Why is one duckling a different color?

Klong88

Hatching
5 Years
Sep 30, 2014
4
0
7
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!!
 

Amykins

Crowing
6 Years
May 11, 2013
4,771
474
276
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?
 
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Klong88

Hatching
5 Years
Sep 30, 2014
4
0
7

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.
 

Sfraker

Songster
5 Years
Feb 17, 2014
560
69
151
Western NC
Max may need to get a lawyer!

I think Erma had a visitor.
tongue.png
 

Eluria

Chirping
5 Years
Jul 31, 2014
100
4
61
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.
 

Amykins

Crowing
6 Years
May 11, 2013
4,771
474
276
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
 

Buck Oakes

Songster
5 Years
Feb 9, 2014
2,472
132
201
Madison/Gluckstadt, Mississippi
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
 
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Amykins

Crowing
6 Years
May 11, 2013
4,771
474
276
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

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.
 

Buck Oakes

Songster
5 Years
Feb 9, 2014
2,472
132
201
Madison/Gluckstadt, Mississippi
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
 
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