Breed Spotlight: Jumbo Pekin Ducks
by Lauren R
Published February 6, 2024
When it comes to ducks with remarkable size and outstanding meat production, the Jumbo Pekin takes center stage. Similar to the well-known White Pekin but ampler in size, these all-white, fast-growing birds are the ‘broilers of the duck world’. Let’s take a deeper look at Jumbo Pekin ducks and what makes them the largest and most sought-after meat ducks available.
One of the standout features of Jumbo Pekins is their excellent growth rate. Males can reach a whopping 11-13+ pounds, while females aren’t far behind at 10-12 pounds by just 18 weeks. This rapid growth makes them ideal for meat pens, where efficiency and size matter most. In a breeding pen, however, weight management can be crucial for Jumbo Pekin. Breeders note that keeping them slim and trim can help boost egg production and fertility.
History of Crossbreeding For Size
Commercial Pekin ducks owe their existence to a meticulous breeding strategy. By crossing a male from a large, meaty strain of Pekin with a female from a medium-sized, highly fertile, good egg-producing strain, the result is a large number of ducklings with excellent growth potential. Jumbo Pekin ducklings, in particular, originate from a pure male line, ensuring their status as robust and sizable birds.
Not Just Another Pekin
The Jumbo Pekin distinguishes itself as the largest strain within the Pekin variety. However, it’s important to note that they are not tailored for show purposes based on conformation. Unlike show Pekins, these ducks have been selectively bred for size and meat production, prioritizing functionality over specialized standards.
Jumbo Pekins’ size makes them good meat ducks, but they are not known for their egg production and lay a meager 140-175 white eggs per year. They aren’t particularly good mothers, either. However, they are calm and friendly and can make good pets.
In conclusion, Jumbo Pekin ducks stand out as the giants of their kind, excelling in size and meat production. Whether you’re considering them for meat pens or intrigued by their breeding dynamics, these ducks showcase a blend of selective breeding and practical considerations. As the largest strain of Pekin, they would make a great meat addition to your homestead.
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