The Campbell Duck was originally introduced to the public in 1898 by Mrs. Adelle Campbell of Uley, Gloucestershire from wild Mallards, Fawns and White Runners and Rouens to create larger-bodied offspring that would lay well.
The original Campbells resembled poorly colored Mallards. In an attempt to create a buff duck, Mrs. Campbell mated her original Campbells back to Penciled Runner ducks. The resulting color reminded Mrs. Campbell of British army uniforms, so she named these new ducks "Khaki Campbell." (Holderread, 37)
Description / Standard
The Campbell is a medium-sized duck that typically weighs ~4 to 4 1/2 pounds. It has a modestly long head, bill, neck and body. The body should be full yet compact.
Its carriage is held slightly upright - although should be no more than 35 degrees (variations range from 20 to 40 degrees above horizontal), with the head held high. The plumage should be tight and sleek.
- Head and Neck: slender; neat and refined with medium proportions
- Wings: carried close and fairly high
- Tail: short and slightly elevated
- Legs: medium length, set well apart and not too far back
- The Khaki Campbell: The Khaki coloration is the most common of all Campbells. The male (drake) has a green bronze head, neck and rump (lower back). The rest of his plumage is an even warm shade of khaki with a lighter shading on the lower part of the breast. His bill should be greenish blue (as dark as possible). He should have orange legs and brown eyes. The duck's khaki plumage is penciled throughout, with the head and neck being less so and a slightly darker shade. The hen has a dark slate bill. She also has brown eyes and her legs and webs should be as close to the color of the plumage as possible.
Breed Selection / Care
Campbell Ducks are quite adaptable and have done well in environments ranging from arid deserts with temperatures of 100F. to humid tropical rainforests to cold Northern regions where temperatures can remain below 0F for weeks at a time." (Holderread, 41) It is, however, important to give them time to acclimatize.
Breeders should be robust, active and strong-legged birds, with a history of good laying and foraging abilities. It's important to only acquire authentic Campbells - crossbreeds may have facial stripes or weigh above six pounds. Crossbreeds usually do not lay well.
Hens very seldom hatch out their own young. In this breed, brooding behavior has been sacrificed in exchange for prolific egg laying ability. Egg incubators or broody chickens are typically used to hatch out ducklings. It takes approximately 28 days for a Campbell ducklings to hatch.
Campbells are very energetic little ducks that should be provided plenty of space to move around. They may fly and, and if this presents a problem, clipping one wing is usually the solution.
Even though they do not necessarily require water for swimming, they do enjoy it. They prefer shallow waters -- if no pond is available, a shallow tray or even a bowl with bricks in it will do.
They are excellent foragers that keep gardens and ponds free of slugs, snails and worms.
Campbells should not be kept in pairs. It is recommended that a male has 2 up to 10 females - depending on the drake's energy levels. Flocks should consist of no more than 50 Campbells.
These ducks will rarely brood if the eggs are removed.
Mrs. Campbell's goal when developing this breed was to produce an excellent egg-laying breed that was not broody and unlikely to fly off; in addition to providing a consistent supply of roast duckling. The efforts were successful and Campbells are said to have the best egg production of all ducks, laying anything from 50 up to 350 white eggs per annum. Khakis can produce up to 350 eggs per year; the White or Dark Campbells are generally less productive.
Each egg weighs about 2.5 ounces and has an excellent texture and flavor.
Most Campbells lay their first eggs when 5-7 months old and with an age staggered flock, one could have eggs year-round.
Research by Sibylle Johnson
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