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Spotlight Breed Of The Week White Pekin Ducks
The White Pekin duck is a domesticated duck used primarily for egg and meat production. They were bred from Mallard ducks in China, then brought to the United States about 1873, where it remains the most popular commercial duck breed today. Pekins have a nice temperament and are talkative ducks that do well as pets. Owners commonly report that their friendly ducks follow them around like dogs normally do. However, it is highly discouraged to purchase ducklings as Easter gifts as they are a commitment that requires special care and can live up to 20 years.
Pekin are good layers upward to 150 to 200 eggs a year is not uncommon, but they rarely go broody and don't often sit on their eggs. So, if you want to hatch your own you may need to use an incubator. However, hatchlings should never be given free access to swimming water unless they have been hatched naturally by other ducks. The feathers of a young duckling are not sufficiently developed to properly protect them for extended periods in the water and they do not produce enough preen oil to waterproof this plumage. In the wild, a mother duck will monitor the time her ducklings spend in the water as well as supplying additional preen oil to supplement what is produced by the hatchling. Although a Pekin Duck’s eggs can be eaten, this type of duck is primarily used for meat. Pekins grow very quickly and have an excellent feed conversion rate weighing between 6 and 8 pounds at about 9 weeks of age. Since Pekins are a Domestic duck they do require shelter from the wind and rain, access to food and water, and fencing to keep them contained.
As the white Pekin matures the female will have a very loud quack. The male’s do not quack, but instead emits a low, hoarse, raspy noise. The male will also have a curled tail feather called the Drake feather. The most famous of all Pekin Ducks is Donald Duck, who was modeled after this breed.
Day Old Ducklings: Bright Yellow Plumage.
Purpose: Dual purpose eggs laying and meat production.
Hardiness: Cold hardy
Maturing: 22-24 weeks Mating ratio: 6 females to 1 male
Egg Color: White Egg size: Large -Extra large
Rate Of Lay: Good Eggs per year: 150-200
Weight: Hen 9 lbs. Drake: 10 lbs.
Roost height: Floor
Life Span: Of the Pekin Duck depends on how well they are cared for, and the quality of life that they enjoy. A standard White Pekin will generally live for approximately 8-12 years but have been known to reach 20 years.
The reason ducks are able to stay afloat in the water is because of air sacs inside their bodies that increase their buoyancy. Also, a Ducks feathers trap air in between them, which is another adaptation that helps them to float. Their feathers are also covered with a waterproof substance that keeps the ducks warm and dry and their webbed feet allow them to maneuver easily in the water.
We only hatch ducks seasonally Feb thru the end of May.