Key Characteristics

The typical characteristic of the Pekin is the upright stance, thick neck and the white plumage with a yellow sheen.  It is a heavy duck, with a drake averagely weighing 4.1kg(9lb) and a duck slightly lighter at 3.6kg (8lb).


  • First domesticated some 2000 years ago, the Pekin duck was standardised in the UK in 1901, but it has a long history before this point.
  • In 1870 a Chinese student, Chan Laisun, gave a lecture in New York referring to ducks known in his homeland as ten pound ducks (referring to the weight).
  • As a result of the lecture, in 1872 some ducks were imported into the UK. Then a year later, some ducklings were imported into the USA in 1873 by John Palmer.


  • The present-day European Pekins are upright with particularly dense plumage.
  • The general shape of the Pekin is that it resembles a small, wide boat, standing almost on its stern, and the bow leaning slightly forwards.


This is a variety that continues to survive as an exhibition breed and also as important base stock for commercial breeding.

Breed Societies

For more information visit the British Waterfowl Association.