A while ago, I asked a mashgiach what type of duck is typically sold in the U.S. kosher market? He said mallards.

My area has many mallards in nearby ponds. But, I also see teals and wood ducks as well as several other species. I don't know if all duck species are kosher. If not, is there a published list of all kosher duck species?

  • 3
    Note: for health reasons don't go eat a duck from your local pond (unless you really know what you're doing)
    – Double AA
    Dec 26, 2019 at 17:09
  • This sefer has many detailed descriptions and pictures of Kosher ducks for the purpose of performing Shiluach Haken. Although it is important to note that practically, what is considered kosher for shiluach haken is not necessarily considered kosher to eat. amazon.com/Shiluach-Hakan-Practical-Naftali-Weinberger/dp/…
    – Silver
    Dec 26, 2019 at 18:14
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    Relevant: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/82300/…
    – Joel K
    Dec 26, 2019 at 20:24
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    I saw it brought down in a Halachik journal: "If it looks like a chicken, sounds like a chicken, acts like a chicken - it's a chicken." Similarly, all ducks would be Kosher.
    – LN6595
    Dec 27, 2019 at 2:13
  • 1
    @LN6595 except that's incorrect as both ducks and chickens require a tradition for a species of chickens and ducks being kosher
    – Dude
    Nov 9, 2023 at 22:24

1 Answer 1


According to the Chasam Sofer (shu"t YD 74) wild geese (ducks?) are not kosher, citing Tzemach Tzedek (Siman 29). The Star-K seems to rule in accordance with this position and will not certify any (wild) mallards. https://www.star-k.org/articles/kashrus-kurrents/12978/insights-from-the-institute-the-mesorah-on-duck-eggs/#_ftn9.

However the OU will certify mallards as long as they do not have a black beak. (See Maharsham 8:138, and Kaf HaChaim Y”D 82:23) https://oukosher.org/blog/consumer-kosher/ou-position-on-certifying-specific-animals-and-birds/

The prevailing breed of domesticated duck is Pekin, which was introduced in the later 19th century. I do not know if there is any list of other dometic duck varieties with a mesorah.

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