Frank has been raising Rouen ducks for over 50 years. The Rouen duck is derived from the wild Mallard. They are marked with the same color pattern as Mallards, with drakes having green heads, white collars, claret breast and a blue patch on the wing. But, Rouen ducks are brighter in color and larger in size than Mallards. The Rouen was developed in France and was admitted to the American Standard in 1874. It is still considered the superior meat bird in Europe, where much more duck is consumed. These ducks are excellent foragers, calm in disposition. Slow maturation (6-8 months) helps produce fine, lean and highly flavored meat. The standard weight is 8-9 lbs. When these ducks are ready they are unsurpassed in gourmet quality.
Originating in Southern France, the Toulouse goose is one of the oldest breeds known. Coming from Western Greylag in France (near the town of Toulouse), this breed was imported into England circa 1840 and later into the United States. In 1874, the Toulouse was accepted by the American Poultry Association (APA). After their exportation out of France, the breed underwent a major face-lift. The original French Toulouse did not exhibit a dewlap (fold of skin under the chin) but for exhibition purposes, the Toulouse was developed to display a large dewlap. This exhibition type Toulouse was the version first exported into the US. In France, the Toulouse is a popular farmyard bird that is generally selected for foie gras production (liver pate). The Toulouse has loose, downy feathers on their rump and the lower portion of the body. The most common color seen is the original gray color. The buff Toulouse will have a light orange bill as well as shanks and feet while the eyes are dark hazel. The tail on the buff Toulouse is a mixture of white and buff. Gray Toulouse geese have an orange bill with a light toned horn bean. The shanks and feet are reddish-orange and the eyes are hazel or dark brown. The tail is white and gray.
Not actually African at all, African breed geese are descended from the wild Swan Goose, just like their close cousin the Chinese goose. Though they share some similar characteristics (such as color variations), the two can be distinguished by the African’s larger dewlap and different knob shape. African geese are also quite a bit heavier than Chinese, and are more well-known for their docile temperaments.They were imported into the USA in the nineteenth century. The Brown African was admitted to the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1874. A dark brown stripe runs over the crown of the head and down the back of the neck. On mature birds, a narrow band of whitish feathers separates the satin-black bill and knob from the brown head. The legs and feet are dark orange to brownish orange. Africans are the leanest of the heavy breeds and are popular for this reason, as well as for their stately looks. An adult gander and goose should weigh in at 20 and 18 pounds, respectively.