Originally Posted by Gone-Quackers
Important question for all you geniuses out there. I have 1 Pekin hen, 2 fawn/white runner drakes, runner hens in the following colors: fawn/white, chocolate/white, lavender/white, blue/white, apricot/white, and mallard.
So, the question is: how do I tell which ducklings are from the darn Pekin?
Mrs. Pekin isn't my duck and I don't wish to keep any of her ducklings. I'll be selling them off and/or sending them with Mrs. Pekin back to her owner in the spring. Will there be a difference in color, patterning, or something to help me make the distinction at hatching time? Would like to clear out the Pekin/runner crosses while they are still cute/fluffy.
A couple ideas come to mind, though none of them are very good lol. If you want to be 100% certain the pekin mutts are separated, you could try separating the pekin at night and collecting and keeping her eggs separate from the runners. This could be a lot of work though, so it depends how important it is to you to know which baby came from the pekin.
You could also use egg shape and color to help determine which egg came from who. Pekins lay white eggs, roundish eggs. Runners generally lay skinnier eggs (well, mine do). Fawn/white runners usually lay white eggs, but other colors like black and blue and chocolate often lay blueish-green eggs. It's pretty safe to assume that any colored eggs are not from the pekin.
If all of your ducks are runners except the pekin, it's also pretty safe to assume any hatchling that is noticeably larger than the others is from the pekin. Runner ducklings are more slender and stand up straighter. So a duckling that is more horizontal to the ground may also be from the pekin. I can't tell you anything about using colors to distinguish the pekin mutts. I have no idea lol.
However, short of separating the pekin, I'm thinking there's always going to be a degree of uncertainly whether the pedigree of the ducklings you hatch while housing the pekin mama. All that aside, mutt ducks are awesome!