Hey Duckie !


The mallard was domesticated in China some 3000 years ago, and possibly much earlier. Force-feeding of ducks is documented from the tenth century, under the five dynasties. The Chinese were sophisticated breeders of ducks; among several breeds they created was one named shi-chin-ya-tze, which roughly translates to "ten-pound duck", from which the American Pekin derives.

In 1872, James E. Palmer of Stonington, Connecticut , loaded fifteen white ducks of this type for shipment to a businessman named McGrath in the United States. The birds were loaded at Shanghai but had been hatched in Peking  (now called Beijing). Nine of them – six hens and three drakes – survived the voyage, which took 124 days and reached New York on 13 March 1873. Five of the surviving birds were dispatched to McGrath but were eaten before they reached him. Palmer's four birds became the foundation stock of the American Pekin; by July 1873, his three hens had laid more than three hundred eggs