Help identifying duck breed needed!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by LeighAngela, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. LeighAngela

    LeighAngela Hatching

    Aug 29, 2014
    New to the forum and new to raising ducks...only been at it about 5 months now. Got into it because a baby wood duck wandered into my yard and couldn't in good conscience let her go off into the wild of my urban neighborhood (as far as we can tell none of the siblings that we couldn't catch survived) so we took care of her until she took off. That led to us getting a pekin as a buddy for her while she was with us. Our wood duck took off about a month ago and we were gearing up to go get another pekin as a buddy when I got a call from someone I knew who was trying to re-home a female mallard that was roughly the same age as our pekin. Figure it was a win/win situation so I went ahead and picked her up, quarantined, and introduced the birds. Everything has been going great so far. Awesome personality and the ducks get along awesome except for some minor jealousy issues with my pekin (she gets a bit upset and territorial when I'm in the yard but no fighting or anything like that and easily solved by showing her some extra love).

    The longer the new bird is here the more I'm questioning the ID. Looks just like a female mallard except for two key differences. One, we've got curled drake feathers. Seriously looks exactly like a female mallard except for the curled feather on the tail. Two, the "stripe" on the wing is a deep forest green rather than blue. Plus the vocalizations don't match female. So I'm pretty well convinced I have a male on my hands but what breed?

    Definitely not head colorings. I posted in one of the backyard ducks facebook groups I belong to and people are suggesting that its a juvenile drake rouen but (and please correct me if I'm wrong because I'm new at this) all the information I've managed to find on rouens tells me their coloration is blue and not green. Everything matches except for the color.

    Some background on the duck: the original owner got 6 babies from a feed store and was told they were mallards (which is what she was specifically looking for) in early April of this year...she thinks they were roughly 10 days old when she took them home so that would put the ducks being born around late march maybe the first of April making this duck almost 6 months old now. In early May, the ducks got sick we think with a bacterial infection (they presented as being very wet when they hadn't been in water and then within hours they started to die). This duck was one of the healthy ones that was immediately quarantined...the original owner gave her to a second owner for safe keeping. All 5 of the other ducks died unfortunately and the original owner was heartbroken (this was her first time raising ducks) and the second owners agreed to keep the duck permanently. This duck never came down with whatever sickness killed the other ones. The second owners had the duck a few months when they realized they would be going back on the road very soon and their quite nomadic lifestyle would likely be extremely stressful for this type of animal. They did everything to find a good home including calling the humane society and luckily found out that I had ducks and was looking for a new duck to add to the family a few days before they had to take off for a job. So now the duck has joined my merry little band.

    I've been googling and asking around and looking at every source I can think of and can't find anything that matches except for one duck: a Meller's Duck. But this does not make sense to me because the only information I can find on this breed is that its a rare duck, from Madagascar, and an endangered species. How would I accidentally wind up with one here in the Deep South? (I live in southern Mississippi and the bird was purchased from a feed store in south Louisiana).

    So anyone here in the forums that can help me identify this duck? If this is an endangered species by some crazy stroke of weird luck that's need to know information for me! I tried to get a good picture but this was the best that I could get.

  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    Hi and welcome to BYC, I can't help on breed but I have sent your link to a member who knows wild ducks pretty well and domestic too so maybe she can help. He's very handsome.And awfully sweet of you to get your Pekin a friend they do so much better when there's more than one. [​IMG]
  3. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Crowing

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    I'm not sure and am looking up wild species with green speculums. It looks very mallard-like, like a drake in eclipse. I can't see the speculums very well. They appear dark blue in your photo. Sometimes the blue speculums will look dark green or purple in certain light. Or, your drake could be a mixed breed or have some other issues that makes its feathers look different. Another possibility is that it could be a young Brewer's duck (half mallard, half gadwall), which is very rare. Brewer's ducks often have a gadwall-like body, though.

    Meller's ducks are extremely rare and are closely monitored. If any of them were taken out of the Madagascar, it would be known. So, I don't think it's a Meller's duck.

    Do you have a photo with better lighting?

    Drakes generally don't get their full coloring until they are between 4-5 months old. It's possible that they are off about how old he is. I've seen that happen many times. Perhaps his development was stunted by the illness. I actually can see the beginning of coloring on his head like 4 month old mallard drakes get.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  4. LeighAngela

    LeighAngela Hatching

    Aug 29, 2014
    Thank you to you both! I couldn't get any better pics today because of the nasty weather but I will try to get better ones in the next few days. The coloring is definitely green...doesn't appear to be any other color at any other angle or lighting. And I had the same thought about the possibility of it being some strange hybrid or something because it just didn't make sense to me to have a random rare duck that was more than likely heavily monitored show up like this. Hopefully I can get the mystery solved! I'll post better pictures as soon as I have them!
  5. Dr. Todd

    Dr. Todd Songster

    Nov 9, 2010
    It's a young male mallard. Give it a couple weeks and it'll start getting breeding colours.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: