3 week Baby ducklings - Curly tail feather?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ejctm, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. ejctm

    ejctm Chillin' With My Peeps

    466
    5
    131
    Apr 25, 2009
    VILLAGE IN THE SHIRES
    My ducklings are 3 weeks old and have got their second growth of fluff. They have the beginnings of tail feathers in a little fan shape. What I wanted to ask was, on all 4 ducklings, there is a "nodule" of feathers growing in a little group out of a single pore just above the tail, which on some of them is a different colour to the rest of the feathers, but anyway, I wondered if this is the start of the male curly tail, or do both sexes grow it in this way?

    2 of my babies are also making a funny peep - like their voice is breaking, and sometimes it comes out an octave lower! I am assuming these are girls??

    Any advice appreciated.
     
  2. QuackSurgeon

    QuackSurgeon New Egg

    3
    0
    6
    Jul 9, 2010
    Long Island, NY
    That nodule is the ducks oil gland (uropygial gland). They nibble and rub it with their bill and then spread the oil on their feathers to waterproof them. The drake feathers won't come in until they are getting their adult feathers.
     
  3. Rachel's Hobby Hatchery

    Rachel's Hobby Hatchery Chillin' With My Peeps

    166
    0
    101
    Jul 16, 2010
    North West Michagan
    Quote:but then why is it on some & not all????
     
  4. percyj

    percyj Chillin' With My Peeps

    265
    0
    109
    Jun 20, 2010
    They r prob just faster developersÂ… [​IMG]
     
  5. teresa-78

    teresa-78 Chillin' With My Peeps

    705
    36
    121
    Jun 24, 2010
    England
    yeah I agree thats their oil gland.. my runners are 10 weeks old with still no sign of the curl... im sure I have 4 boys but to be certain im trying patiently to wait for
    the curls.... oohh its so hard.... I dont tend to do patients lol
     
  6. AdamD77

    AdamD77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    394
    0
    109
    Jul 1, 2010
    Bedfordshire, England
    I notice the gland more on the darker birds as it seems to stand out more against the fluff, whereas it's lighter on lighter birds and therefore less noticeable [​IMG]
     
  7. dumb_cluck

    dumb_cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    923
    4
    131
    Mar 26, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Listen for the distinctive quacks. The raspy, repeated quack is a drake. The females are MUCH more noisy! Depending on the breed you should be able to identify them by 2 months. Their plumage takes a bit longer to identify themselves.
     
  8. ejctm

    ejctm Chillin' With My Peeps

    466
    5
    131
    Apr 25, 2009
    VILLAGE IN THE SHIRES
    Thanks, that is really helpful. I had no idea that the oil gland was in fact a tuft of feathers.

    This waiting lark is really hard! I am still really excited to find out what colours they are. The one that was yellow is not turning out to be white at all, she is sort of grey. Tiny real feathers coming in are cream and brown, but really small to tell properly yet. Also the most drab one is turning out to be the most gorgeous.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by