If you’ve seen a backyard duck operation, you’ve probably seen the Pekin domestic duck breed even if you didn’t know what it is called. As the most popular duck breed in North America, this white duck breed is quite ubiquitous among those raising ducks in their backyard. Pekin ducks make very good market birds for their meat, but are not as well suited for duck egg laying. Male Pekin ducks can weigh as heavy as 9 pounds, while female Pekin ducks follow at 8 pounds.
Pekin Ducks are used primarily for both duck egg production and duck meat production. The first Pekin duck was bred from a descendant of the Mallard duck in China, hence the name “Pekin.” The first U.S. variety of the Pekin duck arrived in the late 1800s in New York.
G. M. T. Johnson (Practical Poultry Keeping As I Understand It, 1885: Public Domain) states: “The Pekin duck has had a great run for the past thirteen years, and is still the gen- eral favorite. It was first brought to this country from Pekin, China, by Mr. James E. Palmer, of Stonington, Conn., and landed in New York on the I4th day of March, 1873. They are pure white, and very handsome ; hardy, and care but little for the water ; good layers ; will weigh from twelve to eighteen pounds to the pair. One of the first importation laid 125 eggs the first season after its arrival, and 185 the next. Their eggs are as large as the Rouins’, and they make a good table fowl. Mr. Palmer has made a second importation.”
The Pekin breed’s recognition was carried out by the American Poultry Association (APA).
Raising and Caring for Pekin Ducks: Pekins can weight as much as 10 pounds and can live as long as 11 years.
Pekin ducks have white plumage and can lay as much as 200 eggs a year, or more.
If you wish to brood and hatch white Pekin ducks, it takes 28 days to hatch the average Pekin duck’s eggs. You may need to use an artificial incubator and brooder as the “broody” trait has mostly been bred out of the Pekin breed.
Pekin ducks do not fly.
Other information about hatching fertile Pekin duck eggs can be gathered in our hatching duck eggs article.
If you’re looking for another type of duck breed, consult DuckHobby.com‘s free list of duck breeds. Alternatively, consult All Breeds of Poultry, Origin: History: Description, Mating and Characteristics, by Frank L. Platt. Published by AMERICAN POULTRY JOURNAL, Chicago, Illinois.