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What Color Eggs Do Ducks Lay?

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Unlike chickens, ducks of the same breed often lay different color eggs. So 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 black/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.

The Science Behind Duck Egg Color

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....

All Duck Eggs Started out Green

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


But it's thought that some early European duck breeders prized the rare, 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

Duck Breeds that Lay (Mostly) White Eggs

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

Silver Appleyard

Duck Breeds that Lay (Mostly) Blue Green Eggs

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


The Duck Breed that Lays Black or Gray Eggs

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


Again, it's not an exact science because the color egg a duck lays often isn't even the color that she hatched out of...

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 getting started with ducks,
 pick up a copy of my book Duck Eggs Daily

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