is very tame and domesticated, does not fly away, and is very good on the table what there is of it, which of course is not much.

black, with a white neck and breast, and on snowy feather at the end of each wing, though in some cases the wings are tipped with violet. The drake is of a beautiful grey colour, with emerald green head and neck, and wings of bluish green.. They are good layers and splendid for the table.

Kasarka or Sheldrake. Perhaps of all ducks this variety is the least common, but it has long been known to naturalists, as it is found almost all over the world. There is the common, the ruddy, the Radjah, and the New Holland Sheldrakes, all of which, though of the same variety, have some individual characteristics. The first-named will, however, suit our purpose here. It is about the size of a wild duck, and a little more than two pounds in weight. The bill is broad, and turned up at the end, and of a somewhat varying colour; the nostrils are black, and at the base of the bill is a rising knob. The head and neck are an irridescent green, the forepart of the wing is black, the tail, abdomen, and coverts white, the tail feathers being tipped black, and there is a black line running down the abdomen. The upper part of the back is a deep iron red, and a band of the same colour runs across the breast, which gets narrower towards the sides, and passes under the wings and round to the upper part of the back. The wing bar is green, the legs orange, the middle of the breast, belly, and vent are dusky mixed with white. The female is smaller than the male, but in all other respects, except richness of colour, the same.

Pintail.-In addition to the Bahama there are three other varieties of the Pintail family of ducks. The common Pintail is found in this country, and there are also the Redtailed and the Chilian Pintails. The two latter especially are very ornamental, and are often seen at shows. They do well in confinement, and can be recommended for their beauty.

Muscovy Ducks.

Duclair. A variety of duck is well known in France under this designation, which is derived from the town of Duclair, situated on the banks of the Seine, between Rouen and Havre. Around here they are bred in vast numbers. That they are more or less related to the Rouen there can be no doubt, but they have been considerably altered from the original. The ducks are usually

Spotted Bill.-This pretty variety of duck comes to us from the Far East, and is a native of India, Burmah, and Ceylon. It is a true wild duck, and yet easily domesticated, being very amiable in temperament. Specimens are often seen at the various shows, and can be obtained from dealers without much difficulty. The plumage is not so brilliant as that of some other varieties, but is pleasant, the ground colour being a slaty brown, with white and green markings.

Whistler. Of this family there are several members, and they have the peculiarity of perching in trees though they are web-footed. They have a slight body with very long neck and legs, and a short tail, and at first sight would not appear to be ducks at all. They require plenty of space, as they are given to wandering. The name comes from the sound omitted by them.



Embden.--The name given to this variety is derived from the town of Embden in Hanover, and it is probable that the original importations came by way of Helland. There is very little difference in the colour of the varieties of geese, and this simply partakes of the general character, being long in body, with medium length of leg,

a long neck, and a flattish, small head. The Embden is pure white in colour, and is often more generally known by the name of White Geese than by that which has been given. It is very ornamental on a large sheet of water, but in consequence of the colour of the plumage ought not to be kept except where there is plenty of water. Its great quality is rapid growth, and for this reason it is more especially suitable for the production of early goslings for table or the market. It does not attain to the same weight as does the Toulouse, and the latter, therefore, is better for securing Christmas geese, but earlier in the season it will be fit for killing several weeks before the last-named variety. It is an excellent layer, very hardy, and a good forager.

Toulouse. This is the well-known Grey Goose, which is most common of all this family, and for those who wish size it is the one to be chosen. Of this goose vast numbers are sent to the great markets every year, and, as has already been stated, it develops to an enormous size. They are very massive in size, and the doubl


Black East-Indian Ducks.

breast, which extends well in front of the legs, almost touching the ground, gives them a square appearance. The colour throughout is a brown grey, shading off lighter in parts, and the feathers are as a rule edged with a lighter shade of the same colour. They are very hardy indeed, very good layers, but as a rule the geese do not sit. Some of the sizes attained by these birds at the great shows are fabulous, and for mature table specimens they are decidedly the best of all the varieties of geese. They are not so suitable for early killing, for during the earlier period of their growth they are simply bone and skin, and, though they may appear large, will be found little more than what we have just mentioned. Later on, however, when they have grown and filled out, the flesh is both excellent and plentiful. They may be fed up very cheaply, and buying young goslings in the early autumn for fattening up may be made very profitable, or for those who only wish to supply their own table is a cheap way of securing well-fed geese from time to time.

Canadian.-This is a variety of goose which, though not very well known, has been more or less kept in confinement, especially in America, where it is crossed with the common goose, to which it imparts strength of constitution and an improvement in the quality of the flesh. It cannot be kept in ordinary confinement, and to retain it even on a large sheet of water it is necessary to cut its wings. No one should attempt to keep the Canadian goose who has not a lake or running stream of good dimensions; but under these circumstances it is very ornamental. It grows from ten to fourteen pounds. It has a graceful neck; the head, upper part of the neck, quills, and tail are black; the back and wings are brown, the edges of the feathers being lighter; the lower part of the neck and the under parts are a greyish white. There is a broad cut in the fore neck, running up the sides of the face, having the appearance of a patch of white on each cheek. The upper tail coverts are white, the bill and feet being black.

Danubian or Sebastopol. This variety has the same peculiarity as is to be noted with Frizzled fowls, namely, that the feathers are turned the wrong way, and thus a very shaggy appearance is given to the bird. This, however, applies only to the back half of the body. It is a most valuable variety, and especially suitable for ornamental waters in that they are not so much disposed to roam as are some of the other geese. The plumage is pure white, the general form resembles the Embden. The bill, legs, and feet are a bright red, and it has a bright blue eye. This variety does not attain so great a weight as do the Embden and the Toulouse, and are usually from nine to twelve pounds. They are splendid layers and capital table geese.

Egyptian.-The Egyptian is a purely ornafal variety, and is very different in appearance

from those named before. It is longer in the leg, lighter in body, has a short neck and legs, and is very erect in carriage, whilst it is possessed of more colour than is usually found on geese. They are found in many parts of Africa, and are largely met with on the banks of the Nile, for which fact the name has been given. They are difficult birds to keep in that they are terribly savage and will fight each other, their owner or attendant, and persecute any other fowls which happen to be

within their power. For this reason, though they are undoubtedly attractive in appearance, they are not to be recommended unless they can he given a place apart.

African.-This bird averages the largest of all the varieties of geese known. Pairs of the early importations of this variety into America are publicly recorded to have weighed fifty-six pounds for gander and goose; and forty to fifty pounds per pair is not an uncommon weight to be attained at the present time where these fowls are purely bred from original stock. This breed, in limited quantities, has been known for about thirty-five years. The African goose is generally brown in colour, not unlike the Toulouse, but the shape is entirely different, for he wears a large horny knob at the base of his upper mandible, which distinguishes him from the others, and which has in some places given him the name of the great brown-knobbed goose. So far as we are informed, this variety lays but few eggs annually, in comparison with the yield of the Embden or Toulouse. This fact, perhaps, accounts for the scarcity amongst us of this really fine waterfowl.

Chinese.-These geese are not very common in this country, and though classed with geese, are really more like swans. It is known as the Oie de Guinee of Buffon, and is distinguished

especially by its long neck and a large knob at the base of the bill. From this latter point it has been called the Knobbed goose, and also the Hongkong goose, from the place of its origin. Though first brought over from China it is well known in many parts of both the continents of Asia and Africa. It is a very prolific layer, and the quality of the flesh is regarded as superior to that of the common goose. The semi swan-like appearance gives it a great advantage over the ordinary goose, which is not to be regarded as highly ornamental, but it is smaller in body. In colour the bill and legs are orange, the knob being black. The usual colour is a greyish brown on the back and upper parts, passing to white or whitish gray on the abdomen, The foreparts of the neck and breast are a yellowish gray, and a very dark brown stripe runs down the back of the head to the body. Some birds are white with a pale stripe, but in all specimens of the Chinese goose this stripe is present. Another important point must not be omitted, namely, the folded skin attached to the throat forming a kind of dewlap,


Toulouse Geese.

As an economic breed this can be recommended, though neither the eggs nor the birds themselves are so large as in the common geese.

Russian. The following description of Russian Geese is quoted from the Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society, June, 1899. These birds are by no means pleasing in appearance, and have a bulldog type of head which attracts attention, and indicates the use to which they have been put, for fighting. The head is very short, and nearly round, with a wide forehead, and well developed cheek muscles. In the older specimens two knobs appear on the top of the skull, with a depression between. The bill, or beak, is very short at the base, so that the head and beak are together about the same length as the head is deep. The head, in fact, is more like that of a parrot, if the curled tip of the beak is omitted, than of a goose, the line from the top of the head to the tip of the beak being nearly straight. From

the nostrils the surface of the
bill is ribbed, and the colour is
pale yellow, with a tip of ivory.
The is large, full, in some
cases nearly black, and in others

and most symmetrical of his race. The long graceful neck, the broad and full breast, the deep, well-rounded body, the drooping wings, the large fan-like tail, all combine to give it a very striking appearance, which is assisted by the colour. This is a rich, dark, lustrous bronze on the neck, back, and tail, the deep black breast and body, and pencillings of white, adding much to the effectiveness of the appearance. The head is, like all the turkeys, carunculated, and with the face and wattles of a rich red. The shanks are dark in

American Bronze Turkey.

grey or light blue, with eyelids parchment coloured. The neck is short for a goose, strong and slightly curved. The back is wide, flat, and straight; the breast wide, large, full, and round, and the body large and stout. The wings are large, with very strongly developed shoulder muscles. The legs are of medium length, strong, wide apart, and the feet large and round. The plumage is close and compact. The Arsamas variety is pure white in plumage, and the weights are from fifteen to twenty pounds, whilst the Tula variety is grey in colour, and sometimes clay, the weight in this case being twelve to fifteen pounds.


American Bronze. - Prehaps the finest of the turkey race is the variety known as the American Bronze, which is the result of a cross between the wild turkey and the Narragansett, and the male of the former and the female of the latter being usually employed, the cross results in a bird of a large size with beautiful plumage, largely partaking after that of the male parent. There is an enormous difference between the cocks and the hens, and the American standard disqualifies cocks weighing less than twentyfive pounds and adult hens weighing less than sixteen pounds. The well known Ameri

young birds, turning to a pink or flesh-coloured hue in old specimens. The plumage of the hen is similar to that of the cock, except that the colours are not so brilliant or clearly defined. Bronze turkeys reach maturity at three years old, and grow to an enormous size if properly cared for. Specimens have been known to reach nearly fifty pounds. In this country they are usually crossed with the Cambridge, in which way the better quality of flesh found in the latter is grafted on to the greater weight of the former,


Black Norfolk. There does not appear to have been any crossing in the case of the Black Norfolk turkey, at least not to an appreciable extent, and it has maintained its original black colour throughout. All black birds are found liable to throw bronze feathers, but this is not more seen in this variety than in ordinary black fowls. We are not, however, sure that this want of crossing has been a direct benefit to the breed, because size is a most important factor in turkeys raised for market, it being found that the largest birds command the highest prices. It is claimed by the breeders of this variety that the flavour of flesh is the finest of all, and I am inclined to think that they are correct in this, and if the

birds had large size as well as quality of flesh they would be perfect. Nearly forty years ago, in Wingfield and Johnson's Poultry Book, the Black Norfolk turkey is mentioned as having all its plumage glossy black, except the tips of the tail feathers, which are brownish, and a few upon the back are of this colour also. Although the Black Norfolk Turkey is a combination of terms familiar as household words, and a part and parcel of our association with Christmas fare, yet it must be confessed that this breed is not found the most profitable, nor indeed are the metropolitan markets chiefly supplied from Norfolk. There are parts of Cambridgeshire which produce more turkeys than any other district of other counties. To one of these districts a London dealer goes down annually, and sees to the slaughtering and packing of about 1,800 turkeys the week before Christmas. From the earlier editions of Moubray, however, it would appear that Norfolk was the great centre for turkey breeding, for in these it is stated that "in December, 1793, the number of turkeys sent to the metropolis by the stage coaches from Norwich amounted to 2,500 and upwards, weighing nearly


Black Norfolk Turkey.

can breeder, Mr. I. K. Felch, remarks on this disqualification that "sixteen pounds for a female discloses the fact that very few specimens that weigh over it are prolific, and twenty pound females seldom, if ever, lay any eggs." Perfect weight should be twenty-seven pounds for male and sixteen for females, so that the disqualifying weights should have been twenty-two and fourteen pounds respectively. A turkey cock over thirty pounds is useless as a breeder. This magnificent variety of turkeys is one of the handsomest

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