Bantam Ducks are now in a separate category to Call Ducks, since show entries of the latter are so numerous, having eleven standard colours. Miniature breeds, which are judged in this section, are aimed to be a scaled-down version (1/3 the size) of their larger counterpart, whereas bantams do not have one (although they may share the same colour genotype as a larger breed). Bantams, which have been selected for their size for longer, are the smallest in this category, weighing less than a kilo. The oldest breed of Bantam Duck is the Black East Indian — its name gave this breed of American origin exotic allure in the 19th century! It wasn’t until the 20th century that the other breeds of Bantam Duck were standardised.
Small ducks have become very popular as pets in recent decades. They are cheap to keep and are ideal garden pest controllers. Their popularity probably rose as a result of shows banning wildfowl from exhibition pens in the UK.
Breeds presently standardised in this category are:
- Black East Indian
- Miniature Crested
- Miniature Silver Appleyard
- Silver Bantam