In the Brooder
Aug 21, 2019
I adopted my little girls as ducklings from someone who wasn't planning on keeping them long term, & of course she got them from a store and couldn't remember the label or tag. After research, my two females seemed like Pekins, but there are a few confusing differences. They're both almost 7 months old, and they're around 10-10.5lbs. They've both developed the same way at the same time, they're from the same place, but they're definitely not purebreds and they do have some different characteristics. They're both horizontally postured, and one vet thought they were for-sure pekins and then I saw one who treats more ducks and said that she thinks they're Aylesburys. Obviously, it's well known that nowadays they're pretty mixed together, but one of my ducks, Dez, seems like maybe another kind of duck also snuck in and spent some "special time" with her mom. Her "sister" Tati is about 10.5lbs, has orange feet and a dark orange beak but is VERY horizontal. She has silky smooth feathers, definitely a very aylesbury-looking face in shape and characteristics & kind of looks like the very old aylesbury duck portraits but with a darker orange beak. She has piercing blue-gray eyes and her feathers are so silky smooth and shiny that it almost feels like hair. Tati's feathers are very straight and naturally shorter. Dez is around 10lbs, she has a horizontal posture as well, blue gray eyes, the same color feathers, and is around the same size with orange feet. Her feathers are, however, very long and curly, EXCEPT for her tail. She has been verified as a female and has straight tail feathers, but the rest of her body is covered in distinctively long, curly, fluffy feathers. It's almost like she's the miniature poodle or labradoodle of ducks. To me, Dez definitely has an aylesbury looking-build, but her head is more shaped like a german pekin and she has a shorter neck. Her beak is much lighter, more like hues of a light orange yellow and pink tones mixed around in a more blotchy manner. She also acts like she thinks she's a cockatiel- she perches on everything, and I mean everything. They're both very quirky, as ducks are, but I do know there are some ducks that perch. Could the curled feathers just be a goofy mutation, or could Dez be even more of a mixed duck than I know already? Or even some hybrid? I don't know the true origins of these girls, so confirming my suspicions or any kind of input, ideas, or answers would be great. Can the same ducks have different kinds of feathers? Does anyone else have a female duck with completely curly feathers? I can't find anything about it because whenever I search it online, all of the results go to drake feathers or a curly goose. Any guesses on Tati and/or Dez would be great. I think they're mostly the same, i just feel like something a little extra something snuck into Dez's gene pool. I'll provide pictures if I get any responses or if someone asks, I just have bad camera quality on this old phone.
Sounds like the curly feathers may be a mutation known as "silky feathers." The ducks bred for that mutation usually weigh three pounds or less, though.

Tell me what you think:

The only ducks I know of that are both domestic and perch are muscovies. They're also an extremely horizontal bird. Could you have a Moullard? I can't find any good pictures online, and I'm not sure that they can be all white. @Jpat should know more.
I'll have to get some good pictures of them! Some stuff like the beak color variation might not be as easy to see, but maybe I can get some close-ups of those. I may need to get a close-up to see the feather differences. Maybe Dez is just a bad preener? I feel like maybe I'm just an idiot and the answer is right in front of me. Maybe Dez's perching is maybe just her own little thing? She does it every night whether it's on my leg or a pile of pillows. She really loves high ground and I nearly had a heart attack to wake up one day with her perching on the corner end of an open drawer on my bedside table. Dez's feathers curl in, so she's just a giant fluffball and then Tati has feathers that feel like silk. I'm really good with genetics but this is the first time I've had birds so I definitely have a few questions. Can two ducks of the same breed have different textures of feathers? I'll try to get some close-up pictures of this stuff and some pictures of them in general. Sometimes I overthink things, but I'll send y'all some pictures soon under some good lighting.

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