Difference between a Rouen and a Mallard

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by duckdad, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. duckdad

    duckdad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know the biggest difference is in size. Rouens were bred to be meat ducks. Mallards are thinner, smaller. Rouens cannot fly...or not much. Mallards fly and travel.
    My question is this, is there a difference in markings, coloring or anything else that can be used as a reliable means of telling the difference?

    I ask because my little female that I bought (from a feed store/hatchery) to be a companion to the baby, was bought from a flock of Rouens all about the same age. She was the smallest of the bunch (around 30-40 birds in that pen) and thought to be a runt or simply small. Thats what I wanted for the duckling since there were no hatcherys shipping at the time because of the excessive summer heat...too many losses en route. I needed a small juvenile female that would not attack the baby...Chicky baby was perfect for the job ( and has done exactly what I hoped for ).

    So this little girl (Chicky) is supposed to be about 3-4 months old. She was almost feathered when I got her but it was hard to tell because she was a little tattered and ragged from being beat up since she was so small compared to the other Rouens.....She did heal up and feather out nicely and evenly after a few weeks. She has always been the most trusting and gentle out of everybody. She allowed me to hold her the first day. That was a surprize too...

    I've seen her take a short hop out of the pen, and I actually count on her to hop out of the bath tub when shes been playing with the baby....if she sits on my shouder she will flap to balance herself and stay up there as I walk.

    BUT,

    last night that little 'Rouen' got impatient waiting on me to chop some greens for their dinner and she FLEW all around the living room, full spread, tail spread wide, circled the room then flew into the kitchen and made a graceful landing on the counter next to where I was standing.... !

    I was MORE than surprized. Shocked actually. I had no idea. It was like a different bird.

    So, between the size and the ability thats shes demonstrated I am wondering if she is more Mallard than Rouen and how to tell?

    I've never seen a true Rouen fly like that. My 2 adult Rouens can fly but its a heck of an effort and they can;t do it for long. They CAN fly straight up,. but they can;t control their flight as well as a bird that flies as their normal routine. They struggle and its obvious because of their size. They're like bowling balls with wings...big heavy and well rounded.
    Buddy is about the size of a butterball turkey (feathers make a lot of that) and his mate Squeek is close... But this little girl is only 2/3 their size, maybe only 1/2. So thats got me wondering....

    How can you tell the difference between a female Rouen and a Mallard? Its curiousity more than anything.
     
  2. DuckLover2399

    DuckLover2399 Avian American

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    Well, since she is small she may be able to fly. Picture would help.
     
  3. EmAbTo48

    EmAbTo48 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, a picture would help us out a lot!
     
  4. duckdad

    duckdad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, will see if I can get her to 'pose' tomorrow....then figure out how to post pics in here.
    heck, I'll just ask...

    How do I post pics? I don;t see a tab or button for that.
     
  5. DuckLover2399

    DuckLover2399 Avian American

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    Upload picture to your computer. Then you go to uploads here and upload that picture.
     
  6. 70%cocoa

    70%cocoa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is no difference in pattern or colour between a Rouen and a Mallard. Rouen breeders aim to replicate the wild Mallard pattern as closely as possible in their birds. As you have said, Duckdad, the only difference is size - and shape. A true Rouen should have a big 'keel' of fat running under their body. The head and body should be massive and heavy in appearance. The only way a true Rouen could fly would be with a jet pack.

    A number of breeds come in the same pattern and colour as Rouens and Mallards. Runners and Calls do. Again, the only difference is size and shape.
     
  7. EmAbTo48

    EmAbTo48 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with cocoa, I bet you have a mallard not rouen, I know shes young, but if she literally flew all over your living room I doubt its a rouen [​IMG] But of course pictures will help and plus we all love seeing more ducks!
     
  8. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    not much help now but when their very young ducklings mallards and rouens have a different amount of stripes on their face.
     
  9. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Sorry, but if you get a "Rouen" from a hatchery or a backyard flock, there is no telling what you actually got. Purebred Rouens are rare. They are huge and have a large keel so that they look like a box on feet.

    It seems to be common to call any medium to large size gray duck a Rouen, regardless of what the breeding is on it. The same with "Mallard". If it is a gray bird, regardless of size or pedigree, it will be called a mallard.

    My best guess is that you've got a small gray duck of unknown breeding. She sounds like a real doll, so enjoy her. Maybe clip one of her wings if you move her outdoors so you don't lose her.
     
  10. Struttn1

    Struttn1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When ducklings the rouen will have 2 stripes under the eye while the mallards has one. If that duck flew all around the room and lit on a counter top in the next room it for sure is not a rouen. I have both rouens and mallards. The rouen hens have a much deeper and course quack while the mallards is a bit higher pitched. My rouen hens are also quite a bit darker colored than the mallards. The rouens also have a large bulge underneath their bellies while the mallard has a more sleek shaped body. It is impossible for a rouen to fly any higher than butt bumping the ground due to very large body size compared to wing size.
     

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