If I breed mallards with non-flying ducks.....

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by DuckDaddy01, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. DuckDaddy01

    DuckDaddy01 In the Brooder

    Oct 16, 2016
    Will the offspring be able to fly???
    I started with 15 ducks (khaki, Rouen, runner and metzer layer hybrids). Thanks to predators I now have 11. I want to be able to let them free range. Yesterday I saw a big old fox. So I find the ability to be able to fly very attractive (as long as they stay). If I buy a baby mallard and raise in the pen and let that mallard breed with my current flock, will the offspring fly?

  2. sunshine ducky

    sunshine ducky Songster

    Aug 7, 2012
    good evening!

    I don't have experience with breeding ducks,but I do know your answer will be determined when you find out which of your ducks traits are more dominant. Such questions to research is the flying trait more dominant or the inability to fly? Hoped this helped!

    Best of luck~ Sunshine Ducky
  3. DuckDaddy01

    DuckDaddy01 In the Brooder

    Oct 16, 2016
    Thanks - I totally understand that it depends which duck the offspring take after etc. would be interesting to try. Curious if anyone has.
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    It's the heavier size that makes other breeds less able to fly. If you breed a light breed like the mallard to a heavy breed like Rouen, you'll end up with something in between in terms of size. They may be just light enough to get airborne.
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Be warned, ducks that can fly are ducks that will be gone. Ducks are a poor choice for free ranging.

  6. Bills vs Beaks

    Bills vs Beaks Duck Obsessed Premium Member

    Aug 31, 2016
    NJ USA
    My Coop
    Ducks wings are strange in the way that they dont grow with the size of the duck. Granted a saxonies wing is bigger than a mallards, but the proportions are all off.
    I doubt that...could be wrong but really dont think so
    I ''free range'' my ducks in electroplastic net. They always have a big tree to hide under and their movable coops. So far nothing has been able to get them. When they see a hawk, they run right in. I think free ranging(my kind anyway) ducks is fine.
  7. TLWR

    TLWR Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    My mallard flew out of the pen after the fox started picking off my birds. She flew to their pond and then back to their pen again. One day she was gone and I'm sure the fox got her too.

    If you want to free range, if you have foxes, you have to either sit out with them while they are free ranging, have a LGD that will protect the flock or figure out when you have foxes and not let them range during that time. For 2 years, my ducks were locked up for the summer into fall. This year we were able to free range all year. I know I may lose a bird and it sucks, but mine have always free ranged, so I'd rather not keep them confined all the time. If we see a predator around, then yes, they do get locked up for their safety.

    We have 2 large dogs that go in and out as the please and they go out when they hear anything, so that helps. It isn't like the fox can watch and see that we go out 4x a day... those dogs are in and out all day long with no pattern or schedule. A fly goes by and they run out.
  8. DuckDaddy01

    DuckDaddy01 In the Brooder

    Oct 16, 2016
    @TLWRWhat's a LGD?
  9. lomine

    lomine Crowing

    Aug 7, 2015
    Peyton, CO
    LGD = Livestock Guardian Dog

    Ducks that can fly might stay around but they are also just as likely to fly away. Also keep in mind that if you are looking for more eggs, mixing with a Mallard will probably reduce the egg production abilities of the offspring. They are seasonal layers and just don't lay that many eggs compared to the ones you currently have.

    Another option would be a portable electric fence. I currently don't require one as my yard is fully fenced but they seem really easy to set up and move. It's also an option that starts working right away, as apposed to raising Mallard mixes.

  10. shortgrass

    shortgrass Crowing

    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado
    Well, short answer... A Rouen is a cross between a Mallard and a Pekin. They can fly. About 15 feet lol ;)

    We have Mallards and rouens, had Pekins and Runners. We bred the mallards to the runners this spring in hopes of answering this very question. But all of our ducklings and her mother were killed by a weasel.

    Oh, that still makes me livid :(

    Anyway, out of about a dozen mallards each spring, only one pair usually stays. The others fly off, but sometimes they'll come back in spring to brood. So, if you want to free range mallards, be well aware that they can and do follow instinct to migrate and "fly the coop".

    We clip flight feathers sometimes if we have an extra special female we want to keep, and that also keeps her Drake here, too. He won't leave with his mate grounded ;)
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016

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