Are Ducks Yellow or White? Do They Change Color?

After watching cartoons and movies, most people assume that all ducks are yellow. However, The number of yellow ducks is actually rather low. 

Most ducklings are born yellow but later change their color to white. This can be confusing to many people, so we are here to resolve your confusion on whether ducks are actually yellow or white.

Are Ducks Yellow or White? Some ducks are yellow when they are young. However, when they become adults, they turn white. They may be born yellow as a result of their breeding. Because of genetics, certain duck breeds produce yellow ducklings, but as they get older, their color fades, and they turn white. 

Continue reading to learn more about whether ducks are yellow or white and why they change color, and if you are going duck hunting soon, make sure to check out our guide to the best duck hunting kayaks here.

Are Ducks Yellow or White?

a photo of two ducklings to show that ducks are yellow or white

Some ducklings are yellow when they’re born; then, they change color as they grow older. The ducks will change colors to either brown or white.

Since there are many colors for ducks in nature, it can be difficult for some to tell the difference between some duck breeds. 

Before we get into different duck breeds, you first need to understand why ducks are yellow when they’re born and why they change color.

Why Are Ducks Yellow When They Are Born?

Ducks reproduce in the same way that all other animals do. Even though they change color, they have some inherited traits.

One of the most well-known breeds in Pekin is the yellow duck, which is produced by a number of distinct breeds. Pekin ducks are a vibrant yellow color.

The yellow color comes from their feather as all of their feathers contribute to their bodies’ golden color. The yellow color can also be achieved through selective breeding.

Most ducks will change color as they grow older. This happens because their bodies stop producing the pigmentation responsible for the yellow color.

Are There White Duck Breeds?

There are various duck breeds that are naturally born white. So, let’s take a closer at these breeds to learn more about their characteristics and the purpose they serve:

Crested Duck Breed

The Crested Duck

The Crested is arguably one of the most unusual-looking white ducks you will ever see. They have a unique hairstyle that resembles a tuft on their head, called a “crest.” 

With their graceful elegance, they stand out from other lake ducks.

The warm climates of South America are where the crested duck originated. 

Despite being tropical birds, this breed is quite cold-resistant and can survive temperatures as low as 20 degrees.

 As long as they have unrestricted access to water, they thrive both in a free-range environment and in an enclosure.

American Pekin Breed

Since its humble beginnings, the American Pekin’s popularity has increased significantly. 

Because American Pekins are resilient, hardy, and personable, they have been used in breeding development in a variety of areas.

Pekins typically have a calm and friendly demeanor, making them suitable for many barnyard situations.

Due to their extreme cold hardiness, these ducks can withstand both very low and relatively high temperatures.

Bali Duck Breed

The Bali duck is undoubtedly the most interesting breed on the list. They are thin and have a tuft of hair as a crest when merged with an Indian runner. Bali comes in a variety of color combinations, but the majority are white.

Bali ducks are ideal for egg-laying or ornamental birds because they are tall and thin. This means they are not suitable for meat production.

Due to their award-winning friendliness, the Bali duck is also kept by many people. They make great candidates for having a duck as a pet because they are, by nature, companion animals.

Almost any climate is favorable for the Bali duck. They can withstand extreme heat and cold.

Grimaud Hybrid Duck Breed

The intriguing Grimaud Hybrid is a cross between two varieties of Pekin duck. This duck was developed by French breeder Grimaud Freres to be fast-growing and plump, making it the ideal addition to just about any flock.

These French-bred ducks can withstand both heat and cold conditions. As long as they have constant access to fresh water, they can function in almost any climate.

When around people, this hybrid is typically patient and composed. Although they would prefer to avoid direct contact, they don’t seem overly bothered by your presence. The rest of their flock mates get along with them well in general.

Cherry Valley Duck Breed

Another Pekin crossbreed known for its quick growth and productivity is the Cherry Valley duck. These ducks are highly sought-after and frequently chosen for breeding programs.

They reproduce quickly, producing a large number of ducklings.

Cherry Valley ducks are low-maintenance and down-to-earth. Since they are amicable and temperate, owners can choose to keep them with little maintenance.

Cherry Valley ducks thrive in both free-range and caged environments as long as they have access to water and food.

Canard de Bourbourg Breed

This duck originated near the Belgian border in the nineteenth century. They were nearly extinct by the beginning of the twentieth century. 

They were revived in 1824, but today they are still regarded as a rare breed. Despite their tendency for isolation, this breed is not hostile to strangers.

Although they are fairly heat and cold tolerant, they are not very common outside of France.

German Pekin Breed

While German Pekins and American Pekins are not the same, they are related. Despite having a German name, this breed actually has Chinese and Japanese roots. 

These ducks are entirely white with a faint hint of yellow.

German Pekins are laid-back and amiable. They are generally friendly and social with their flock mates.

Due to their high adaptability, these ducks can thrive in almost any setting. You can either let them roam free or confine them. They’re happy little swimmers as long as they have access to open water.

Aylesbury Duck Breed

The origin of the Aylesbury duck is unknown. We are aware that breeders considered them to be valuable possessions.

This duck originally came in a few different colors, but white ducks were the most common. Aylesbury ducks are now exclusively white due to selective breeding.

There aren’t many of these stunning animals left because this breed is severely endangered.

They are bred primarily for aesthetic reasons. These snow whites would look great in any pond.

This breed is reputed to be extremely sociable and inquisitive. This duck might not be for you if you don’t like to hear a lot of quacks because they are also quite talkative.

These ducks are excellent choices for a variety of environmental conditions because they adapt well to various environments. They must always have access to clean water.

Mulard Duck Breed

The unusual Mulard duck is a cross between a domesticated and a Muscovy duck. Surprisingly, this breed is all sterile, which means they cannot reproduce on their own.

Mulards are distinguished by their large production of meat. They grow quickly and produce delicious meat for any table that is of the highest quality.

This duck possesses characteristics from both parents. Together, they produce an easy-to-keep bird that is more even-tempered and relaxed.

Despite having a Muscovy parent, this breed is more like a Pekin in that it prefers to be near water.

Related Questions 

What Are the Best Places to Look for Yellow Ducks?

The best place to look for yellow ducks is in the mountains. They can also be spotted nearby waterfalls, outflows, and the ocean. The majority of yellow ducks are wild species that cannot be found in crowded regions, so mountains or dense forests are perfect environments for them.

Can Yellow Ducks Fly?

 Yellow ducks cannot fly despite having wings. Some yellow ducks may attempt and even succeed in flying; however, they cannot fly large distances like other bird species. They can only fly short distances, and it wouldn’t be categorized as actually flying.

Why Are Rubber Ducks Yellow?

Rubber ducks are yellow because they’re designed to imitate the appearance of young ducklings, which are often yellow. Older ducks are rarely associated with the color yellow. The yellow color is also easier to recognize since rubber ducks are a children’s toy.

Why Are Some Ducks Yellow and Others Are Brown?

The reason why some ducks are yellow and others are brown is that their color is affected by factors like genetics, mutation, and pigmentation. They will be born a certain color and never change because of their ancestors. Their color is determined by their DNA and cannot be changed.

Helpful Resources

15 Tips for Duck Hunters

25 Types of Ducks in the United States

Kayak your way to Freedom

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