Khaki Campbell Duck: Everything You Need To Know

The Khaki Campbell duck is a good dual purpose bird that loves to forage and look for its own meals on the backyard.

They are prolific egg layers and will keep your tray full. These ducks are hardy and will tolerate cold and hot weather pretty well.

Khaki Campbell’s do get broody and hatch well but are the kind that is not bothered by ducklings. Do you want to know more about this breed of duck?

In this article, I am going to take you through everything you need to know about Khaki Campbell ducks. This will help you know whether they are the best ducks to raise or not.

 Let’s indulge!

Khaki Campbell Duck History

Khaki Campbell is a British breed of duck. It was developed at Uley, in Gloucestershire, England at around the 20th century.

The person behind engineering this calm duck breed was Mrs. Adele Campbell. Adele wanted a good some good duck meat for roasting and also some eggs for her family.

This saw her mating the Runner duck with a Fawn duck and then bred the resulting offspring with some Rouen ducks.

In 1898 she introduced her first flock of Campbell ducks to the public but their color was not that appetizing.

With this in her mind, these ducks were further bred with penciled Runner ducks to create a more fashionable and attractive plumage.

The resulting ducks had a Khaki color similar to that of British military uniforms. She named the new ducks Khaki Campbell and introduced them to the public in January 1901.

These birds were prolific egg layers and offered a substantive amount of meat just like she always wanted.

They were quickly embraced and even became the talk of town. In 1924, Khaki Campbell ducks were admitted in the PCGB.

This duck breed first made its way to the United States in 1941 and was admitted in the APA. However it was not embraced and was out of sight for five years.

After the Vietnam War, Asian immigrants were in dire need of duck eggs and this led to the resurgence of this duck to fill the gap.

The APA only recognizes the Khaki color variety but there are other color varieties like: Dark, White and Pied.

Characteristics of Khaki Campbell ducks

These ducks have a close resemblance to their ancestors the Mallards. However Khaki Campbell’s do not have a white ring around their necks like Mallards do.

They are unique and their plumage is easy to distinguish because of its Khaki color. The heads are dark brown and can sometimes exhibit an olive green hue.

Khaki Campbell females have light brown heads, uniformly brown plumage and golden yellow bills that are clearly seen from a distance.

The bills in drakes are green while their feet and legs are dark orange in color. Their body plumage is mild Khaki but the head, top neck, top back and tail feathers have a brownish to bronze color.

Khaki Campbell ducklings will have white feathers on the breast area while the rest of the body will be white at hatching.

These ducks are light to medium in weight with the drakes weighing 2.3-2.5kgs and the hens weighing 2.0-2.3kgs.

They are not threatened but the Livestock Conservancy has listed them on the watch list.

Temperament and Hardiness

Are Khaki Campbell ducks hardy?

The Khaki Campbell is a good multi-purpose duck that will do well when allowed to forage or when confined in deep litter duck pens.

These birds are calm but can be very shy and skittish especially if frightened by dogs. They are friendly but will not allow you to hold them on your lap and cuddle.

This ducks will easily bond with you and come for tasty treats like mealworms, apples and tomatoes but will only eat them from a distance.

Khaki Campbell ducks are friendly towards other ducks like Cayuga hens. They do not bully other poultry and will even share a run with chickens and guineas.

If you are looking for hardy ducks these are the best. These birds are not deterred by cold or hot weather and will adapt on any climate.

However, learn how to keep ducks cold in summer because very high temperatures will subject them to heat stress.

They are not flightily and will not sneak to your neighbor’s compound. However they will flap their feathers and only manage to lift a few inches from the ground.

Khaki Campbell ducks are calm and not noisy. This is a good breed to keep on an urban setting because they will not disturb your quiet neighbor’s.

Quacking ducks will be as a result of disturbance or your children chasing them.

Egg Laying and Uses

If you are looking for a duck that will lay lots of eggs, this one here will not let you down. Khaki Campbell hens will start to lay when they are 5-6 months old.

These ducks will remain productive for 6 years. However they will lay consistently and produce large eggs for the first 2 years.

Khaki Campbell duck eggs are large and have creamy white shells. In a year, these birds will produce 170-320 eggs.

The inside eggs is white with a single egg yolk. A single duck egg will weigh about 2-3 ounces on an egg scale.

Khaki hens will easily get broody, sett and hatch well. However, they are never ready to take the mothering responsibility and will not mind to abandon the baby ducks.

Khaki Campbell Duck Lifespan

Khaki Campbell ducks have a lifespan of 8-10 years. However these birds can live longer than this if they get the right care.

They require a good diet to offer all the nutrients they require in their bodies. Shelter will be vital to keep them safe from elements and predators.

When raised on free range, they may not live longer because there are a dozen threats they will have to face each day.

Ducks are social birds and will be comfortable when raised together. Confining a single duck can lead to stress which will negatively impact its lifespan.

Health Issues

Khaki Campbell ducks are healthy, hardy and robust birds. They will do well on areas where temperatures drop below freezing as well as in the tropical heat.

However, very high temperatures will bake these birds. To keep them safe, provide enough shaded areas and enough drinking water to help them keep cold in summer.

Ecto-parasites like the common lice and mites will infest their fluffy plumage. To control them, a duck pond will do a good job to keep the feathers wet and drown these parasites.

Duck worms like thread and gape worms are another serious health threat. They live inside their bodies where they feed, multiply and cause ill health to your birds if not controlled.

A qualified bird vet will advise you on the right dewormer to administer. Baby ducks are sensitive to wetness and letting them swim can chill them to death.

Ducklings are also easily affected by cold weather during winter. These birds should remain in their brooder until they are fully feathered.

Raising Khaki Campbell duck

What they eat

The dietary needs for ducks are slightly different from that of chickens. Medicated feeds that we feed to chicks can be dangerous and the best foods for ducklings are their starter feeds.

Game bird feeds can also be fed to these critters as long as they are fresh and free from molds. They require high amounts of niacin and that why small amounts of brewer’s yeast are added to their diet.

Khaki Campbell ducks are adept foragers. They will prefer to roam and range on the barnyard collecting slugs, grubs and eating all sorts of weeds and fresh green grass.

However, they may not get enough food on their own and will require supplemental diet. Toping up their diet with treats like tomatoes and cracked corn will help them get all the nutrients they require.

Laying ducks will need a diet high in calcium. This will help them lay eggs with strong and healthy egg shells.

Crushed oyster shells and egg shells are a good source of calcium for ducks. Grit is also very important in their health.

Grit will help these birds grind down food in the gizzard making it easy for them to digest.

Ducks need water

Khaki Campbell ducks are water loving birds. They will spend most of their time swimming and foraging around ponds or any other water body nearby.

These birds drink a lot and need to have water every time. Denying them enough water to drink can lead to dehydration or impacted crops.

Ducks need water to preen their feathers clean. They will even ponds and other water bodies available to woo females and mate.

Your duck waterer should be cleaned regularly to discourage algae growth. Never leave it outside in winter because the water will freeze into ice.

Duck pen

Ducks need shelter to keep off bad weather and predators. These birds will lay their eggs in a pen, hatch from there and spend the night.

A good duck run should be spacious enough to hold all the birds without congesting. It should be well ventilated to allow free air circulation.

The choice of bedding material you use matters a lot. Any bedding you use should be dry and free from dampness which can lead to respiratory issues.

Your duck pen should be located on an area where flooding cannot occur. Remember ducks do not roost but will spend the night on beddings which can be catastrophic if flooding happens.

An automatic coop door will do a good job. It will open and shut to let out and in the birds even whern you are not around.


Khaki Campbell duck is a good breed if you want a backyard bird. It does well on both cold and hot climates where others cannot.

These ducks are faithful egg layers. They will lay lots of those cream colored eggs and sometimes tint their eggs green.

They will hatch well but you will have to take care of their brood. Khaki Campbell hens are not the type that will take care of their ducklings.

Do you have some Khaki Campbell’s? Share your thoughts with us.

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