Ducks get divided into meat breeds and egg-layers—but fancy and fleet Anconas are dual-purpose, large enough to eat (though perhaps too cute) and great layers (some claim they lay 350 eggs per year). Duck eggs cook at a lower temperature than chicken eggs and are considered the absolute best for baking and custards. Anconas come in bilaterally symmetrical pinto patterns of white with black, chocolate, silver, or blue. They even have patterned feet! They are one of six duck breeds that are critically endangered.

These ducklings hatched April 15-17. Photo on April 27.