What the heck ... coloring and poo question.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by acipolone, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. acipolone

    acipolone In the Brooder

    Apr 5, 2010
    Hammond, LA
    So you might remember Sedrick from awhile ago. He was the sole hatchling from two clutches. Kerath and I have been trying to hatch him so brothers and sisters -- got about 8 in the incubator right now that seem viable (including some from Wifezilla!), so we'll see what happens.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=4906381#p4906381 (he's in the first of the pics, with the monkey)

    Anyway, he's starting to get some of his adult plumage in, and ... it's weird. If you look in the link above you can see his parents. Mom was the white bibbed female, and dad was (we thought) either of the two males in that picture with her (Buff Orpington/Indian Runner hybrids), or one of these guys (blue Indian Runners in that pic). The mother is the product of the Buff female in that link, and one of those males.

    However ... there's some green feathers coming in. We noticed it first on his wings, when some pruplish/iridescent colors were showing up where a female mallard normally has them. He was also sort of colored like a female when he got his first feathers in. Now, though, his head is showing a lot of green, and that little bib he had as a baby had come back but is now turning green.

    Is it possible at all that a mallard was flying over, thought Ashton looked hot, had his way with her, then took off?




    So confusing. It's a pretty green so I'm fine with it. Haha. Also, this is by far the calmest duck we've raised. Since he's been solo, he's been mostly indoors. We're slowly transitioning him outside, but his grandfather really has it in for him, so we can't put him with the rest of the flock. We're hoping that he can sort of "mother" these ones we're hoping to hatch in another week or so. We'll see, I suppose.

    Another question we have is about poop. Lately he's been having these solid black poops that are kind of watery. It's been over a week. He's been getting his usual food and peas. Should we be worried, or is this normal?
  2. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Others will have to chime in and give more specific genetics info--I am not the expert on that score. But I will throw this in--the wild (mallard) color pattern always lies beneath any other coloring. Anything else--black, blue, bibbed, striped, plaid, lol--is created by genetic modifiers lying over the wild (mallard) color. So if you have a mixed flock, it's possible for the offspring to just not receive some of those genetic modifiers from either parent and end up with some wild (mallard) patterning.

    My guess is that is what is happening, but I can't be any more specific than that because it's just not my expertise.

    As for the poops--my ducks are so varied in their leavings that I just don't worry about anything unless it's especially gross or they're not acting well. However, it wouldn't hurt to put some vitamins in his water and offer him a little extra fiber--maybe some greens or lettuce, or something else to offer variety. Bugs are a good idea too, and you can offer those by hanging a light in his pen to attract night critters... although at this time of year he may not get much.
  3. rollyard

    rollyard Songster

    Jan 31, 2010
    He looks like a dark dusky mallard to me. As you have said, he is losing his juvenile plumage & replacing with his first nuptial drake plumage, including the irridescent green mask & speculum. Duckling photo shows him to be pure dusky, & @ least hetero for dark phase gene. The father wasn't a wild mallard.

    The wild-type mallard colour/pattern isn't always the base colour or that masked/hidden by black/white, could be any mix of the series or phase genes/alleles.

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