orpington_duckOrpington Duck

Anas platyrhynchos orpington

Description

The Orpington is a medium-sized domestic duck. It has buff-colored feathers and yellow feet. The male Orpington has a darker brown head and neck with a yellow bill. The female has a lighter brown head and neck, and her bill is brownish-orange in color.

Size

An average-sized Orpington Duck weighs 7-8 pounds.

Adaptations

  • One reason ducks are able to stay afloat in the water is because of air sacs inside 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 Orpington 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

Orpington Ducks lay eggs with white or light gray 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. Orpington 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.

Importance to Man

The Orpington Duck is a dual-purpose breed that is raised for both eggs and meat. Females can lay up to 220 eggs per year.

Fun Facts

  • The Orpington Duck was named after the hometown of the man who originated the breed, Mr. W. Cook of England.
  • 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.