Mallard crosses

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Mallard crosses

Postby morgans » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:18 pm

Years ago my father saw a white drake cohabitating with regular coloured mallards in the wild- not in a park or at a breeders home. While it must have been a cross it did mix and fly with the wild mallards in the area. I would like to breed some white ducks that can fly as well as a mallard. I have 2 white Indian runner ducks (chose a lighter framed breed) and a mallard drake (that was rescued). The ducks have paired up to him but no fertile eggs yet. As a child I crossed Khaki Campbells with mallards, the resulting ducks could fly very well, were a 50/50 mix, colour wise (either mallard or Khaki) and would land at my feet to be feed every evening. I'm wondering whether anyone has experience or knowledge of the best way to create awhite duck that can fly?
Once I have the first crosses (not sure what colour they'd turn out- white gene recessive? Could they fly?) I'm wondering whether I should then cross two first crosses and see how I go?
I know that muscovy's can fly (somewhat limited compared to a mallard), so I would prefer to stick to the 'quacker' (or dabbling) varieties.

Thanks,
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Re: Mallard crosses

Postby MrQuail » Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:31 pm

I've had a rescued mallard that bred with various domestic breeds on my friend's farm. If you want a bird that can fly I would say you are on the right track by choosing a lighter type of bird rather than a meat type like a pekin or aylesbury. We didn't have any white birds at the time, we had mostly blue swedish and cayugas. The offspring varied a fair bit in feathering and were bigger than the mallard father but smaller than the domestic ducks and were indeed better fliers. I have also seen the offspring of pekins that were released at parks and mated with mallards. I have never seen one of these come out white yet, they are often an intermediate tan colour like a rouen clair or buff orpington duck.
I think your breeding project would be possible but a "labour of love" requiring a few generations to achieve your ideal duck. Then a few more generations to establish a true breed ie to get ducks that always come out the same as their parents.
You'd be right not to bother with muscovies, and the main reason for this is that muscovy ducks are the only domestic breed that does not derive from mallard ducks originally. If you cross a muscovy with any other type of duck the offspring will be infertile - although the females can fly quite well!
Remember to worm your rescue duck if you haven't already, wild ducks invariably carry a few nasties.
Best of luck!
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Re: Mallard crosses

Postby Heir » Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:44 pm

Also there is a gene that mallards can carry that throws a white cream/white colour. This is quite rare and these ducks are usually killed out quickly in nature as they have no camoflage what so ever. So occasionally you'll see mallards in the wild with this colouration, I've only ever seen one. It's not an albino ie they don't have red eyes and generally they're not a pure white.
I think this gene was originally used to create Pekins etc - all the white ducks.
Not a lot of relevence to you but worth mentioning ;)
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Re: Mallard crosses

Postby atikin » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:42 pm

I brought two indian runner ducks crossed with a mallard
they were half white half brown and could fly well as one flew right over my two story house and flew away :( never to be seen again
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Re: Mallard crosses

Postby morgans » Mon May 29, 2017 10:07 am

Hi there, well there have been 6 breeding seasons since I last posted. I am pleased to say I have now successfully bred plenty of white 'mallards' that are very capable of flying. They are every bit as capable as regular mallards and breed every bit as successfully too. I have two new hatchings now with a total of 23 white ducklings. Both parents are free range and can fly. They look great as a flock flying round the skies and generally stay pretty close to home. I have lost a few to duck shooters over the years.
Not sure whether there is demand for such a strain, best to get them as youngsters otherwise they'll likely fly away if not caged.
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Re: Mallard crosses

Postby Marina » Mon May 29, 2017 4:25 pm

It's always nice to hear how people got on with their projects, especially if it's a success story.

Not sure how much demand there is for white Mallards. You don't see the pin feathers after plucking so I'm sure those duck shooters will have been very pleased!

There is a 'For Sale' forum here on Poultry Central and sometimes birds are sold via PC but most people look on TradeMe if they are looking for birds to purchase.
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Re: Mallard crosses

Postby Foehn » Tue May 30, 2017 11:16 pm

One of the possible outcomes of crossing with wild duck, is that when they go off to their summer feeding grounds, the half breed flyer will likely go with them.

Muscovies fly very well, especially the females and do come in white. Last one I had did circuits of the farm before I clipped her wing as she insisted on landing on our roof and we collect rain water for our needs. :!:
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Re: Mallard crosses

Postby Kracka » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:10 pm

Sounds a bit like you're developing white call ducks (like bantam ducks) - I think they have a shorter beak than a mallard, but really cute
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