American Pekin duck is an old but very popular dual purpose duck breed. It is very good and used for both meat and eggs production purpose. It was developed from the ducks brought to the United States from China in the 19th Century. Now the breed is available in many countries around the world, and it is one of the most popular commercial duck breeds.
Pekins arealso known by some other names, such as the American Pekin duck or Long Island duck. Main reason of the name “American Pekin” is to distinguish the breed from the German Pekin.
German Pekin is a distinct and separate duck breed which also derived from the same Chinese ducks. Sometimes they are also spelled as Peking ducks. The breed was brought to the Western World in the middle of 1800s.
The Pekin duck is now the most admired commercial meat duck breed in the United States. Their egg laying ability and fine meat quality made them the first choice of the American duck farmers. Today the Pekin duck is very popular and available throughout the world.
Pekin Duck Full Breed Information
American Pekins are not only popular in commercial duck farming industry, but also raised as pets, kept in backyards with other farm animals. They are very popular on homesteads across the country.
American Pekins are docile and affectionate in nature, and these are the main reason of high popularity of these ducks. They are very strong and hardy and they do extremely well in free-range system. However, read more information about this American duck breed.
Pekin ducks are very beautiful. And the breed is in the heavy breed class. They have long bodies and quite long necks. They are very large breasted and have yellow skin. Their feathers are of white or creamy white in color. Their legs are a reddish or orange-yellow, and the bill is yellow.
They have short wings. They have a more vertical posture than dabbling ducks, and have an overturned rump. The eyes of these duck boast grayish-blue colored iris, when observed closely. But when observed far away, their eyes seem to be black in color.
On average, adult ducks weight between 3.6 and 5 kg in captivity. Photo from Wikipedia.
Housing requirements are simple like most other domestic ducks. Your ducks will be happy if you provide them with basic housing facilities. We recommend building a good house with all required facilities. Always keep the house clean, and keep some baskets or similar thing inside the house for laying eggs.
Feeding the ducks with very good quality and nutritious food is the most important part of commercial American Pekin duck farming business. These ducks actually enjoy natural food along with commercial foods.
They will eat their favorite food from nature if you allow your flock to free-range. Commercially prepared poultry or chicken feed is often given to these ducks in commercial production. And you can feed the ducklings with chick started feed.
American Pekin ducks are naturally very good breeders. They will breed easily if you keep good ratio of males and females in the flock. Generally one drake is enough for breeding around or up to 10-15 ducks.
American Pekin ducks are naturally very strong and hardy birds and they generally require less caring and other management. Although taking additional care will help the birds to stay healthy, grow better and produce more. Providing the ducks with good housing, feeding them nutritious food, and monitoring their health on a regular basis are the most common caring tasks for these ducks.
Both American Pekin ducks and drakes are known to be friendly and non-aggressive. They even sometimes accept being petted by the keepers who are raising them as either a pet or egg or meat birds. Pekin drakes are relatively quiet as compared to the ducks (the ducks are a bit louder).
They do excellent in free range duck farming system. Not only can they forage for the bulk of their diet naturally in most environments, but they also remain keenly aware of threats and rush back to the safety of their coop and run when necessary.
American Pekin ducks are very good layers, and they lay pretty large eggs (90-100 grams each). On an average, a duck can lay between 200 and 300 eggs annually. The ducks generally start laying eggs within their 5-6 months of age.
This breed is also very good for meat production. Their meat is a rich source of protein, and has a delicious flavor. Average body weight of a mature American Pekin duck is between 3.6 and 5 kg.
Pekin duck is a dual purpose utility breed. In America they are raised for meat production. And around 95 percent of duck meat consumed in the United States is Pekin duck. But the breed is also suitable for eggs production.
Pekin ducks are popular for producing quality meat, as well as for their egg production. They are good layers and a duck will lay an average of 200 white colored eggs per year (if the duck is prevented from hatching the eggs or if the duck does not try to hatch her eggs).
Pekin ducks are very intelligent bird. They will quack loudly for warning others about any predators near them. They tend to be broody, if not bothered and make good mothers. The ducklings grow very fast as compared to other meat duck breeds.
Pekin ducks have very good temperament and they are friendly in nature. And they are also very good as pets. It is a very long-lived bird. The average lifespan of these ducks is 9-12 years. Some ducks also live longer. Review full breed profile of this duck bred below.
|Other Names||American Pekin or Long Island duck|
|Breed Purpose||Dual Purpose (eggs & meat)|
|Special Notes||Calm, Friendly, Good as Pets|
|Weight||3.6 to 5 kg|
|Climate Tolerance||All Climates|
|Egg Weight||90-100 grams|
|Country of Origin||United States|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
There are many question beginner poultry keepers ask about American Pekin ducks . Here are trying to list some of these question and trying to answer them. Hope you will find your answers. But if not, don’t hesitate to ask us.
Is American Pekin duck farming profitable?
YES, definitely! These ducks are very good dual purpose birds and suitable for both eggs and meat production purpose. Your venture will be even more profitable if you can allow your birds to free-range. The main advantage of this system is ‘your ducks will eat food from the wild’. And this will ultimately reduce your feeding costs.
How to start American Pekin duck farming?
Starting commercial or small scale Pekin duck farming is very easy. You have to purchase good quality birds, make a good shelter for them, feed them nutritious food, monitor their health and always try to take good care of them. You can also consult with an expert in your area if you don’t have prior experience in raising ducks.
Do Pekin ducks make good pets?
YES! Pekin ducks have a nice temperament and they are friendly. So, they are excellent as pets.
Do Pekin Ducks like to be held?
YES! Stroking their bellies gently while they lay upside down in your lap seems to be a favorite Pekins activity that likes being touched.
Do Pekin ducks lay eggs?
YES! Pekins are excellent layers. A Pekin can lay between 200 and 300 large white eggs annually. And they generally start laying eggs within their 5 to 6 months of age.
What is a male Pekin called?
A male Pekin is called drake.
What is a female Pekin called?
Simply as duck.
Will Pekin ducks lay eggs without a male?
YES, definitely! The drakes have no function in egg production. You only need the drakes (male ducks) for having fertilized eggs. If you want to have fertilized eggs for hatching, then you will need a male duck. But if you want the eggs only for consumption purpose, then you don’t need to have drakes in your flock.
What is the lifespan of a Pekin duck?
Average lifespan of these ducks is between 9 and 12 years. But, in commercial farms they are slaughtered much earlier and within 2-3 years. And some people also slaughter them within their 3-5 months of age, especially who raise them for meat.
Do Pekin ducks need a pond?
NO! You don’t need a pond for raising these ducks. Hundreds or even thousands of ducks are raised in commercial farms without water.
Do Pekin ducks eat alot?
YES! Pekins are relatively larger in size as compared to many other common domestic duck breeds. On an average, a mature Pekin may consume between 170 and 200 grams of feed everyday.
Do Pekin ducks bite?
YES, be aware! Both male and female ducks will bite if they feel threatened.
Can Pekin ducks survive in the winter?
These ducks are just fine down to temperatures around 20 degrees, but below that they can suffer frostbite on their feet which could lead to amputation.
Can you potty train a Pekin duck?
NO, in most cases it’s not possible to pottry train a Pekin.
What do a pet Pekin duck like to play with?
Kiddie pool, mirror toys, stuffed treat balls, rope toys, bird toys, household item DIY etc.
Are Pekin ducks loud?
Yes, Pekin ducks can be extremely loud. But the male ducks are relatively calm than the females.
How big does a Pekin duck get?
You can expect the average Pekin to be around 20 inches tall and weight is between 3.6 and 5 kg.
How much space do Pekin ducks need?
Generally, 4 square feet floor space per duck will be sufficient.
How much does a Pekin duck cost?
Average price of a Pekin is between $7 and $10. Although, this price can vary from place to place.
How long do Pekin ducks need a heat lamp?
Pekins generally requie a heat lamp for their 2 to 6 weeks of age.
Can you eat Pekin duck eggs?
YES, you can eat duck eggs the same way you would eat any other type of egg.
Will Pekin ducks fly away?
Pekis have large body, but their wings are not big and strong enough to help them flying. However, individual ducks may be lighter and capable of short flight, so clipping their flight feathers or (pinioning) their wings will ensure that they will not be able to fly away.
Are Pekin ducks easy to take care of?
YES, Pekins relatively require less caring, and it’s actually very easy to care them. Raising Pekins is easier than raising most other breeds of domestic duck because of their strong immune systems and ability to survive in extreme conditions.
What is too cold for Pekin ducks?
Pekins are just fine down to temperatures around 20 degrees, but below that they can suffer frostbite on their feet which could lead to amputation.
Do Pekin ducks get along with chickens?
YES, Pekins can peacefully cohabitate with backyard chickens. They are very friendly in nature. They are very good for raising in backyard with other poultry birds.