Pekin ducks, wrongly
written sometimes as Peking ducks, are hardy and
don't mind severe weather. Water to drink
be all Pekins require to bring them to perfect development. Some people
have been more successful in rearing the Pekin duck bred with only a
shallow dish filled to the depth of one inch with water than those
which had the advantages of pond and running stream.
The Pekin is supposed to be a nervous bird liable to heart attacks if
chased. However, I am sure that if most ducks were chased in
this manner it wouldn't just be the Pekin who would suffer the same end.
Pekins are very intelligent birds. They like to stick to little groups
and walk around in packs, and will often gang up on anything that is
unfamiliar to them, such as a cat or dog who happens to wander into
their path. They will happily chase lizards away an will quack loudly
to warn of any predators about.
If not bothered, the Pekins are broody and make good mothers,
as long as they feel that they are in a safe and secure
environment. The Pekin ducklings are fast growers and at 6-9 weeks of
they are known as 'green ducklings' meaning that they are large enough
to eat, but have not developed their pin feathers yet.
Primarily, the Pekin is kept as a table bird, although your ducks will
lay, on average, 140 eggs a year.
A Pekin duck floating on a pond
The History of Pekin Ducks
Pekin Ducks were first
China by Mr. J. E. Palmer, of Stonington, Conn., in the spring of 1873.
They were at first mistaken for small-sized geese. They have long
bodies, quite long necks, and carry their tails erect when startled. A
large number were brought on shipboard, mostly young birds, but only a
very few survived the passage. The importer saved a drake and three
The Markings of Pekin Ducks
The Pekin and Rouen are the most popular farm flock meat ducks. The
more rapid growth rate and white feather color tend to favor the Pekin.
They are, without doubt, a larger bird than the Rouen,
and for their beauty and size a great acquisition to our poultry stock.
The bill is yellow, and the legs are a reddish or orange-yellow. The
wings are short, and as they cannot fly well, it is quite easy to keep
them in small enclosures. They are very prolific. Two of the ducks of
the first importation laid nearly one hundred and twenty eggs each from
the last of March to about the first of August.
Pekin Ducks have
taken their proper place in the list of domestic fowls, and are rightly
esteemed for their size and white plumage. However, due to the small
number of survivors of the importation inbreeding weakened the stock
until a new importation was brought in some years later by a Major
Hatching Pekin Ducks
When hatching, the eggs take 28 days to develop in the
egg at 99.5°F (37.5°C) and 55-75% humidity.
A heartbeat can usually be seen by the third day of incubation when
When the eggs are hatched under hens, the ducklings come out
the shell much stronger, if the eggs are dampened every day—after the
first fifteen days—in water a little above blood heat, and replaced
under the hen.
The ducks are very large and uniform in size, weighing
at four months old about twelve pounds to the pair.
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