Data on this breed are very scarce. The first very short references on
this breed go back to early twentieth century. The late Etienne Brandt
was the big promoter of this duck. The first standard of the Semois
appeared in his book ‘Study on Chickens and Waterfowl’, which he
wrote in 1971 with Prof. Dr. A. Willems, DVM. What he described then as
a Semois was in the end nothing else but a large Call duck with a too
long bill. In 1990, a few years before his death, he rejected the
original standard and published a new one. One the origin of this breed
is very little known but that it originates from the valley of the
: The Semois is a very active little duck with little utility qualities.
It is usually kept as an ornamental duck and sometimes to sit on eggs of
wild waterfowl species. The ducks lay a nice number of rather big
greenish eggs which they brood themselves. The ducklings grow up fast
and without any problems.
: The Semois looks a lot like a mallard considering its shape and size.
The body is elongated and rather flattened. They weigh little above one
kilo. The head has a flat front and skull and the cheeks are not
prominent. The bill is rather long compared to the body length and
should be yellow. Birds with orange bills should be removed from
breeding stock. The legs are orange and medium in length. The underline
of the body should stay above the heels, which implements that the
abdomen should not be deep. There is also a crested variety of the
: The Semois is always white with as little yellow as possible.
: Very rare. Mostly seen in the Southern French-speaking part of Belgium
and sporadically in the North. Unknown in other countries. Crested
Semois are extremely rare.