The Shetland is probably the rarest of all native duck breeds. The majority of today’s specimens originate from the crofts of Tronda where keen hobbyist have gathered together the remaining specimens of the breed and bred them to ensure their survival. Mrs Mary Isbister is one of the leading breeders that ensured their survival since the early1990’s. The ancestors of the Shetland are likely to have been imported to the islands by the Vikings although this is not proven. In any case it is very probable that the Shetland is descended from Scandinavian ducks as the Swedish Duck is similar in appearance with a blue body and a white bib. The Shetland duck would have supplemented its diet in the past by foraging on the poor marshy grazing of the Shetland Islands and would have been helpful in consuming the hosts of parasites like the Liver fluke which could otherwise cause problems for grazing livestock.
The Shetland is the third smallest native breed of duck and stands semi erect with a lively carriage and very energetic foraging habit..
Both drakes and ducks are glossy black with a white bib.
|Uses:||Eggs, conservation grazing, agroforestry.|
|Management:||Low maintenance to semi-intensive domestic environment|
|Origin:||Shetland Isles, Scotland|
|Colour:||Glossy Black with a white bib. The bib is often irregular and sometimes patchy from just below the lower mandible down to the keel.|
|Weight, drake:||1.6 kg|
|Weight, duck:||1.4 kg|