The Buff Duck
Breed was developed by the William Cook family
who lived in the Orpington area of Kent, England in the early 1900s. It
was developed as a multipurpose bird, with the ability to lay good
quantities of eggs along with having the size and feather color to make a
good roasting duck. Some even claim that the buff colored feathers are
easier to pluck than the white Pekin feathers.
Though the Buff Duck Breeds true (progeny have the same color as parents),
they originated from a variety of breeds. W. Powell-Owen described this
breeding program in 1918 "Runners were mated to Aylesburys, Runners to
Rouens and Runners to Cayugas, and the progeny were crossed with one
another until the buff plumage was secured." They entered the United
States in 1908. Interestingly, they are the only poultry breed admitted
in the American Standard of Perfection with their name as a color only.
Orpington should have been used to describe the breed and Buff for the
variety. They remain a very beautiful and popular breed.