When they are eight weeks old, males and females can be distinguished by their bill colours: male bills will turn olive green, the bills of females will turn a dark slate colour. Males will grow to weigh up to 6.6 pounds (3.0 kg); females up to 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg)
The duck rarely flies, and in fact is not a good flyer.
The ducks can live ten plus years, with ages of thirteen years not unknown, at which some females may still even be laying.
The ducks have good meat on them, and are good egg layers, too. The female can lay 180 to 200 eggs a year. The eggs are white-shelled, and weigh 65g.
In backyards, they are best kept as a pair or trio.
Abacot Ranger Ducks originated in England, were introduced into Germany, disappeared from England, and then later re-introduced into England.
They were first bred at Abacot Duck Ranch, near Colchester, Essex, England by an Oscar Gray.
He worked at developing the breed between 1917 and 1923 starting with a female Khaki Campbell duck and a male White Indian Runner Drake. The breed appears to have been first mentioned in print in a full page advert in the 1923 Feathered World Yearbook, placed by Oscar Gray of Abacot Duck Ranch, Friday Wood, Colchester.
The breed was introduced into Germany in 1926, via Denmark. In Germany, it was stabilized as a breed by H. Lieker, and it became known as “Liekers Streifere” (Lieker’s Ranger or Scout.) Standards for the breed were set in 1934 under name of Streicher-Ente (Ranger Duck.)
The duck was re-introduced into the UK from Germany in the 1980s, and British standards set for it in 1987 by the British Waterfowl Association.
Called “Hooded Ranger” in America.
Daniels, Tim. The Abacot Ranger. 7 November 2008. Retrieved February 2011 from http://poultrykeeper.com/abacot-ranger-ducks/abacot-ranger-breed-information/abacot-ranger.html
Focardi, Fabrizio. “Anatra Streicher.” Avicoltura Avicultura luglio-settembre 2003.