Mandarin, is a medium sized perching duck, closely related to the American Wood Duck. The adult male is a elegantly colored duck. They have a red bill, large white crescent around the eye and reddish face. The breast is purplish with two vertical white stripes, and the flanks are ruddy, with two orange sail feathers at the back. The female is very similar to the female Wood Duck, with a white eye-ring and stripe coming from the back of the eye, but is paler , has a small white flank stripe, and a pale tip to its bill.The plumage of the Mandarin duckling is strikingly similar to the Mallard duckling since both have a Black backside (with some yellow spots) and Yellow underside (with streaks by the eyes).
The Mandarin duck is one of the best exotic breeds for beginners as they are fairly easy to raise in captivity. They nest easily in small nest boxes or wood duck boxes. They will usually lay 1-2 clutches per year and raise their own ducklings. The Mandarin is somewhat like wood ducks as they can be very skittish but can also be tamed through time spent socializing with them This requires diligence and time but is worth every effort to have them feeding right out of your hands.
Mandarin ducks will do better hatching their eggs in most cases than artificial incubation but is acceptable to it. In my experience with Mandarins if you intend to incubate the eggs it's a good rule to let the hen sit them for the first week or two. By doing this you can also cause the hen to lay a second clutch and get more for your effort in raising new ducklings. As a rule it's also best to have domestic ducklings hatch at the same interval with your Mandarin ducklings as they already at hatch will feed and water easily and help to teach your Mandarin ducklings too.