7 Duck Breeds that Can Not Ply

duck breeds that can not fly

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Ducks are categorized as aquatic birds or waterfowls. However, we commonly refer to them as “aquatic birds”. The term waterfowl means birds that have wings, webbed feet, and flat bills.

Ducks do not just entertain us, reward us with the nutritional eggs, but give us a million things to wonder as well.

One thing that surprises us the most about ducks is that they have got wings and yet most of them are flightless.

A Muscovy duck happens to fly, however, a few other domestic ducks can not fly at all. The few domestic breeds that can not fly are;

Duck Breeds that Can Not Fly

  • American Pekin
  • Call Duck
  • Ancona Duck
  • Buff Duck
  • Cayuga Duck
  • Indian Runner
  • Silver Appleyard

1. American Pekin

American Pekin

As the name suggests, American Pekin is a domestic duck breed that originates from the United States of America.

American Pekin is a common duck breed that can be found in almost every part of the planet earth.

American Pekin is recognized with several names. However, most commonly it is referred to as White Pekin, Long Island Duck, or American Pekin to distinguish it from German Pekin.

The American Pekin is a large-sized solidly built duck breed. It has been blessed with a large well-rounded head, thick neck, fairly short yellow beak, smooth breast, creamy white plumage, and yellowish-orange legs.

American Pekin is primarily raised for meat. In their country of origin, more than half of the American Pekin ducks end up being slaughtered.

Other than meat this common duck breed can also be kept for eggs as well. As per the rough estimate, American Pekin produces 160 eggs a year. That’s pretty impressive for a meat breed.

2. Call Duck

Call Duck

Call Duck is another flightless aquatic bird. This domestic duck breed belongs to the Netherlands.

This flightless duck breed is thought to be derived from some Asian duck breeds.

In the Netherlands, Call Ducks are commonly raised. It’s just that most of the time we fail to recognize them as Call duck is not the only name this breed has got.

That’s the same domestic breeds that get referred to as Coy or Decoy Ducks.

The said duck breed is short, has a well-rounded head, broad bill, and a plump body with short legs.

Call Ducks to come in varieties, they are found in black, blue fawn, dark silver, apricot, bibbed, magpie, mallard, pied, silver, and white colors.

The Call ducks are often raised as pets. They make rewarding pets as Call Ducks are exceptionally good layers. The pet parents get to eat a considerable amount of Call Ducks eggs every year.

3. Ancona Duck

Ancona Duck

Ancona, a flightless duck breed, is found in houses, marshes, oceans, rivers, ponds, and lakes of the United States and the United Kingdom.

However, it is not as commonly spotted as the American Pekin ducks.

Ancona is considered a good egg layer. As per the rough records, an Ancona duck can produce 210 to 280 eggs a year. That is a black and white duck breed in color.

Other than that, the Ancona ducks are also raised in the backyard for meat as well.

The meat fetched from Ancona ducks happens to be more moist and rich than most domestic duck breeds.

Ancona is a medium-sized duck breed that gets recognized by the oval head, slightly concave yellow bill, broken colored plumage, and marked shanks.

What’s unique about Ancona ducks is that they have brown spots on their feet, plumage under the eyes, and unique markings from duck to duck.

No two Ancona ducks appear the same, each one of them has got unique patterns or markings.

This hardy domestic breed comes in various colors. The color varieties include white chocolate and white, silver white and tricolor, black white and lavender, and blue and white.

4. Buff Duck

Buff Duck

Buff duck is a friendly, social, flightless duck breed. This flightless duck breed is known and recognized with several names including Orpington or Orpington Buff duck.

This duck breed is thought to have originated from the United Kingdom and William Cook is believed to be the creator.

Orpington or Orpington Buff Duck is taken as a dual-purpose duck. It is raised for both meat and eggs.

They produce approximately 220 eggs a year and a good robustly flavored meat. However, despite the robust flavor, they can not beat Pekin ducks when it comes to meat neither in flavor nor texture.

The Buff ducks are friendly, intelligent, and interactive this temperament makes them a rewarding pet. Moreover, these ducks are not that noisy as well; the quality that most pet keepers look for.

Buff ducks are most known for their buff, blonde, and brown color combination. To be more specific, they have got buff plumage, orangy brown bills, fawn buff or seal-brown heads, khaki counterparts, and orange legs and webbed feet.

5. Cayuga Duck

Cayuga Duck

Cayuga duck is one flightless duck breed that can be recognized easily. Their color and appearance do not just make them unique or easy to distinguish but costly as well.

The duck admirers take pride in raising Cayuga ducks as an ornament or for impressive egg and meat production.

Moreover, in some parts of the world, Cayuga is mainly raised for fishing flies.

Whether it is raised as an ornament or eggs, Cayuga is described as a “meat breed”. Until the 18th century, Cayuga was only being raised for meat.

Cayuga later started being raised for other purposes.

Cayuga is a medium-sized duck who has got gorgeous brown eyes, deep black bills, legs, and feet.

However, their black with iridescent beetle green colored plumages makes these flightless aquatic birds unique.

6. Indian Runner

The duck that stands erect like penguins and runs instead of waddle is known as the Indian Runner duck.

Their running habit instead of waddling is probably the reason why they started being referred to as “Indian Runner”.

Just like their unique appearance Indian Runners have got distinctive habits as well.

They do spend some time in ponds and streams like other ducks but they prefer foraging in grassy meadows and open gardens.

The exact origin of Indian Runners is unknown. As per the books of History, the said breed was first spotted in Indonesian islands; Lombok, Java, and Bali.

The people of these islands captured Indian Runners and begin raising and selling them for eggs and meat. That’s how their domestication started.

The Indian Runners are impressive layers, they usually have one egg a day. On average, 300 to 350 highly nutritional eggs can be collected with an average diet.

They are raised for meat as well however, mostly one egg a day is what Indian Runners are considered for.

7. Silver Appleyard

Silver Appleyard is another flightless domestic duck. This domestic duck breed has recently been listed as a ” critically endangered” species.

By critically endangered we mean the Silver Appleyard is at high risk of extinction. All efforts made to save them have gone vain. It is now expected that the said flightless bird would soon extinct.

As per the books of history, the Silver Appleyard originated from the United Kingdom. Before being listed as critically endangered, they were fairly distributed throughout the world.

The Silver Appleyard was used to be a good meat and egg producer. They served us highly nutritional meat and eggs.

For their impressive meat and egg production, the Silver Appleyard used to take as a “Dual-purpose” duck breed. Moreover, the Silver Appleyard used to be a great show bird as well.

The Silver Appleyards are recalled for their several qualities. They were hardy and fast-growing. Moreover, the female ducks were good sitters and great mothers.


Lastly, it’s important to mention here that not all flightless duck breeds can not be mentioned in one post. There are hundreds of domestic duck breeds in the world and most of them are incapable of taking flight. Only a few breeds like Muscovies, East Indies, and Mallards can fly the rest of the breeds are flightless.

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