blue_swedish_duckBlue Swedish Duck

Anas platyrhynchos

Description

The Blue Swedish is a medium sized duck.  It has an oval-shaped head and a stocky body.  Blue Swedish Ducks have blue feathers on their backs and sides and white feathers on their chests.  The males have heads that are a darker blue color than their bodies.  Both sexes have brown legs.  There is a color variation, the typically called a Black Swedish Duck, has black feathers where the blue feathers would normally be.

Size

Blue Swedish Ducks weigh 6.5-8 pounds.  Females are usually smaller than males.

Adaptations

  • One reason ducks are able to stay afloat in the water is because of air sacs in their bodies that increase their buoyancy.
  • Ducks’ feathers trap air in between them, which is another adaptation that helps them to float.  Their feathers are also covered with a waterproof substance that keeps the ducks warm and dry.
  • Ducks’ webbed feet allow them to maneuver easily in the water.
  • Many ducks are excellent fliers due to their streamlined bodies, powerful wings, and hollow bones that weigh much less than the solid bones of mammals.  Although Blue Swedish Ducks are poor fliers due to their large, heavy bodies, they do have the strong wings and hollow bones that are common to other types of ducks.
  • Ducks do not have teeth, but they do have bumpy edges on their bills that help them to filter food out of the water.  Food is then swallowed and ground up in the gizzard, a part of the stomach that contains small rocks for breaking down food.

Diet

The ducks at Cosley Zoo are fed commercially prepared duck food pellets.

Reproduction

Blue Swedish Ducks lay between 100 and 150 eggs per year. Eggs have white, green, or blue-colored shells. Duck eggs incubate for about 28 days before hatching.

Shelter and Space Needs

Domestic ducks require shelter from the wind and rain, access to food and water, and fencing to keep them contained. Blue Swedish Ducks require only a low fence due to their limited flight ability. The ducks at Cosley Zoo are kept on a pond surrounded by trees and shrubs that serve as shelter.

Life Expectancy

Domestic ducks kept as pets live an average of 8-12 years.

Relationship With Man

Blue Swedish Ducks are domestic ducks that are raised for human use.  This breed is raised for both eggs and meat.  Blue Swedish Ducks are listed on the “watch” list by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.  This means that there are fewer than 2500 individuals in the US and fewer than 5000 in the world.

Fun Facts

  • Blue Swedish Ducks were being raised in an area called Pomerania (which was then part of Sweden) as early as 1835.  They were brought to North America in 1884.
  • The water in the Cosley Zoo duck pond often looks green, but that’s not because it’s dirty!  The green dye that we put in there helps to block sunlight, which keeps algae from taking over the pond.
  • A group of ducks is called a brace.
  • A male duck is called a drake, and young ducks are called ducklings.