Within every duck breed, there is one color known specifically, and established first, for that breed. Rouens are gray, Indian Runners are fawn and white, Khaki Campbells are Khaki. However, there are often multiple colors within breeds, too. With certain breeds like Calls, Runners, Magpies, Anconas, and Muscovy, they are all considered "standard", for the most part. However, duck breeds with only one or two "standard" phases often have what is called a "rare" or "alternate" phase. This is a very misunderstood topic. I will go through it in parts. What is a "rare phase"? A "rare phase" duck is a purebred duck with an unusual, unstandardized color variation within the breed. "Rare phase" ducks are hard to find, particularly because a "rare phase" duck must be purebred to be true. For example, within the Rouen breed, there is one "standard phase"- gray (wild). There are also three other "rare phases" (pastel, blue fawn, trout), which are not standardized and are very uncommon. A "rare phase" has three main criteria to be considered "true"; it must be purebred, it must have desirable breed characteristics and patterns, and it must breed "true" (meaning that the ducklings of this color will result in the appropriate ratio, or color, of duckling, with no mutating colours) Standard Phase List These are common breeds only. I did not include certain breeds because they have lots of variations, or indiviual patterning. Ducks marked with * have "rare phases". Ducks without don't, or I could not find enough research for.. *Rouen: Gray (wild) *Silver Appleyard: Light *Cayuga: Black *Welsh Harlequin: Silver and Gold *Buff Orpington: Buff *Khaki Campbell: Khaki *Mallard: Gray (wild) *Crested: White *Swedish: (Bibbed)Black, Blue, Silver (black desired) Saxony: Saxony Pekin: White Black East Indies: Black Aylesbury: White Rare Phases Rare phases are just that: rare. They are hard to find, and, even harder to breed. Even if two rare phase ducks are bred, there will be some standard phase ducklings. Rare phases do not include crossbred ducks, albino ducks, or standard phase ducks. They are purebred, fully recognizable, desired ducks within that breed. To fully determine a rare phase duck, you need to look first. We'll use a Rouen duck as an example. Does it have all the breed characteristics? Is the bill yellow, the plumage patterned, with brown eyes, dark eye stripes, and a calm temperament? Is it 6-9 pounds? Then you need to trace back the lineage. Are any of the parents rare phase? Is it purebred, or is there a hidden recessive gene hidden from a far back cross breeding? What did its siblings look like? What other ducks lived on the farm with its parents? Next, let it lay. Are the egg shell colors the desired color (in Rouen, white to blue to green is usually ideal), and are they strong, healthy (one yolk), and properly formed? Then, if it passes these tests, you can breed it. Then ask yourself; does it breed "true"? (A Rouen duck that is blue fawn should produce a ratio of 1 gray to 2 pastel to 2 blue fawn ideally). If it passes all the tests above, it is almost certain you have a rare phase duck. Lucky you! To be sure, check the list below: Rare Phase Duck List Rare phases can be varied, but all will be in purebred stock. Albinos are not included, as this is actually a lack in pigment. *Rouen: Pastel, Blue Fawn, Trout (Rouen Claire) *Silver Appleyard: Dark (noticeable as ducklings) *Cayuga: Blue (sometimes known as light, or gray) *Welsh Harlequin: White *Buff Orpington: Blue, Pastel *Khaki Campbell: White *Mallard: White *Crested: Any color; usual crested are bred in white only. *Swedish: White Coloration as Ducklings: Standard vs Rare I'm going to break down duckling colors in each "rare phase" breed for you, so you can possibly identify ducklings as rare phase. (Please, make sure they are selected purebreds- cross bred "rare phases" are discouraging). Rouen: Typical black and white pattern, two eye stripes. In rare phases, black is diluted to a light soft silver (pastel) medium silver and silver-yellow down (blue fawn) or golden hued markings (trout). *Silver Appleyard: Typical ducklings have a "mohawk" stripe and black tail, the rest being yellow. Rare phase ducklings have a black and yellow pattern much like Rouens or Mallards, but are purebred. *Cayuga: Typical babies are pure black, sometimes with a little yellow on the chest. Rare phases are light black (dark grey) or silver with black feet and beaks. *Welsh Harlequin: Usual ducklings have: in Silver; a yellow body, with a grey 'haze' on the down of the head, Gold; a yellow body, with a golden or brown 'haze' on the head. White ducklings will be all yellow, with no lacing, and even then are a gamble. *Buff Orpington: Standard ducklings are a yellow-tan duckling with a tan head, and yellow body. Blue ducklings will have a grey "haze" on the head, neck, and back, still with a darker head, and pastel will often have a light head and body. *Khaki Campbell: Standard ducklings are a dark brown, with a dark beak and legs, and white ducklings are yellow with a dark orange or dark yellow beak. *Mallard: Standard ducklings are similiar to Rouens, but with only one eye stripe. White ducklings will be almost all yellow, except for very faint eye or body stripes- almost unnoticeable. *Crested: The desired duckling is all yellow with a crest, and a healthy body. *Swedish: The standard ducklings that are desired Bibbed (and should be) are usually a dark grey, almost black to mid grey duckling with yellow on the chest. Others are pure yellow, but again, white is rare. What To Do With Your Rare Phase Ducks Rare phase ducks are treasured. They often become pets or breeding stock. When using a rare phase duck for breeding, if you only have one rare phase duck, breed it to a very desirable, greatly colored hen of the breed, and keep the resulting "rare phase ducklings". You can breed rare phase father to rare phase hens or vise versa for a generation or two with no ill effects, and then choose the best stock for further breeding with a new father or mother. You can show a rare phase duck, but bring an information card showing either proof it is rare phase and purebred, or explain why it's that color. It will have a harder time placing, but it is not impossible! If using them as pets, egg layers, or meat birds, treat them just as any other duck. Chances Are, It's Not Rare Phase I am here to deliver the news that your beloved "mutated" duck is probably not a rare phase. So please, check and check again before you assume. After all, mutts are beautiful too! Feel free to post "rare phase" ducks down below.