White Pekin Duck
Anas platyrhynchos white pekin
The Pekin is a large domestic duck. Pekin Ducks have pure white feathers with orange legs and bills.
Pekin Ducks range in weight from 8-12 pounds.
- One reason ducks are able to stay afloat in the water is because of air sacs inside their bodies that increase their buoyancy.
- Ducks’ feathers trap air in between them, which is another adaptation that helps them to float. Their feathers are also covered with a waterproof substance that keeps the ducks warm and dry.
- Ducks’ webbed feet allow them to maneuver easily in the water.
- Many ducks are excellent fliers due to their streamlined bodies, powerful wings, and hollow bones that weigh much less than the solid bones of mammals. Although Pekin Ducks are poor fliers due to their large, heavy bodies, they do have the strong wings and hollow bones that are common to other types of ducks.
- Ducks do not have teeth, but they do have bumpy edges on their bills that help them to filter food out of the water. Food is then swallowed and ground up in the gizzard, a part of the stomach that contains small rocks for breaking down food.
The ducks at Cosley Zoo are fed commercially prepared duck food pellets.
Pekin Ducks seldom raise a brood because they are poor setters. Eggs from Pekins are normally incubated in a machine and will hatch after approximately 28 days. The eggs that are eaten by people are unfertilized.
Shelter and Space Needs
Domestic ducks require shelter from the wind and rain, access to food and water, and fencing to keep them contained. Pekin Ducks require only a low fence due to their limited flight ability. The ducks at Cosley Zoo are kept on a pond and have access to trees and shrubs that serve as shelter.
Domestic ducks kept as pets live an average of 8-12 years.
Importance to Man
Although a Pekin Duck’s eggs can be eaten, this type of duck is primarily used for meat. Pekins grow very quickly and can weigh between 6 and 8 pounds at 9 weeks of age!
- The most famous Pekin Duck is Donald Duck, who was modeled after this breed.
- The Pekin is the most popular domestic duck in America.
- The first Pekins were brought to the United States from China in the 1800s.