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Ancona Duck Hatching Eggs
Ancona Ducks #1
Ancona Ducks #2
Ancona Ducks #3
Ancona Ducks #4
Ancona Duck Colors: Part 1
Ancona Duck Colors: Part 2
David Holderread, Ancona Breeder
About Green & Blue Duck Eggs

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"Winter Chickens" DVD
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Incubation Thermometer

Ancona Ducks that Lay Green or Blue Eggs
Anconas lay white, green and blue eggs.
Female Anconas Lay White, Green and Blue Eggs

Ancona eggs are off-white (cream), light green, medium green, and bluish-green.

Each individual hen lays only 1 color of egg. She never changes egg color throughout her laying years. The shape of the egg stays the same too for each duck.

Hen that Lays Green Egg

This female Ancona lays a light green egg.

"An egg’s story begins in a female bird’s single ovary. When an ovum is released into the oviduct and fertilized, it is just a protein-packed yolk. The albumen—the gelatinous egg white—is added next. The blobby mass then gets plumped up with water and encased in soft, stretchy membrane layers."

"The first globs of the calcium carbonate shell are then deposited on the exterior, with the mineral squirting from special cells lining the shell gland (uterus). Pigmentation, if any, comes next, with an overall protein coating added before the egg is laid. It takes about 24 hours to build a single egg."

-The Cornell University Lab, Ithaca, New York. Article: 'The Beauty and Biology of Egg Color'

Closer View of Above Hen

"Examination of birds’ oviducts at the time the color is placed on the egg suggests that the color is produced and released over a very short time frame, Birkhead says, usually in the last few hours before the egg is laid."

-The Cornell University Lab, Ithaca, New York. Article: 'The Beauty and Biology of Egg Color'

Egg Laid by Above Hen

Ancona duck eggs are bigger than chicken eggs. Their shells are harder and thicker.

"The colour is laid down in the thick, calcium-rich testa of the shell. The pattern tends to be in the cuticle, the outer protective layer. It is only in the later stages of the egg’s passage along the oviduct that the markings are applied by pigment-secreting areas of the uterus." -Indian Runner Duck Association, Hope Welshpool Powys, England

Gray or Black on Egg

In late winter and early spring after the hens have taken a rest from laying eggs, sometimes the first few eggs come out with a gray or black tint.

After a few weeks this color goes away (that is my experience). It is easy to clean off the black tint. Those eggs are still good for eating or hatching.

Group of Ancona All from Green Eggs

The gene for laying green eggs is not associated with just one feather color.

"Mazing (1933) found that the gene for white shell color was recessive but the abstract of his work does not specify whether it is sex-linked or autosomal (i.e. not sex-linked). In a recent communication (6 July 2010) Lancaster analysed Mazing’s results and concluded that the gene must be autosomal. He points out that egg shell colour is one of those awkward genetic characters which are difficult to investigate because of their biological limitations."

"1. It is a character of the female who lays the egg, not the embryo inside the egg.
2. It is sex limited, which means that it can only be expressed in the female parent. The male has no phenotype and has to be progeny-tested through his daughters.
3. The female’s phenotype cannot be determined until she is mature and starts laying."

-Indian Runner Duck Association, Hope Welshpool Powys, England

Same Group of Ancona All from Green Eggs

"What is not possible, he asserts, is to get rid of green eggs by only hatching from white ones. ‘This is because the embryos could have been fathered by a green-egged male (GG or Gg). It only takes one very fertile “green” male to spread green eggs throughout the flock. Progeny-testing suspected males against known homozygous “white” females is the only way to remove male carriers of green eggs."
-Indian Runner Duck Association, Hope Welshpool Powys, England

Ancona Duck Eggs

The first few eggs a young female duck lays are smaller. As she gets a little older, the eggs get bigger until they reach the mature size. This is true for chickens too.

"Evolution has played a massive role in terms of correlating pattern with habitat. Birds that lay in caves or holes tend to have plain whitish eggs. Those laying in the open have often evolved cryptic patterns: they camouflage the eggs against a background of pebbles, leaves or plants. The colours essentially are made up of two groups of pigment: porphyrin (reds and browns) and cyanin (blues and green). Ducks frequently hide their nests in vegetation, hence there is little need for elaborate protective markings." -Indian Runner Duck Association, Hope Welshpool Powys, England

Duckling from Blue-Green Egg

This photo is from Katherine in Urbanna, Virginia. The light-colored duckling is from one of my blue-green Ancona duck eggs.

The green-blue egg-laying gene is dominant. If your duck lays a white egg, her female children will lay white eggs unless the drake carries the gene for the green-blue egg.

If your duck lays a green-blue egg, then 50-100% of the female offspring will lay green-blue eggs:

50% green-blue if the female carries the white egg trait, and the male only has genes for white eggs.

75% green-blue if the male carries both the green-blue and white gene.

100% green-blue if the female and male don't carry the white-egg gene.

Happy Ancona Ducks

"These are my Anconas. It has been so cold here (15 BELOW zero), I felt sorry for them. They are spending the next while inside until we figure out how to keep the barn warmer." -Jeanette, Park River, North Dakota in December


Buying Ancona eggs


Nantahala Farm in the Mountains of Western NC
Macon County (close to Cherokee, Graham and Swain Counties)
Topton, North Carolina 28781
No pickup at farm.
Stay at my Vacation Rental on the farm.

828-321-9036 every day 10 am to 5 pm eastern time.
I ship to the United States only.

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