They are called “Hook Bill” because their bill has a slight downward curve on it.
The ducks are placid birds who like to move about together in small groups, and tend to stay close to home.
They like swimming, and have a pronounced waddle to their walk.
The birds will weigh 5 ½ to 6 ½ pounds (2.3 to 2.8 kilos.)
The females can be good layers, producing 100 to 120 eggs a year, sometimes up to 200 if not overly inbred. The eggs have a bluish white shell, weighing an average of 60g.
The eggs need 28 days to hatch. They hatch best if brooded rather than incubated.
Hook Bill Ducks are dated back to the 1600s in the Netherlands. The breed was mentioned in the 1676 book, “Ornithologia libri tres” by Francis Willughby (published posthumously.)
The breed is generally thought, though, actually to have originated in the East Indies and been brought back to Holland.
The ducks were traditionally raised along the canals in North Holland, where the ducks were expected to find their own food, and then fly back to the farm.
The duck was was very popular in the 1800s. Its numbers declined in the 1900s; a revival effort is underway (as of 2011.)