I'm glad you posted, I had almost forgotten about this thread.
Since my last post I have found much more information on all three breeds, and on a fourth breed...
First, here is an image of a yellow pekin duck, from Europe, probably Germany:
The picture is from the book: "Keeping Ducks and Geese" by Chris and Mike Ashton.
A note on the yellow color:
The colour is of course white. However,
the young drakes especially possess a
lemon-coloured, silky sheen over the
It’s possible to increase the slight
yellow reflection by feeding them
Some exhibition breeders do go too
far. They keep the German Pekin in
cages or sheds all the time during
the day, so that they will not get
any sunlight. Only by night are they
allowed to go out, and they feed
them only maize. The result is a
yellow German Pekin duck, but this
is at the cost of animal cruelty.
So it’s a compliment
to the knowledge of
some judges in the
Belgium when they
note on the
‘Bird too yellow!!!!’
That note comes from the same article referenced below.
Now for a history of true / European pekins.
It started with a Chinese breed, the shi-chin-ya-tze or ten pounds duck.
Now according to "The German Peking Duck" by Kenneth Broekman (where the above image was found):
The result was that Mr John Palmer in 1873 imported these ducks into the USA.
But in 1872 a certain Englishman Mr Walter Steward imported the same breed into the UK.
This was the start of two types of Pekin ducks.
He goes on to say the American crossed the imported ducks with aylesburys, creating the Long Island or "American Pekin."
And how was the German Pekin Duck created? This was thanks to the
commercial spirit of the Dutch Seafarers.
The Dutch East India shipping company was the only company
permitted to trade and to enter Japanese harbours. As a result, the
‘Penguin’ or ‘Japanese duck’ set foot in Europe. It is in type an upright bird.
German fanciers then started to crossbreed the Penguin/Japanese with the existing Pekin duck: the Shi-chin-ya-tze from China. It must be stated that the German fanciers did a great job to perfect the breed now called German Pekin duck.
So the Pekin family tree goes like this:
--------------------crossed with Aylesbury = Long Island Duck (American Pekin)
Shi-chin-ya-tze (ten pound duck, first pekin) -----
-------------------- crossed with "Penguin Duck" = (European) Pekin
Now what is the Penguin Duck?
Penguin Duck is simply an old term for the breed we now call "Indian Runner"! (see wikipedia)
The internet does not have much information on the shi-chin-ya-tze.
So there you have it, the origins of the Long Island duck and the European pekin.
There is more to come, too much to fit in one post.