The ducks have mallard duck coloration, with reddish shanks. They are calm birds, and too heavy to fly.
The females start laying eggs in February. They can lay 100 to 150 eggs a year, but often produce far fewer than that. The eggs are greenish-shelled, and weigh an average of 80g.
When four months old, the ducklings will weigh about 5 1/2 pounds (2 1/2 kg.) But, they are generally allowed a year, year and a half, to be ready for the table at their full weights of 8 pounds (3.6 kg) for males and 7 pounds (3.2 kg) for females. Fans say it’s worth the weight they: the meat is considered to be of top gourmet quality.
The ducks are primarily sold in autumn and winter for table use.
They are killed by smothering in France, so that the carcass will lose none of its blood, causing the flesh to stay red and have a flavour that French duck connoisseurs prize.
Smothered ducks should be cooked the same day they are killed.
Rouen Ducks were developed in Rouen, Normandy, from selective breeding of large domesticated mallard ducks.
Both varieties of Rouen, light (Clair) and dark (foncé), had emerged around the start of the 1800s, but most of the intensive breeding work to refine the standards was done from 1870 on.
From 1910 to 1920 a breeder named Rene Garry crossed them with Colvert ducks to make larger ducks, and this is the breed standard that was entered into the European standards code as Rouen in1923.
The bird was introduced into America in 1874.
De Jong, Dirk and Kenneth Broekman. The Rouen. In Aviculture Europe, 2007. Retrieved March 2011 from http://www.aviculture-europe.nl/nummers/07E01A07.pdf
Scherf, Beate D., Editor. World Watch List for Domestic Animal Diversity. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Second Edition. 1995. Page 236.