Rouen duck and mallard duck

Most people confuse Rouen duckling and mallard as the same thing. Undoubtedly, they belong to the same family, known as ducks, but they are different. In this article, we will give you detailed information about Rouen duckling and mallard, and also we will offer detailed information about both duck breeds. There is a crystal difference between their color and sizes. Because of being members of the same family, their dieting habits are the same. Furthermore, we will tell you what makes a good pet. This article is perfect for you if you are curious to read the comparison of these birds.

A little about Rouen duckling

Rouen ducklings are a popular breed of domestic duck that people primarily raise for meat and eggs. They are a large and heavy breed that weighs up to 10 pounds when fully grown.

We know Rouen ducklings for their distinctive coloring, similar to a wild Mallard duck. When young, Rouen ducklings have soft, downy plumage, primarily yellow, with dark brown stripes on their back and a lighter-colored underside.

As they grow, their plumage will gradually become darker and more iridescent, developing into the rich green and deep chestnut coloring characteristic of adult Rouen ducks. Rouen ducklings are hardy and adaptable, making them popular with backyard farmers and homesteaders. Most people ask, “Can Rouen ducks fly?” For them, these ducks cannot fly because of their weight. But they are good at running and can jump, which helps them escape life.

Mallards duck

The Mallard is a widespread and famous duck species throughout the Northern Hemisphere. This duck’s size is medium, and the males have a bright color compared to the females. The drakes have a glossy green head, a white collar, a chestnut-brown chest, and greyish-blue wings.

The hens (female mallards) are less colorful, with a mottled brown and beige plumage that provides camouflage during nesting. Mallards are common in many urban and suburban parks. It is because they can often swim in ponds or shuffle around on the grass.

They are also popular with hunters, who pursue them for their meat and feathers. Despite being common, mallards are still fascinating birds with complex social behaviors and exciting adaptations for survival in various habitats.

A general difference between Rouen duckling and mallard

Because both birds have the same plumage, they are mistaken for the same thing, but the reality is the opposite. To recognize them by their faces, check the stripes. If there is a single stripe at the beginning, it is a mallard.

On the other hand, dual lines on the front ensure that it is a Rouen duckling. Another way to recognize them is by checking their weight. A Rouen duckling is a heavy bird weighing 3 to 4 kilograms, while a Mallard is just 0.7 to 1.6 kilograms on average.

Another significant difference between the Rouen duckling and mallard is their temperament. Mallard is very aggressive, while the other one has a docile nature.

Origin difference

Before the 19th century, the Rouen duck first appeared in France. In its original French form, the Rouen duck resembled a mallard that was a little bigger than typical. People tamed it as a roaming bird, mostly. D.W. Lincoln of Worcester, Massachusetts, brought the first Rouen to the United States in 1850.

Before their popularity as display birds, they were utilized as common farm ducks. In several locations worldwide, they are currently being bred in captivity.

Originating from the Old French word “malart” or “mallart,” the name “mallard” originally applied to any wild drake. Most of North America, Europe, and Asia are home to the mallard duck.

In the 10th edition of Systema Naturae, published in 1758, Carl Linnaeus first described several bird species. Several nations, including South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Peru, New Zealand, Colombia, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, and the Falkland Islands, have received mallard introductions.

The lifespan difference

When we compare the lifespan of Rouen Duckling and mallard, it relies on the environment and the predators near them. An average lifespan of a mallard is from 5 to 10 years, depending on the environment. While the Rouen duckling can live for 7-12 years on average.

Appearance difference in Rouen duck and mallard

The Rouen duckling and mallard both have virtually identical plumage colors. Female Rouen ducks have substantially deeper brown plumage than mallards do, though. Also, compared to mallards, Rouen ducks have longer, more colorful speculum feathers.

While the Rouen ducklings have two stripes running across their face, right under the eye, mallard ducklings and Rouen ducklings have identical plumage colors. In the eyes of mallard ducklings, there is just one stripe.

Mallards are lighter than Rouen ducks. Rouen ducks raised for food typically weigh 6 to 8 pounds (2.7 to 3.6 kg), while standard-bred ducks can weigh up to 12 pounds (4.1-5.4 kg). A medium-sized duck that weighs between 1.5 and 3.5 pounds is the mallard (0.7-1.6 kg).

The physical shapes of the two species also differ dramatically. Mallards have shorter necks because of their rounder chests, while Rouen ducks seem to have longer necks because of their downward-facing chests.

Are both of these domesticated birds?

There is a significant difference between the domestication natures of both these ducks. As we have already mentioned, people keep Rouen ducks friendly, and most people keep them for different reasons, like getting their eggs and meat.

Besides, these ducks also love and live with humans. If we talk about mallards, they are very aggressive and do not believe in humans easily comparatively. These birds are challenging to approach, and people pet them because of their stunning plumage. Otherwise, these birds could be better to pet. Besides human choice, mallards prefer living in the wild rather than in captivity.

Diet of these specific birds

The feeding habits of these birds are not different from each other, as they are omnivores, and their eating choice has a lot of flexibility. Rouen ducks eat mostly aquatic creatures, plant materials, seeds, snails, crabs, tiny fish, larvae, and pupae. However, most mallard food comprises seeds, plant matter, gastropods, crustaceans, insects, and worms.

How many eggs do they lay in a clutch?

Both ducks lay a different number of eggs in a clutch. Mallard lays 8 to 13 eggs, while the Rouen duck lays 5 to 10 eggs per clutch. Once they get free from laying eggs, the following difference that makes them change from each other is that the mallard takes less time to make sexual maturity than the Rouen duck.

Female mallards may take about seven to ten months to produce eggs. As a youngster, mallard’s development is relatively swift. Mallards reach sexual maturity between five and nine months.


The Mallard and Rouen ducks are two separate species that differ significantly in appearance, behavior, and domestication. While Rouen ducks are domesticated and resemble Mallard ducks in formation, they are bigger and have darker plumage. Wild Mallard ducks have mottled brown coats and distinguishing green heads. While mallard ducks protect themselves in many areas because of their position as game birds. People raise Rouen ducks for their flesh. Also, compared to their wild counterparts, Rouen ducks are often calmer and more docile. Both species, despite their differences, are cherished for their beauty and distinctive traits and are crucial to our ecology.

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Hello, I am Matthew Isaac have a passion for birds and a wealth of knowledge in the field. As someone who has dedicated my career to working with birds, I am excited to share my expertise through my writing. My articles cover many birds related topics, including their behavior, biology, habitats, and conservation. Whether you are a seasoned bird watcher or just starting to explore the world of avian creatures, my articles will provide valuable insights and practical advice that will help you deepen your understanding and appreciation of birds. From bird identification and species-specific information to bird care and welfare, I am committed to sharing accurate, helpful, and engaging content that will inspire and inform readers from all backgrounds and levels of experience.