If you’re interested in getting Rouen ducks, I need to point out something important. If you want an active, foraging duck, get what are called “production Rouens.”
The Rouen drake that runs the sex slave camp on the pond now is pretty well proportioned.
This type goes 7-9 pounds. It doesn’t grow as fast as a Pekin, but it does get fairly large.
But there is another type that is available, which is called the “standard bred” or “exhibition” Rouen. It was developed in England as an improved meat breed, and it became common as an exhibition bird, even though it’s far less fertile and often lacks the brooding instinct of the production bird. They are also often too big to sit on eggs.
This type of Rouen can go 10-12 pounds, and it’s bred for a distended keel that often drags or bounces off the ground.
It’s far less hardy.
I personally find them extremely ugly.
The production type does a whole lot better on the ground. I think they are the smartest of all the domestic ducks, including when compared to the Khaki Campbell and the Pekin. Pekins are sweet but dopey, and Khaki Campbells are wild and scatter-brained.
It’s been said that the Rouen is just a European mallard bred up in size, and it probably is.
It’s quite an elegant breed, but if you want one, make sure you choose a type that isn’t encumbered as it moves.
Otherwise, the foxes are going to eat well.
Out of the production type there is also a Rouen Clair variety, which is lighter in color.
I don’t think they are available in the US yet.