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What Color Eggs Do Ducks Lay?


A Rhode Island Red chicken will lay brown eggs, a Leghorn will lay white eggs. Ameraucanas lay blue eggs.

When you choose a breed of chicken, you know beforehand what color eggs that hen will lay. But when it comes to ducks the rules are a bit different.



So what color eggs DO ducks lay?

Ducks can lay white, bluish green or charcoal gray eggs, depending on the breed of duck.

But unlike chickens, ducks of the same breed can lay different egg colors.  And in fact, often don't even end up laying the same color egg as the color egg they hatched out of!  

(However, similar to chickens, once a duck has laid a specific color egg, she will lay that same color for life.)

The shade of the eggshell can vary over the life of a duck (and chicken) with the darker, more vibrant hues early in the life of the bird. But the overall color won't change.

Not to get too scientific, but all ducks carry two genes for egg color. 

They can both be the white gene (recessive), both be the blue/green gene (dominant) or be one of each. If you remember from high school genetics, each parent will pass on one gene to their offspring.

Continually breeding those ducks that lay and hatch from the most blue eggs will, over time, dilute the white gene and hopefully result in blue eggs.

But, ducks being ducks, there's always the element of surprise!

I've personally had ducks go on to lay white eggs after hatching out of a blue shell....


Duck Eggs Started out Green

All domestic ducks descended originally from the wild mallard which lays light green eggs. 
Usually. 

But those pesky recessive genes reared their heads once in a while even in the Mallards.

And early on, it's thought that some early European duck breeders prized the occasional white egg - and so started breeding certain ducks to lay white eggs.  

Over the decades and centuries as various duck breeds were developed and refined, they likely were bred for other characteristics than egg color, but egg color often ended up being the end result.

So the question of what color eggs ducks lay is pretty elusive. 

While you can't predict with 100% accuracy what color eggs your ducks will lay, this chart from Metzer Farms gives an idea of your chances of collecting white or blue eggs dependent on the breed of duck you choose to raise. 

Duck Breed Comparison Table


If you're looking for white eggs, these breeds are your best bet:

Pekin
Saxony
Silver Appleyard
Welsh Harlequin


If you're looking for blue eggs, choose these breeds for the best chance:

Ancona
Magpie
Mallard
Runner


If you're looking for charcoal gray eggs, then you'll want to add these to your flock:

Cayugas

But no matter which duck breeds you choose and what color eggs they end up laying, I can guarantee you'll love raising ducks and eating the delicious eggs they lay, no matter what the color -white, gray or blue!



For more information on raising ducks, visit:
Metzer Farms

Or pick up a copy of my book Duck Eggs Daily


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