The Pekin was first introduced into both England and the United States from China in 1873. It has been said that its colour, great size and striking shape made it more popular in less time than any other domestic poultry ever introduced to Britain.
They are a heavy breed and are the traditional roast duck! With their creamy white plumage, pin feathers are not a serious problem. This is quite important as ducks are far more difficult to pluck than chickens, even if they have been dunked into hot water to loosen the feathers. Some strains of Pekin ducks we have here in New Zealand are very fast growing and can be slaughtered at the tender age of 9 to 12 weeks. It is almost unbelievable how fast Pekin ducklings grow. This means they require a lot of food and lots of space to reach their potential. Pekin ducks are not kept to lay eggs for eating – their size and food requirement alone would make for very expensive eggs.