Unavailable for eating due to scarcity, unless you breed some yourself. Eggs are seasonally available locally on the isles.
Another breed entirely thanks to the Isbisters at Burland Croft. Thanks to them the true breeding Shetland Duck is still in existence. These ducks are very rare and all originate from only the Shetland Isles. They have been breeding Shetland Ducks for over 20 years at Burland Croft on the island of Trondra and have distributed them throughout Britain so there thankfully now are a few pockets where smallholders are maintaining the pure breed.
It is a precious breed to be valued for the Ark. Their eggs have a stronger flavour than a hen’s egg and their richness perfect for all dishes particularly savoury dishes using eggs. Their flesh is quite dark and full flavoured, with a distinctive richness. Because these first have a long and happy life they tend to be mature before they end their life so a moist slow cooking method is both advisable and delicious.
By their foraging they would have played a part in reducing the burden of the internal parasites that may have affected some of the larger croft animals. They would have helped for example by eating the snails, the host of liver fluke that created a great health problem for the sheep and cows that grazed nearby.
photo: M Isbister, Shetland Ducks at Burland Croft, Trondra, Shetland