Any gender "tells" at an early age? I want to pick females, which I know is the impossible dream! :)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by willowbirdks, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. willowbirdks

    willowbirdks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of my husband's co-workers has recently hatched several clutches of Magpie ducklings, and he is giving them away. Great news for us! The ducklings are 2-3 weeks old, and none were vent sexed at an early age... So he has no idea which are male or female.

    I know there really will be no way to tell now until they start quacking (or not), but I also know there are some really experienced folks in this group. I figured it couldn't hurt to ask -- are there any kind of behavioral or physical traits I should look for that might make them more likely to be female? Any hints at this age, even though they wouldn't be 100% certain?

    I have one female Ancona and four males (all around 16 weeks), so I really do not want to end up with any more drakes. The more girls the better at this point.

    Fingers crossed... We're going over there sometime this weekend to bring our new babies home!
     
  2. farm316

    farm316 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The third and fourth week is when you see some changes in the females and males, females are usually more louder and are more lighter in color, the bills are also a good sign, males have a darker bill than females
     
  3. willowbirdks

    willowbirdks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! Maybe we'll look for the babies that are a bit older, then. I know my Ancona hen was much louder and had more "attitude" from about that age on, too. :)

    I don't know much about Magpies, so I'm glad to know that the bills can help indicate gender. I will look carefully and pay attention to the babies before we bring any home. This is really helpful!
     
  4. Phionex Boy

    Phionex Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you want 100% the just wait a little longer for the signs when The rooster spurts up and grows faster. Sorry , i didn't really answer your question
     
  5. willowbirdks

    willowbirdks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, unfortunately we can't wait a lot longer. He is at the point where they need to find new homes pretty soon.

    Do Magpie drakes have an early growth spurt? What age would you expect to see that size difference?
     
  6. Phionex Boy

    Phionex Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Boys will act more agresive and try to take charge of the flocks at like 7 weeks
     
  7. farm316

    farm316 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Normally the females will grow faster then the drakes, that doesn't mean that all the males are the smaller ones. If all the ducklings were born on the same day then I would look at the larger in size for the females and the smaller one male, the males will catch up eventually. We had a Female who was bigger and had more of a attitude and she was the female, the male was more quite and melllow, sometimes you will have the drake bigger than the female.
     
  8. willowbirdks

    willowbirdks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. Sounds in some ways similar to my Ancona flock and in others not... I'm sure it will just be luck of the draw in the end, but I'm going to try to get lucky. ;-) Maybe I'll look at the bills and feet really closely, sounds like the best place to start.
     
  9. farm316

    farm316 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  10. Phionex Boy

    Phionex Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
     

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