Call ducks, the mini duck you need in your life!

If you're thinking of adding ducks to your flock, then you should get the ducks that look too cute to be real. Call ducks! They are the bantams of the duck world. They basically look like real live toy ducks! For a little duck they are full of personality though and once you start raising call ducks, you'll just fall in love!

call ducks as pets

I raised call ducks for several years before I moved on to standard sized ducks. They are a wonderful duck for families to raise and my kids just loved having them. The ducks seemed to like them too! They were a lot more personable then the larger breeds we've raised and would follow us around the yard (in a single file line) when we let them out of their pen.

What are call ducks?

The call duck is a small breed of duck raised primarily as pets. They're about half the size of multi purpose duck breeds like khaki campbell or mallards, so they're often a good option for people with limited space. Not so great if your space is limited due to neighbors though as these are not quiet birds!

Where the call duck got their name

Not a whole lot is known about how the breed came to be exactly, but speculation is that they may have originated in the far east. Call ducks first appeared on the scene in the Netherlands where they were used as a decoy duck. The hunter would use the call ducks to well...'call' to other ducks. This would lure wild ducks into funnel traps or to where the hunters could shoot them. 

call ducks are much smaller than khaki campbell ducks.

The gray and white call duck varieties were added to the Standard of Perfection in 1874. In 1935 the use of call ducks in hunting was banned here in the states. Incidentally the first patent for a wooden duck call was submitted in 1870 which made the use of live duck 'decoys' in hunting unnecessary anyway. Call ducks are currently used mostly as pets and as exhibition birds, winning more shows than any other duck breed! wiki

Appearance of the call duck

  • Call ducks have a unique appearance as they seem to have chubby cheeks. 
  • Their heads and bodies are more rounded than standard sized duck breeds,
  • Their bill is noticeably shorter than other duck breeds, as are their legs.
  • They come in many colors but the standard colors are Apricot, Bibbed, Black, Blue Fawn, Dark silver, Magpie, Mallard, Pied, Silver and White.
  • An adult male weighs only 26 oz and the female weighs 20 oz.
  • They can fly very well!
  • They are easy going ducks with a stable temperament.
  • Call ducks are very easy to tame and like to be around people.
  • Hens lay a medium-to-small sized white egg. They are not great layers though with some laying as few as 50 eggs a year.
  • Even though the ducklings are tiny and seem frail, the ducks are quite hardy once full grown.

As much as I loved having these little cuties running around my backyard, I have to admit...they were loud! They seriously never shut up. It was like constant ducky chatter. It makes a lot of sense that they were originally used for their voices because they sure know how to make some noise!

Unfortunately the call ducks I had were slightly larger and less chubby cheeked than the standard calls for. One also developed a genetic condition called wry tail, so I would definitely stress finding a good breeder to get your call ducks from and not a flea market *sigh* Lesson learned on my part.

Call duck in comparison to multi purpose ducks.

As you can see from this picture the full grown blue call duck on the left is about half the size of the standard blue swedish duck on the right, and the same size as the month old khaki campbell ducklings.

Predator problems

Because of their small size, call ducks are at risk of hawk or owl attacks unlike larger ducks. In fact, my calls were the only ducks I had a hawk problem with ever in 10 years of raising ducks on this property. Of course, this is more of a problem here in the woods then it would be in a more suburban location, or if their pool were in a covered run. 

If you don't have much space and want to raise ducks then call ducks might be the right choice for you! Related reading: How to hatch duck eggs!


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  1. Hi,These ducks are sooo cute, I would love to have a couple of these cuties, would two ducks make alot of squabbling? I do have neighbors all around, but our homes are not on top of each other, I have 11- 4 month old chickens that surprisingly are not noisy at all. But, after seeing you little ducks I would love to add just two ducks to my chicken pen, if they are not to noisy. Lol

    1. You should get a few call ducks, you'll love them! They are a little noisy, but it's not a loud noise more like a constant chatter. I think they're cuteness makes up for it though! lol