The Ringed Teal is another excellent duck for the beginner. Native to South America, the Ringed Teal prefers warm weather, but can adapt fairly well to cooler climates. In extreme cold, frostbite can be a problem, especially with pinioned birds. Full-winged birds with some shelter hardly ever have this problem.
Unlike most waterfowl, the drake has no eclipse plumage, thus he remains colorful year round.
These birds can and often do breed their first Spring. They enjoy a long breeding season, with eggs being produced in my region as early as March and as late as July. They require a raised Wood Duck style box for nesting. If kept in a mixed collection, care should be taken that there are plenty of nest boxes in the enclosure, as larger birds may drive the smaller teal from her nest.
Clutches consist of 6-8 eggs and are incubated for about 24 days. If the eggs are removed early in incubation the hen will often lay a second clutch. The hens normally make excellent broodies and are sometimes used as surrogate mothers for the eggs of other more difficult species. The young are grayish blue in color and are easy to raise.
There are several different color mutations of ring teal, pictured below are some of the colors that we have raised.
Pictured below is a blonde ring teal and a normal colored ring teal . Notice the blonde has orange across the back instead of red.
Pictured below a pair of silver ring teal, these birds are lighter in color than the blondes and often have some white on their back.
Pictured on the left a very light silver Ring Teal, this males head and patches on the back of the wing are almost completely white.
Pictured above a white ring teal hatched at Mallard Lane Farms on 2012