Going Dutch…

So…back to the ducks.

Today’s duck of choice is the Dutch Hookbill.  As the name suggests it’s a native of Holland.  There are quite a few interesting facts about this one, first and foremost that it’s the oldest breed in Europe.  Hookbills trace their ancestry back to the 17th century, when they were bred in the Netherlands alongside the newly build canals.  The first written evidence of their existence is in the 1678 book Ornithology by Willughby (sic.) according to breeders Chris and Mike Ashton.

Dutch Hookbill Duck - Image from www.backyardchickenshickens.com

Dutch Hookbill Duck - Image from http://www.backyardchickenshickens.com

The ducks are apparently very friendly, which makes them ideal pets and, while they do fly, they never stray far from home.  In fact, they were easy to breed in the 1700s as they would be let out to the rivers and canals, and return home of their own accord.

Although they are now called ‘Dutch’, the common consensus is that they arrived from East Asia on Dutch trading ships, and bred quite happily in the temperate European climate.

Finally, everything I’ve read about them suggests that they’re good eating, which means I’m quite keen to find one!

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