Can Pekin Ducks Fly? Interesting Facts about Flight

Can Pekin Ducks Fly

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My sister asked me this question as she was about to bring one home. She has been insisting on getting one as our neighbors recently purchased a pair and she can not just resist the cuteness. However, our main concern is fencing, as if they can fly we would have to keep them caged. The unavailability of a fenced area has been keeping our family from purchasing this adorable bird.

As I saw my sister upset for the last couple of days, I decided to ask farmers whether they can fly or not. Turns out I got the answer and brought a pair home. Everyone was happy and the ducks have been getting special treatment ever since.

Prized for its meat, Pekin or White Pekin is an American domestic breed. Due to their docile and affectionate nature, this popular breed has been kept as backyard and farm pets. Pekin ducks appear most likely the type of ducks you have seen on advertisements and storybooks.

Though our family has kept many duck varieties it’s safe to say now, Pekin is our all-time favorite. Now getting back to the matter discussed, here is the answer to can Pekin ducks fly.

Can Pekin ducks fly? 

No, for the record, Pekin ducks can not fly at all. Let alone Pekin ducks, several other ducks are also flightless. Pekin ducks do spread their wings like hens but their wings do not support flying, if their wings could support, they would be flying around like Mallard ducks. 

If Pekin ducks could fly, they would have been in Cages

If humans are kind, they are cruel as well. We do keep the birds that are meant to fly in cages just to have a companion. If Pekin ducks could fly, we would have caged them as well. They would have been living a life of misery.

There are several reasons why Pekin ducks can not fly

All birds, whether it’s aquatic or others, have been blessed with wings; the part of the body that aids in flying. If despite having wings, Pekin ducks can not fly, there would be some reasons. The possible reasons for being flightless are;

  • Weight
  • Size
  • Puny wings


Their weight is one of the biggest hurdles in flying. The birds that are skinnier, do not have any such issues. The ducks are quite heavier for size, their wings are not strong enough to carry 9 to 12 pounds in the air. Even if Pekin ducks could fly, they would not be able to fly more than 3 or 4 minutes. Flying would have been tiring for them. 


These aquatic birds are quite bigger than the birds that can fly. Their size makes it almost impossible for them to even think of flying. 

Puny Wings

All birds that can not fly have puny wings. By the word “Puny”, we mean weak and small. So the Pekin duck’s puny wings have kept them grounded as they can not carry such weight. (Source)

Even if Pekin ducks can not fly, they occasionally try to do so

Despite the inability of Pekin Ducks, they occasionally, still, try their best to fly. These attempts are usually quite hilarious, but who knows how intimidating being flightless would be for these poor aquatic birds. 

Pekin ducks wings are not at all useless, they use them for other purposes

Most of our readers might be thinking what are wings for then? Well, nothing is useless in this world. Pekin ducks do use their wings but jump higher and stabilize themselves. Pekin ducks are often noticed, jumping and then stabilizing themselves with their wings.

Some keepers claim that they can fly up to 2 or 3 feet

Flying up to two or three feet can not be considered flying, even if they start flying one or two feet more, the Peking ducks would still be categorized as flightless. To be honest, it’s not flying but jumping and stabilizing the body.

Almost all domestic ducks can not fly, so how can Pekin Ducks be an exception! 

Pekin ducks have been domesticated for several reasons and being flightless is one of them. Like almost all ducks that have been domesticated can not either fly at all or take a little flight, Pekin ducks are just not an exception!

Not all ducks are flightless, some ducks can fly to some extent

Most of the wild and domestic ducks can not fly, the ducks that can fly to some extent are domestic Mallards, Muscovies, Calls, and East Indies. Even though the above-mentioned ducks are not considered flightless like Pekin ducks but they can not take a flight like normal birds. 

Interesting Facts about Pekin Ducks

Here are few interesting facts about Pekin ducks.

  • Everyone’s favorite Donald Duck and Alfac  Duck are modeled after this breed.
  • People often confuse Pekin for Peking, in reality, one is a duck breed and the latter is a delicious Chinese roast duck dish.
  • The average life expectancy of a Pekin duck is around eight to twelve years.
  • Highly regarded for their environmentally hardy nature and strong, resilient immune system.

Read more interesting fact When Can Ducks Go Outside?


Are Pekin Ducks Good Pets?

Yes, they make good pets. Pekins have been known for their calm nature. They can be a little bit skittish sometimes but raising them is a lot easier as compared to some other breeds.

How Often Do Pekin Ducks Lay Eggs?

Pekin ducks are lauded for their egg production capability. If we put it into numbers, Pekin ducks lay anywhere between 200 to 300 eggs yearly.

Do Pekin Ducks Need A Pond?

They would love to have one, however, they would do just fine even in the absence of it. Just have a place to bathe with a deep enough water source for them to splash and paddle around.

In a nutshell, Pekin ducks can not fly, their weight is the reason, for one. Many keepers can save fencing costs and do not have to on the watch all the time to see if they are attempting to fly.

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