Why is one duckling a different color?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Klong88, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. Klong88

    Klong88 Hatching

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    Hello! Long time lurker here and finally got an account! I have Mallards and mama Erma hatched 9 ducklings, weird thing is one is totally black. Daddy Max has been the only other duck on our property and was just wondering if the black was a recessive trait or what?! I mean its the cutest little thing but just wondering how it turned out so different :)

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

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    Wow! I hope a genetics person checks in here soon.
     
  3. Amykins

    Amykins Crowing

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    Nope, never seen that from a mallard. I've seen lighter/darker colored ones if the mama was blond or really deep brown, but they always have the telltale yellow and black face stripes. It's doubtful that came from a random mutation since mallards are a wild species thus breed VERY true. I'm gonna hazard a guess and suppose that you may have a mixed breed duck that carried a recessive trait? Either that or there was some kinda interloper. XD

    Do you have a photo?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  4. Klong88

    Klong88 Hatching

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    [​IMG]
    Here are the parents and ducklings. The black one is the closest to Max, was hard to get a good picture without Erma throwing a fit, lol.
     
  5. Sfraker

    Sfraker Songster

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    Max may need to get a lawyer!

    I think Erma had a visitor.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Eluria

    Eluria Chirping

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    Although...I would like to throw out there that many of the breeds such as the WH and Khaki Campbell are mallard-derived. So, random mutations happen, and can be continued through selective breeding.
     
  7. Amykins

    Amykins Crowing

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    Wow, he really IS inky black! I was expecting just really dark, but still visible face stripes. He's such a cutie! Please send more photos as he develops, I'd love to see the lil' guy when he fledges. <3
     
  8. Yeah, black is actually a sex link gene in mallards. i have a black mallard hen and overtime she has a baby its black, and she mates with wild mallards and rouens. and plus females can have babies from multiple males, so every duckling could have a different dad, or one of your mallards grandparents or great grandparents was black
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014
  9. Amykins

    Amykins Crowing

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    I thought it was on the Y chromosome exclusively, though? I could totally be wrong on that. And even black babies still have faint markings, like a spot of yellow on the bib or bill. Also wouldn't we see more black babies if that were the case? I thought it clung to specific genders, like a white mama + normal dad = white drakes, and vice versa. There are multiple alleles for not only color but pattern, so this would have to affect at least two different gene sequences.
     
  10. No it wouldn't have to be on all babies, each baby has it's own specific form of DNA , and that specific duckling got two recessive allels so :D also intresting fact about ducks the female carries the extra chromosome that decides gender
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014
    1 person likes this.

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