Facts about Semois ducks. the Semois ducks were bred as a pond ornamental breed, and it is a breed that originated in the Semois River valley in Belgium. It resembles a large Call duck but with a longer, very yellow bill. (Ducks with orange bills are removed from the breeding pool.) The Semois duck has an elongated and flattened body, with orange legs and the legs are of medium length. Semois ducks have thin necks.
Semois ducks were heavily promoted by Etienne Brandt, and the first standard for the breed was released in 1971 in a book he co-wrote with Professor A. Willems, “Study on Chickens and Waterfowl”. The breed probably appeared in the Semois valley in Belgium in the early 1900s, but there is no specific information about this.
The Semois duck is highly active. It lays an average number of pale green eggs, which they will raise themselves. The Semois duck breed sometimes sits on the eggs of wild duck species by mistake. The breed matures quickly and this is in part due to its small size.
The Call duck was primarily bred for decoration and to be kept as pets. The Semois duck looks like a white Mallard duck and are smaller in size. It is possible that the Semois duck was bred to be a larger version of the Call duck. Call ducks are one to one and a half pounds (.4 to .7 kg) at maturity, while Semois ducks are twice as heavy. Semois ducks reach about three pounds (1.3 kg) at maturity, which is too little meat for those who want to raise ducks to eat. Male Semois duck may reach three and a half pounds (1.6 kg), but females are a little over two and a half pounds (1.2 kg) at maturity.
Sometimes called the Tufted White Semois duck, this breed is not very common. They sometimes have crests, but they are always very white. Crested Semois duck are very rare, which is something to be said of a breed almost exclusive to southern, French speaking regions of Belgium.
The American Poultry Association does not have a standard for this breed. The Semois duck breed is not believed to have been imported to the United States. The Call duck, however, was one of the first six duck breeds to be standardized in the U.K. There is no British standard for the Semois duck since it probably isn’t raised by any breeders outside of Belgium.
A bird called Tufted White Semois duck was mentioned in the Second National Poultry Conference, held at University College in 1907. This may have been a precursor of today’s Semois duck or the ancestor of the few crested Semois ducks we see today. The Tufted White Semois duck was called a standard barnyard duck.
The Call duck and other bantam breeds that resemble the Semois duck were known as far back as the 1600s. The Call duck may have more ancient origins and been imported from Asia, but this is speculation at best. If true, the Semois duck can trace its origin to the small ornamental ducks that graced Japanese gardens a thousand years ago. The Call duck has a distinctive high call that was copied for duck calls, since other ducks come to it. The Semois duck has a similar but deeper call.
feature about the Semois duck eggs
The Semois duck eggs have twice the nutritional value than a chicken egg and will stay fresh longer because of their thicker shell.
Semois duck eggs are richer with more Albumen "the white of an egg" making pastries and cakes richer and fluffier. A Semois duck Egg has more Omega 3 fatty acids than a chicken egg. Omega 3 is thought to improve skin health, memory and Brain health. Semois duck Eggs are an Alkaline producing food and a Chicken egg is an acid food and leaves your body more acid. Semois duck eggs are high in Cholesterol. Semois duck eggs have 6 times the Vitamin D and 2 times the Vitamin A than a chicken egg. Semois duck eggs have 2 times the cholesterol than a chicken egg.
A Semois Duck is a Precocial (meaning) Born or hatched with the eyes open, a covering of hair or down, capable of a high degree of independent activity from birth and able to leave the nest just a few hours after hatching.
An male adult Semois Duck is called a (drake) and a adult female Semois Duck is called a (hen). A young baby Semois is called a (duckling). A group of ducks is called a brace, raft, team, flock, or paddling. The female (hen) are usually a plain colored brown for hiding purposes to be camouflaged from their enemies when they are sitting in their nests.
Ducks are birds in the Class of "Aves". Ducks of all types are part of the bird family "Anatidae". Semois Ducks are also called "waterfowls" they are generally found in places were there is water, such as ponds, rivers, streams, lakes and occasionally your back yard pool. Scientific name for Semois duck "Anas Platyrhynchos" meaning - Wild dabbling duck from which domestic ducks are descended; widely distributed. From New Latin "anas" meaning (Duck) and the word Platyrhynchos comes from "platyrrhine", Ancient Greek meaning (broad snouted, flat-bridged nose).
Semois Ducks are related to geese and swans and the duck is the smallest of these birds with shorter wings and neck and a stocky body.
Features of a Semois Duck feet
Semois Ducks have webbed feet, that makes them act like paddles, designed for swimming. The Semois Duck push their webbed paddle feet back in a kicking motion, this allows them to move swift through the water and when the feet come back, they close for less water resistance. The Semois Ducks paddle feet do not feel cold, even when it swims in cold icy water. The webbed feet makes a duck waddle instead of walk. The Semois Ducks feet have capillaries which help blood flow to their feet. The warm blood flow down the leg and creates a heat exchange system. When the blood flows down the leg, it meets the cold blood and is warmed up to keep the Semois Ducks feet warm. Semois Ducks feet are thin because they contain soft tissue and few muscles.
Water-proof feathers of the Semois Duck
A special feature that the Semois Duck has is its water-proof feathers, even when the duck dives underwater, its downy under-layer of feathers will stay totally 100% dry. There is a special gland called the "Preen Gland" also called Oil Gland or Uropygial, that produces oil that is near the Semois Ducks tail which covers and spreads the outer coat of the Semois Ducks feathers, which makes the duck water-proof.
underneath the water-proof coat are downy soft fluffy feathers which keep the Semois Ducks body warm. Ducks keep clean by being able to turn their heads completely backwards, and put their beaks into their feathers by preening themselves.
In the wildMale Semois Ducks will guard their nest by chasing away other ducks. Once the female lays 4 to 8 eggs, she will start to sit on her eggs to keep them warm so that they can hatch into baby ducklings. The eggs will hatch on average within 26 to 28 days. Baby ducklings are able to fly within 5 to 8 weeks.
Semois Ducks see in color with very good vision and can see well underwater. Semois Ducks have three eyelids the third eyelid called nictitating membrane. They have a top and bottom as well as a third eyelid that is found on the side of the eye. The Semois Ducks eyelid blinking acts as a windshield wiper to clear the eye. This helps to see when diving under water can also help the eye from drying out while flying. This is an act of constantly cleaning and keeping the eye moist.
About the Bill of the Semois Duck
A "bill" is what is call a Semois Ducks mouth. There are no teeth in the Semois Ducks bill, they have rows of thin bristles, which helps them to filter pieces of nutrition out of the water. Semois Ducks swallow there food whole and it goes to an organ called a gizzard, were the food is first ground up and than moves on to the stomach. The different bill shapes and sizes for finding food, has over time mutated to fit each environment. The bill is flat and broad and has rows of fine incision along the outer edge called "lamellae". meaning a thin membrane, plate, scale or layer, as of cell wall or bone tissue. The larnellae helps the Semois Duck to clutch food for feeding.