Anas platyrhynchus domesticus - Domestic duck:

Summary Information
Kingdoms / Animalia / Craniata / Aves / Anseriformes / Anatidae / Anas / Species
Alternative Names
  • Domestic mallard
  • Farm duck
  • Farmyard duck
  • White duck
  • Yard duck
  • Aylesbury duck
  • Bantam duck
  • Buff Orpington duck
  • Call duck
  • Cayuga duck
  • Chinese duck
  • Crested duck
  • Duclair duck
  • East Indian duck
  • Indian runner duck
  • Khaki Campbell duck
  • Magpie duck
  • Merchtem duck
  • Pekin duck
  • Penguin duck
  • Puddle duck
  • Rouen duck
  • Termonde duck

See also: Cairina moschata domesticus - Domestic muscovy duck and Anas platyrhynchos domesticus x Cairina moschata domesticus - Mule duck.

Wild Type ("Parent") Species
Comparison with Wild Type Species In general (call duck and Bantam duck excepted) the domestic breeds are larger and heavier than the wild type mallard (B7).
General Description Domestic ducks descended from the mallard come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colours. Some breeds are characteristically one colour (eg white Aylesbury, glossy black Cayuga), while others come in various colour patterns. In all breeds the drake (male) has the characteristic mallard-type curly central tail feathers (lost temporarily while moulting). Wild mallards sometimes show natural colour variations and also cross readily with domestic varieties.

Aylesbury duck: Large breed with white plumage, pinkish bill and orange feet. Bred for meat, but also still a 'farmyard duck' in the UK.

Buff Orpington: Buff-brown plumage, darker head and neck in the male, yellowish bill and legs.

Call duck: This compact duck is smaller than the mallard and may have plumage that is white, wild-type, silver grey etc.

Cayuga duck: Black with a green sheen. Eggs have a perculiar dark colouration.

Indian Runner duck: (Penguin duck). Slim, very upright duck, kept for egg production. Various colours including white, black, fawn and parti-coloured. Very active on land. Show stains have an exaggerated shape.

Magpie duck: White, with coloured feathers (e.g. black, blue-grey or fawn) on the head, back and tail.

Pekin duck: Yellowish-white plumage and pink bill and feet. A heavy duck, commonly bred commercially for meat.


Further Information Domestic ducks descended from the Mallard Anas platyrhynchos are kept for meat, eggs and as ornamental birds and decoys.

The Indian Runner and Khaki Campbell are relatively light-bodied egg-laying breeds, while the Rouen and Aylesbury are bred for meat and are much larger and heavier.

The call duck was bred for use in wildfowling as a decoy duck, to 'call' wild waterfowl to a stretch of water. The puddle duck, slightly larger than the wild-type mallard, has been used similarly.

Various breeds suck as the Cayuga, Bantam duck, Crested duck and a Call duck are kept as ornamental ducks There are also frequently 'show' versions of 'utility' breeds such as the Aylesbury and Pekin.

The Mule duck or mulard is a sterile hybrid bred for meat by crossing a Pekin Anas platyrhynchos domesticus with a Muscovy duck Cairina moschata.


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