Saxony ducks are considered a rare breed, and are listed as "threatened" by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.
In Chemnitz Germany, 1930, Mr. Albert Franz began a breeding program for a new dual-purpose duck using Rouen, German Pekin, and Blue Pomeranian breeds.
The breed was almost lost during World War II, during which Mr. Franz was taken prisoner and held in a POW camp. It wasn’t until 1952 that he started to find some of the original 3 breeds locally and re-build using the same principles as before. By 1955, the Lipzen show recorded 19 birds from 4 breeders and it was from this point that the breed took off. Germany recognized Saxony ducks as a distinct breed in 1957.
Saxony ducks were imported into Britain during the 1970’s and made their way to the United States when the Holderread Waterfowl Farm imported them in 1984. They were admitted into the American Poultry Association's American Standard of Perfection in the fall of 2000.
Saxonys are a large duck second only to the Pekin, weighing between 8-9 pounds at maturity, although some of the males can weigh over 10. Their size makes them poor flyers, so wing-clipping is unnecessary.
The drakes have a ‘muted mallard’ coloration, with their head, back, and wing highlights a steel blue-gray, breast feathers a rich chestnut-burgundy, underbody and flanks are cream, and a neck ring of white. Legs and feet are orange or reddish-brown and the bill is yellow or orange, often with pale green shading. Like all drakes, male Saxony ducks don’t quack but instead have a soft, raspy murmur.
The females are buff to tan or apricot in color, with creamy white facial stripes, neck ring, and under-body. The bill is orange, often with light-brown shading, and legs and feet are orange to reddish-orange.
The Saxony is an active forager and excellent layer with typical egg production at about 190-260 large white eggs annually. Saxony do not grow quite as fast as some ducks, but they produce high-flavor gourmet-quality meat. Saxonies are known as one of the best large all-purpose breeds of ducks, and are hardy and adaptable to a wide range of environments. They are great ducks for both small backyard operations and larger farms.