Association for Promotion of Belgian Poultry Breeds


Large fowl





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Forest duck

Forest ducks : a white duck and a blue drake


Origin : The story of this breed started around 1890. Herman Bertrand from Vorst nearby Brussels wanted to create a blue duck with good laying and good meat quality. At first he named his creation after himself and gave it the Latin name ‘Anas bertrandi’ meaning ‘Bertrand’s duck’. Later this duck was named after the community he lived in, Vorst (Forest in French). (So Forest ducks have got nothing to do with woods !) In 1905 the breed was launched with a collection of 30 blue ducks at an international exhibition in the Halfeeuwfeestpaleizen in Brussels. These 30 ducks were beautiful in color with a magnificent small lacing just like Andalusian chickens. In 1924 the breed club sent a collection of 24 high quality Forest ducks to Crystal Palace show in London. After this there were lots of demands for Forest ducks from other countries. At a certain moment the city council of St-Petersburg (Russia) wanted to import 350 hatching eggs. The purpose was to embellish the city parks with the blue ducks and of course also to use them for their utility qualities. Unfortunately the two world wars almost entirely eradicated this once world-famous duck. 

Characteristics : The Forest duck is an easy bird to keep and has several good utility qualities. The ducks lay a nice number of rather large eggs and the ducklings grow up very fast and without any problems.

Appearance : The Forest is a rather large duck that weighs almost three kilos. It has a deep breast and a slightly upright carriage. The abdomen is very well developed in the females. Very typical is the blue bill in both sexes and all the varieties. Especially in combination with a white plumage this is a rather spectacular sight. The legs should be as dark as possible and preferably also have dark webs.

Varieties : The most typical but also most striking variety is without any doubt the blue laced. These birds should completely resemble the Andalusian chickens. Unfortunately this quality birds have become very rare these days. Other recognized varieties are blue, pearl gray, pearl gray laced, chocolate, black and white.

State : Rare. Is kept in all parts of the country and mostly the blue (laced) and black varieties.  The white are very rare and the pearl gray even rarer. The other varieties have probably become extinct. The last few years the interest in this breed has increased, also in other countries. Especially the UK and Germany are interested.