Snowy mallards

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Senna95, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Senna95

    Senna95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 4 snowy mallards. Three of them are females. One of the females has a white head, the others have brown hoods. I believe that technically snowy's are supposed to have the brown hoods, but personally I LOVE her coloring. I just wanted to show her off.

    Does anyone else have snowys? I'd love to see pictures.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Goat_Walker

    Goat_Walker I Am THE Crazy Duck Lady

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    Oh wow! She is very pretty!
     
  3. bemba

    bemba Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She is very pretty!!! I have Australian calls that look very similar to her...... I'll post some pics! PS I thought snowy's have as dark beak and legs, and silver have a light beak and legs, but could be wrong.
     
  4. bemba

    bemba Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Snowy aussie call with fledglings
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    Silver Aussie call
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    This duck is call x bantam silver appleyard.
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In the US, we don't really have a different Snowy and Silver in that series Bemba (of course, we have the Silver from Blue, etc...). The Silver and Snowy you are talking about, Bemba, are the same genotype, harlequin phase dusky (AFAIK, not sure why the difference in Australia). The Snowies in the US also do not have the sex-linked bill color that produces the dark beak in the adult hens. Well, some do, but very few. The vast majority do not. Ours here are generally not as pure white as your pictures and also have more prominent hooding. I'm not sure why other than perhaps the presence of unnamed genes as I thought yours there were the same genotype.

    Gorgeous birds! We also do not have the true Miniature Silver Appleyards here in the US (is that what the parent of your last bird was rather than Silver bantam?). We have the original version- the Silver bantam, which is the Snowy/Silver genotype, but not the later developed Miniature Appleyards with the true color. We have that color though in Calls.

    Your bird is really pretty too, Lisette! Snowies vary a lot in coloration, but most have more fawn coloration including the hooding even as juveniles. They do typically get darker as they age as well, so it will be interesting to see how she progresses. Is it just the way the bird was positioned in the photo or does she have really blue wing speculums? That is unusual for Snowies as well.
     
  6. featherfooted

    featherfooted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a flock of Snowy Mallards, 5 hens and 2 drakes. I love them! They are so beautiful! They are the quietest of my ducks and the friendliest. The oldest hens just started laying.
     
  7. Senna95

    Senna95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, ALL of my snowy mallards have the blue wing speculum (I didn't realize that was unusual...). According to Holderread, the harlequin gene enlarges the wing speculum. On the other hand, the dusky gene obsecures the speculum. Cleopatera (my duck) also has some eye-striping, though that didn't appear till later, and was not visible when she was just hatched (though snowy is such a light color, it may not have shown up). Here's a picture of another that I suspect is female (no drake feathers, though the head is getting darker daily, but not green, like my male. The male already has a green head, and drake feathers, and is the same age). You can clearly see Cleo's eye strip (she's the duck next to him/her)

    [​IMG]
     
  8. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pretty ducks, Lisette! That has got to be a drake. I have never had a bird with that dark of a head and the claret coloration end up being a hen, but of course anything is possible. Having a bright blue wing speculum is indeed unusual for Snowies. As we have discussed before, the speculum is generally dulled and the head shaded without eye stripes. You are probably seeing the effects of m+, for example which could occur if someone bred a line of Snowies back to Grey (something that I personally think is an awful idea for most breeders because it would result in tons of mismarked birds eventually).

    I would imagine the dusky (m^d) will eventually pop up, probably sooner than later, unless of course you have found a line that someone has already bred the dusky out of (which I have never been able to find). It could certainly be done and might be a good project if you have the patience to weed out all of the birds carrying m^d (most people wouldn't have the space, knowledge, or patience to do it, but someone like you could). There may be a few lines of Snowy birds that are wild-type or someone has bred back to Grey and eventually bred the dusky out of, but they are the exception, not the rule (by any stretch of the imagination). The vast, VAST majority are dusky based (and I believe they always have been based on the descriptions and drawings of the original mutation birds that were used to develop the color).

    Of course, since I have seen the reference to breeding back to Grey on numerous websites recently, I would not be surprised if we do start seeing mismarked Snowies that show signs of wild type. All of the birds I own of the genotype (including *several* from Holderread's, LOL) have dull brownish speculums and fawn shaded heads with no eye-stripes. All of my Silver bantams (Mini Appleyards) are from them and Dave has confirmed them to be the correct genotype for Snowy and the same color as "Silver" in the UK. That pretty much confirms that they are harlequin phase dusky. There is zero doubt in my mind. (I do have some other questions in my mind about other genes that might affect speculum color, but it is down the list of priorities in my breeding tests right now. It is odd though the speculum color is another thing that varies widely in different lines of harlequin phase dusky. For example, I think it is pretty much agreed upon by everyone that Silver WH and Abacot Rangers are harlequin phase dusky and most lines of both have bright blue speculums, although this can vary as well. I'm not sure why this is. As previously noted, not all carry the sex-linked bill color either, something interesting to some day try to decipher.)

    I think they are absolutely gorgeous though with the eye-stripes and blue speculums. I would *love* to have some of those. I think you would totally have a market for them if you can get them to breed true as a harlequin phase wild type, as Holderread describes "Snowy"! [​IMG]
     
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  9. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, here are some pictures of some of this year's babies that are up at the barn. Sorry for the picture quality! I am going to make a concerted effort to take some better pictures this Fall. We have bred some really, really beautiful birds in this color this year I think. The birds in these pictures are mostly Silver bantams (Mini Appleyards). There is at least one Snowy Call in one of the pictures, a couple Snowy Mallards, a couple Aussie Spots, and some Overbergs.

    As you can see the Snowy color varies in depth of color, but the pattern breeds very true and all of the birds have that classic hooded appearance. I think your bird without the hooding is gorgeous though, Lisette! [​IMG]

    Bird in mid-left side is a Snowy Call. Darkest bird just to her lower right is a Green Head Aussie Spot. The bird slightly above and to the right of the Call is an Overberg drake. The darker bird in the middle of the picture is a Blue Fawn Mallard. Almost all of the rest (other than the few chicks) are Silver bantams and Snowy Mallards.

    [​IMG]

    More of the same...
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  10. Senna95

    Senna95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, I love her coloring too. I got a few dozen eggs on-line last year, and sold most of the babies, except for the 4 I kept (wish I'd kept more). They were sold to me as "snowy mallards". I had meant to use them to create my own "silver runners", and am still planning on doing that, but I wouldn't mind a few more little Cleopatras running around either!

    Here's a photo of the one that I know is male for sure:
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    Compared to the unknown male/female:
    [​IMG]

    I realize that there's a lot of variation among the snowy/silver, so maybe that's the explanation, however, Notice that the first has much more claret...... Not to mention the black rump, and (it's hard to tell from the photo) he's also got a larger, blockier head. They are such quiet ducks that I haven't been able to voice-sex them, but what I really need to do is get them away from the VERY LOUD Pekins, and the almost as loud Indian Runners, and wait for them to talk. Believe it or not, I've been so swamped with my real work (someone's got to pay for all that duck food!) that I haven't had time to do that yet. This weekend.........

    Either way Dana: when I breed them next year and I get more of the same, I'd be honored to send you some eggs. I'd love to return the favor.

    PS, the 6 babies I got out of your eggs are growing like mad! They're starting to lose their fulff, and are growing some real feathers. I love their color! Almost a salmon pink, even cooler then in the pictures!

    And, Dana, just how many ducks do you have?! Must take up all of your spare time! If I'm ever in your neck of the woods.............
     

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