An interesting Duckling


12 Years
Jan 31, 2010
I hatched this little fellow a few days ago & have been keenly awaiting his arrival. Four eggs set, but unfortunately he was the lone duckling to hatch & for a while I thought he may be non-viable, quite small & week but as they often seem to do within a couple of days he was active & loud, & quick as greased lightning. I know his breeding & wondering if anyone can guess? It is not a trick question & if I didn't know what his breeding was I doubt that I could guess (except for the obvious). Suffice to say that he is not purely what he may appear to be? Of the three un-hatched eggs (bred the same way), two did have well formed ducklings & although a very small sample, they were virtually identical, so colour/pattern consistency existed between the three.

The two dorsal spots toward the tail are quite rudimentary compared with for example, that of a some pure bred mallard birds, but I know some variation does occur. Cheers.


Congrats on your duckling hatching!

I think he might be part Rouen, maybe a mixture. His bill looks a little like the calls that I've seen on this site. I love his little face.
Thanks for feedback

I am not familar with the Golden 300' so can't really comment there. Breed-wise, they aren't Rouen bred but a mixture of a couple of breeds yes. The drake is a Saxony, & the duck is a dark Campbell type.

Colour-wise, the Saxony is light phase wild-type mallard + homozygous blue dilution (M+/M+, li/li, Bl/Bl), while the duck is a dark phase dusky (md/md, Li+, Li+, bl+/bl+). So considerable difference with the base series & phase colour/pattern genes between the two. The purpose of this mating is to get the blue dilution gene into a line of duskies so as to produce Blue & Apricot Campbells. Some unwanted colour/pattern genes introduced yes, & the use of a Dark Campbell Drake x with a Buff Orp could have saved some time, but a benefit to myself has been to see the interactions between the wild-type (M+) & dusky (md) genes. Genetically for colour the duckling should be M+/md, Li+/li, Bl/bl+ if both parents pure for respective genes. In this case, dominance looks to have favoured the wild-type M+ gene over its allele md (as per theory). And the dark phase Li+ also looks to have exerted the greater influence although this trait is more difficult to assess (for me) & some potential for variation has to be considered.

This duckling has inherited a single dose of the blue dilution gene from the Saxony drake (who has two doses) & nothing from the duck. Unfortunately, the colour doesn't show to its best in the above photos, but he is a dark silvery blue. Facial markings are quite clear & clean & I don't know that I was quite expecting this to be the case. I have found the dorsal spot markings of interest, particularly the two towards the tale end. Initially when first hatched I couldn't see any, but as he/she fluffed up they became apparent. Still, the tail end two are only just there & am wondering if some influence here from the dusky gene?

The duck (mother) is likely to be pure for the dusky gene. She is pigmented underwing & absent for eye-stripes, & around 15 ducklings bred from her & a Brown Dusky Drake (Kharki Campbell) earlier in the season where all pure duskies with no evidence of eyestripes, dorsal spots, neck rings, claret etc. She is also likely to be @ the least heterozygous for dark-phase Li+. She does has a large white patch low on her breast, but this trait hasn't expressed in any ducklings bred from her so far. It will be interesting to see just how close to Blue-Fawn the ducklings look when a little older (more to hatch in the next week or so with some luck)?

I was trying to remember all the breeds you keep when I saw this thread on my lunch break..

I thought there must have been some saxony in there- And knowing you have muscovies..I still ruled them out for obvious reasons. I would love to see more more pics of this one as it grows!
Hi ducky, have since given a pair of Indian Runners a home as am curious about their extended black gene

Glad you like him BunnyMomma, he/she is a special little duckling

Cute duckling, Ross! I am glad to see you doing that cross. I have experienced the same. It can be really hard to see a difference in the down color in m+/m^d ducklings. There is also just so much variability in coloration of birds that are pure m+ as well, it can be really hard to tell what is going on genetically since they vary so much from one duckling to the next. Recognizing ducklings that are pure for light phase from those that are dark phase can also be very difficult.

Those sports that I mentioned several weeks ago that I did the test cross with and got that Blue Fawn duckling from, we had initially thought might be m+/m^d. Some of them looked similar to yours, but the dorsal spots were even more obscured and the eye-stripes even thicker. The one little Blue Fawn I hatched from the female sports looked a lot like yours pictured above. I have been trying to locate a dark dusky drake to pair with my hens of unknown mutation to see if any ducklings hatch that appear pure for dusky. I am still very undecided about what those bids may be carrying and likewise undecided about all the differences between the day old down color of a pure m+ and a m+/m^d. It seems obvious at this point though that the day-olds can look almost identical to pure wild type. As they mature, the differences become more apparent.
LOL..Rollyard...You had to get some eventually. I saw some lovely ones at the Auction down here over the weekend- Pretty- but mixed colours. I so wish I had room for more. I have realised that there isnt a huge market for harlequins and Cinnamons- as so many people havent heard of them. I advertise them as Coloured and get more responses even when the price is the same.

I will have to get time to compose a message to you...I lost all my emails a while ago when my computer crashed - but am working on finding someone to have a look at my hard drive and recover my emails if possible..I really should have saved those ones from you. You explanations of genetics and my ducks were so helpful.

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