Anyone else's duck change sex? Was a laying female 18 months now almost male

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by iambebabeba, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. iambebabeba

    iambebabeba Chirping

    Jun 8, 2012
    I have an appleyard duck that was a female 18 months then slowly began to change into a male. She used to lay and even went broody In the past. She was a beautiful appleyard pattern but when she was about 18 months old her new feathers came in and they were absolute male colors. Her head grew green feathers , her body turned mostly grey and was still beautiful but completely different . Her back tail feather just recently started to curl but her bill is still yellow and quacks very loud like a female. I'm waiting to see if she will lay eggs still or not. I haven't seen the males showing any interest in her in a long time . I also had a maran hen that went through a sex change around the same time . She was a good layer but when she went through the sex change hers was compleat. She crowed, feathers changed and became a dominate rooster for breeding. Infact she/he was a more aggressive breeder than my other roosters. I don't know if she actually fertilized eggs because I was not hatching eggs at the time. I gave her/him away but I only have 5 ducks so I will keep my little Bambi weather she's male or female. My question is has this happened to anyone else's animals with more than one animal around the same time. I am concerned that the chemicals that surrounded the farm I was living on affected the animals. I was surrounded by Monsanto and another GMO crop company. I am wondering if the chemicals that were spayed regularly could have affected my animals. They also tilled often which made terrible chemical fill dust that would fill the whole area for miles. I have moved away from there but still wonder what the cause was. I have read about birds changing sex but it sounds very rare which is why I a wondering if it was the chemicals not some ransoms act of nature. The crop grown in that area is GMO corn. Does anyone does have any info on this? Has this happened before? [​IMG]

    That is a picture of her now.she is the one in front. I will try to find one from last year if I can
  2. ducksinarow

    ducksinarow Songster

    Mar 12, 2011
    I have read that this is not that uncommon. It mainly happens if you do not have a male in the bunch. One of the females will transgender to take the males place.
  3. iambebabeba

    iambebabeba Chirping

    Jun 8, 2012
    i have always had several male ducks and roosters. I also had plenty of females. I've only thinned my flock now because of the move but even still There has never been a time i didnt have both males and females together . My duck flock was about 25 females and about 8 males before the move . 8 was more than enough males I'm sure.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  4. Majd

    Majd Songster

    Jun 22, 2012
    Creepy... I know fish can transgender.... and such... but never of birds... and I don't think it's possible... never ever heard of it.... by here's a thing that I experienced.... we had a briidy hatching eggs 7 and more years ago... and egg was left unhatched... so my grandma pipped it and hatched it after day 22.... and it grew out fine.... and we first noticed that the feathers on her nevk were golden while she was brown... she was rooster shape.... and as geavy.... and she had some colors that clow like roosters'.... and she never ever laid an egg... or acted like a female nor like a male... after the first molt.... the neck turned from all golden to brown.... she grew BIG hooks and pointy ones.... and made few sounds like roos sometimes.... but never crowed or mounted.... but the roos would mount her..... by recently after our flock was minimized to the max.... and lately we didn't have a stable rooster... she started crowing and such... but never mounted..... she's weird....
    But I think she just have some genital deformation or something....
    But never transgender.....
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Vier has developed a raspier voice and curly tail, in response, I think, to the stress of having a drake around for the first time in their lives. I am also not with the flock (even though I am home) as much as I was during their first year or two, so I feel that she has taken on the role of flock protector. By the way, they are in a pretty secure pen when I am not around, but still, they are having to adjust.
  6. Your birds never really change sex - your duck will retain her ovaries and not develop testicles all of a sudden. But additional testosterone production can cause a change in behaviour and and plumage. It is possible that chemicalia have been involved, because some of those can interact with the organism in the same way as hormons do.
    It may also be caused by a genetic disposition and you had the rare luck to obtain both a duck and a chicken with this disposition.

    I read that ducks can become more masculine with age when the hormon production changes ( like humans), but my source said that this usually happens with four years of age. I have a pekin duck that is about five years old but still sounds like a female and lays eggs now and then.
  7. learycow

    learycow Crowing

    Apr 1, 2011
    Southern Maine
    Yes, I have heard of this and seen it as well!
    Someone I know raises welsh harlequins. She had a quad (1 male and 3 females) that laid eggs and hatched their own offspring for close to 2 years. Then this spring, one of the females started to look like a male after her molt. I know the welsh can darken with age, so I told her not to worry. But then she sent me pictures of them and she clearly had 2 drakes and 2 hens. She had the green head and exact same plumage as the drake (whereas before the females tended to be very different and lighter than the drake). Plus she stopped laying eggs.

    I personally couldn't find much scientific information on it. If you want to experiment a little, I would put her/him in a separate pen with a few hens and see if the eggs you collect are fertile. That would determine an absolute gender change. But if they aren't and don't ever end up fertile, then it is a female with a hormone change that has caused her to look and act like a male. Then she would serve no purpose unless she molted out to a female again and started laying
  8. iambebabeba

    iambebabeba Chirping

    Jun 8, 2012
    So here she is when she was still fully female. I finally found my old phone with photos in it.
  9. Spikes Moma

    Spikes Moma Hatching

    Feb 10, 2015
    Hi not too change the subject but i have a duck that looks almost identical to the grey/brown duck in this picture. My question is what is her breed? Nice been told that my Spike is Mallard, cinnamon teal,mixed, and a few other breeds, can you please help me identify her breed?
    Thank you, Spikes Moma
  10. iambebabeba

    iambebabeba Chirping

    Jun 8, 2012
    Mine is an appleyard but sometimes mallard mixes get a similar print. Hope it helps :)

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