Hatched my duck eggs, stumped by ducklings color!! Bred w/ wild duck??


9 Years
May 18, 2010
I have 2 female White Pekins, 1 female fawn/white Indian Runner and a fawn/white Indian Runner drake. We hatched out some of the eggs, I can tell which ones are the pure runners but the pekin mixes have me stumped!! One is very dark in color, the other is much lighter but where it is colored seems to be a different shade than the rest of the fawn & whites. Is it possible for my ducks to produce a dark duckling, or did one of my pekins mate with a wild duck?? We have had wild mallards hanging out in our yard regularly and our ducks are free range. Here are some pics, the bigger ducklings are about 6 weeks old.....

The dark one in the front has me the most confused, it's mama is a white pekin.....

In this pic the one on the left (in the back) has a pekin mama as well as the dark one in the front. The duck in the back right corner is a pure fawn/white runner...
I'd say they are crossed with the fawn/white runner, but I also see why you're questioning the color. The "pattern" is why I'm saying they are runner crosses. I've had gray (mallard colored ducks) crossed with pekins, and the resulting pattern was that of a gray duck, but with white mixed in. Hard to explain, but it was obvious that one of the parents was a gray colored duck. They looked nothing like your ducks, not even the darker one. I love seeing what you get from crosses!! Always exciting
Your duckies are just adorable!
The colour/pattern looks a bit like the emery runner (I think that's what it's called..).

I guess mating with a wild duck is possible. Can a mallard mate comfortably with a Pekin?
They're probably runner/pekin cross. The white in the pekins is due to a double dose of a recessive gene that causes the feathers to be white (without color). When you cross a white and a colored duck, the babies only inherrit one of the recessive white genes, so all the other underlying hidden colors and patterns that the white parents carry can now be expressed, along with the other parents' genes.

If your pekins had crossed with a wild mallard you'd most likely see the typical mallard pattern in your babies since they would inherrit at least one of those genes (Mallard patern in dominant) from the wild parent.
Fawn runner crosses will produce that pattern. Fawn runner welsh harlequin crosses also end up looking like that.

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