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There have been many new arrivals to meet in Pets Corner, including a flock of large, handsome white ducks. These are our new Aylesbury ducks. The Aylesbury duck derives its name from the town of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, where the breed was developed as a table duck to supply the London market in the eighteenth century.

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The Aylesbury duck was a leading waterfowl exhibit in the first national poultry show held at the London Zoological Gardens in June 1845. This was the beginning of live poultry exhibitions, and it was the Victorian stress on size that led to the development of the modern Aylesbury duck with its pronounced keel and long pink beak.

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The Aylesbury is a heavy duck with the drakes weighing 4.5-5.4kg (10-12lbs) and the ducks weighing 4.1-5.0kg (9-11lbs). The females are not very good layers only producing 80-100 eggs per year.

Here’s farmer Tom moving them to their daytime quarters in Pets Corner.


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jacobram-1916There’s a new ram at Mudchute! Our latest addition is a young Jacob ram and he is currently entertaining our three Jacob ewes. Jacob sheep have been known in England since the 1750s are easily distinguished from our other sheep breeds with their spotted, piebald fleeces. You’ll notice both rams and ewes are horned in this breed, but some Jacob rams can have as many as six horns.

At the moment, our new ram is wearing a harness. This is a raddle, which contains a chalk block on his chest. This will allow us to monitor his attentions to the ewes and give us a better of idea of if and when we might expect the pitter patter of little Jacob hooves! A sheep’s pregnancy lasts approximately 5 months, so if our new ram and ewes get on well, we’ll hope to make more introductions in April.

You can find out more about the sheep breeds at Mudchute on our website and more about Jacob Sheep from the Jacob Sheep Society.


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Have you met the newest residents of Pets Corner? If you haven’t seen the new aviary residents, you may well have heard them! Our Pets Corner aviaries are now home to a number of new canaries in a variety of colours as well as some beautiful diamond doves. The new additions are settling into their new home well and can be seen and the canaries can be heard singing proudly from their perches across the aviary.

Come meet the new birds and be sure to stop to listen to a song!

Here’s one of our handsome new canaries in song:

You can hear another song here (with some chatter from our zebra finches: