The Kriaxera Mulard duck is a historical local population from the French Basque Country.
With a dark plumage embellished with iridescent blue and green feathers, the Kriaxera duck is a rustic poultry breed that can be raised in the open air, in grassy fields with the presence of small streams. This duck breed is therefore particularly well adapted to small-scale breeding on farms.
The high quality of the meat is the result of a varied diet based on corn (local varieties), grass and small insects, which are eagerly consumed by the ducks. The characteristics of the meat are in fact strongly tied to the method in which the ducks are raised, which is in the open air in large fields with the addition of local corn, grain and legumes as a supplement.
This breed nearly went extinct in the 1980s due to its difficulty in being adapted to industrial and large scale breeding and production practices that favour sterile mulard hybrids (obtained from crossing a female Peking duck with a male Barbery duck) that are sold by three major distributors in France, also to small-scale producers.
Today, the Kriaxera duck is raised in the northern Basque Country by about 30 small-scale farmers, and additionally by about 50 private hobby farmers who appreciate this breed, for a total of about 35,000 ducks in the region of Aquitania.
Photos—Archivio Slow Food