Domestic duck: characteristics, breeding, feeding and more

The domestic duck is a waterfowl of the subspecies anseriformes, belonging to the family Anatidae. This friendly fowl is found all over the world. Read on and find out all the information about domestic ducks .pato-domestico-1
In this article you will find all about the domestic duck , a bird quite charismatic and nice, one of the characteristics that make it different from other duck species , despite not having the beauty of the mandarin duck , this is a beautiful and simple bird just as its name suggests, a domestic duck. The domestic duck is also known as common duck and Peking duck.

Scientific classification

According to the scientific classification, this is the taxonomy of the domestic duck:

Popular Name : Domestic Duck
Scientific Name of the duck : Anas platyrhynchos domesticus
Class : Birds
Order : Anseriformes
Family : Anatidae
Size : 20-25 cm
Plumage : smooth
Color : white
Song : dry squawk
Flight : short

Origin of the domestic duck

The domestic duck is a bird that comes from the mallard and is a very close relative of the swans, the goose and the geese. Due to the migrations that occurred long ago, the ducks were spread throughout the continent.Pato-Doméstico-2

In Europe, South America, Central America and Asia, there are large populations of ducks. This makes it probable that in several areas the duck has been domesticated for more than two thousand years. However, it is known that in the past they were bred only for human consumption. According to the biography of the domestic duck , this bird comes from the wild mallard duck, known as mallard, which is found in the Nordic areas. Making migrations in the winter seasons, where it goes to temperate areas of the south, where it settles to ensure its protection and sustenance.

Characteristics of the domestic duck

This peculiar bird represents one of the best swimmers within the fauna, its body is rounded covered by a fluffy plumage, a very sympathetic aspect is represented by its wide and flattened beak, formed by corneal lamellae which it uses to breathe, some have the most yellow beak, there are cases with black beak, where its neck is short, its wings are small, so they generally can not fly as high as most birds, they can almost always move in short distances.Pato-doméstico-3
As for its plumage this has different shades of white, makes certain sounds known as squawks, are made through the nostrils are short, dry noises, plus they can emit a whistle when they feel in danger, as a way to mislead predators.According to the description of the duck , this bird changed its life rhythm completely when it was domesticated, it feels like a member of the human family, it becomes a pet, full of adventures and joys, it loves water and being in freedom.

Because they are always at home, sheltered, protected and fed by man, they have lost some of their skills and abilities in their wings and legs that other ducks have in the wild, they have shorter and lighter wings, their legs are bigger and heavier, which prevents them from flying and walking efficiently. The domestic duck weighs between 3.6 and 4.1 kilograms, although there are references of heavier ducks in this same category. A very particular way of how to tell if female or male is in the tail feathers, in the female the tail extends downwards, while in the male the tail goes upwards. Which helps how to tell if it is duck or duckling.

Generally the life span of a domestic duck is about 12 years. Approximately. This bird is particularly docile, so they are much loved and sought after as pets as well as for various pet show events.

This also represents the bird with the highest proportion of meat for consumption. These birds have a down, which helps them to perform different activities of flotation on the surface of the water and insulation, is water-repellent due to contact with oil which is produced by a gland located at the base of the caudal feathers. The head is small and the dimensions of the neck are short, in most cases the ducks have orange legs, beaks and feet. They are mostly white, but there are also black, gray and brown ducks. Usually are born with yellow feathers.pato-domestico-5
Males perform a song using a softer tone that is only emitted at the precise moment of mating. They also make a whistling sound to try to ward off predators, as well as a snoring sound during flight.


Generally the predominant color of the domestic duck is white. There are also species of various colorations, ranging from brown, black, gray with greenish and bluish highlights in various parts of their bodies, and especially those that are totally white as in most cases, of domestic ducks. In the males there is an abundant range of colors, much more than in the females.

As for the ducklings, from the moment they are born they are yellow with orange color in the beak, even though the color of the beak can vary from yellow to orange or red, and can even be black. Generally, ducks molt their plumage twice a year. Some do not show any differences between the sexes, but in the particular case of domestic ducks, they can be quickly differentiated by the tip of their tails. In the male the tail goes upwards, in the female it hangs downwards.


Domestic duck occurs at the time of cleaning its nest, it loves to have fun while doing so, it is observed preening its feathers. It is also quite common to see him flapping his feathers with great precision and beauty.

Life span

If you have been wondering how long do ducks live? here we have the answer, the average life cycle of the domestic duck is about 10 years approximately, unlike geese that live about 25 years. It has been proven that the larger the duck breeds are, the shorter their lifespan is.

Habitat of the domestic duck

This species of animal arrived in ancient times, brought in various expeditions from Europe and China, they spread throughout the world rapidly and due to their temperament were bred as domestic animals for the consumption of their meat and eggs, as well as for pets in many homes.pato-domestico-10Being in the wild these birds prefer to settle in rivers in coastal waters, lakes and lagoons, but the domestic duck is very conformist and just being near some water reservoir, crops near irrigation canals and ponds, is enough to be fine.We can easily locate them in puddles and ponds and anywhere else there is water. They are fully established throughout the continent except Antarctica and much of the different islands of the world.It is clear their direct descent that is from domestic or wild ducks, however, as in the case of domestic pigeons naturalized, feral or feral observing their appearance very similar to the wild species, so they are usually classified as a parental subspecies. Most domestic ducks have lost the ability to fly, due to the domestic life system they lead, where they do not need to move in search of food or water, since their owners provide them with everything they really need for their survival. Some of these species established in northern lands are migratory. The domestic duck only needs two essential factors for its survival, the provision of water and to stay in a humid climate. In fact, many of them make their nests among any hidden and dark surface they find in their path. Ducks can easily survive in places where they find insects and worms, among others. Domestic ducks are content with the space they are given to develop and feed on whatever is provided. In any case, many natural habitats are at great risk, due to the lack of rainfall and above all due to the fierce intervention of man in protected areas, due to urban growth, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to enjoy this peculiar bird in parks or simply in urban areas. In any place where we can see them, it will be a reason for recreation and natural beauty.

History and culture

The history of domestic ducks dates back to the 1800s when they were brought from China by various means to North America and Europe. In the year 1878 different events and exhibitions were held in these cities with this bird as the main protagonist.

Originally this species was bred from the mallard ( Anas platyrhynchos ), however in different texts they are classified as Anas domesticus, being the exact name Anas platyrhynchos domesticus since it is an interfertile subspecies of Anas platyrhynchos, which arose due to human selection.

The common or domestic duck has been used in ancient times as a meat bird, in all times it has been the subject of breeding for the consumption of its meat and eggs. It is a little strange fact, since in addition to being cute, tender, docile and intelligent animals, in most cases they are objects of consumption and in few cases their history changes to that of being a pet.

Domestic ducks are birds of beautiful plumage, simple and calm, very quiet, with a gentle temperament, which is why they have been part of great stories in popular culture.

In fact, great painters have selected this bird to capture them in their great works, forming an important part in many beautiful and respected children’s stories such as the Ugly Duckling. There is also the series where we see millionaire ducks like Rico Mac Duck, mischievous and adolescent ducks like Hugo, Paco and Luis; grumpy ducks like Donald Duck or the famous Daffy Duck.

It is possible to determine a certain degree of importance to numerous stories of literature among them is the most important children’s story that has traveled so many spaces and has been heard and read for several decades by thousands and thousands of people, both children and adults.

This is the famous Ugly Duckling, written in 1843 by the author Hans Christian Andersen, which tells the story of a little duck, which besides being the biggest is ugly and clumsier than the rest of the herd. In any case this fact creates an episode of sadness, which will not last long to disappear, when he really discovers that he is not an ugly daddy, but a cute and beautiful swan.

Currently, different stories have been created within the children’s field, as is the case of the Duck who is part of a television series Pocoyo. Among other things this character is the best friend of the main character. In the series this duck is only five years old, he is a very shy character and at the same time he is irritable, but very careful, he always wears a green hat.

This TV series tells a cute story, which carries a moral, like most tales and stories. In any case, the moral determines the need to have at all times of life an excellent self-esteem, to know and understand that not everything is bad, that what many see in other people as defects, are only virtues that each human being has different from another.

Thank you for reading our content about the domestic duck.