Changing Sex

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by Becky89*, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. Becky89*

    Becky89* Songster

    Apr 11, 2008
    I have six ducks, all of them are Pekings. I know for a fact that I had five females and one male, I've had these birds for seven years now. My one female has started growning curled tail feathers and she is getting a deeper voice.

    Can ducks as old as mine change sex? I have heard that its somewhat common in younger ducks but mine are not that young anymore.

    What is happening with my duck?
  2. shmooborp

    shmooborp artistic fowlism

    i didnt even know that ducks could do that..omg.. creepy
  3. MaransGuy

    MaransGuy Songster

    Oct 25, 2007
    Greenfield, MA
    I don't keep ducks but I have heard this discussed several times on other forums. Changing sex is not too common but does happen. If a hen/duck sustains and injury, becomes infected with disease, or somehow otherwise loses the functionality of their ovary, this will allow the male hormones to take over and produce male traits. The appearance can change, and even the voice. Normally, these birds are not fertile as they do not actually develop testes, they are simply reacting to the presence of male hormones without the effects of female ones.


    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    They don't actually "change sex" ie: your duck will not grow a penis & testes. The change you are seeing often results from an infectiion or other disease of the ovaries which messes up hormones & causes the appearance of a sex change.
  5. kaylakala

    kaylakala Songster

    Mar 19, 2008
    Melbourne Florida
    Wow the things I've learned on his board!!
  6. Becky89*

    Becky89* Songster

    Apr 11, 2008
    Is there a way I can prevent my other females from getting this disease or is there no way to stop it.

    I asked my feed dealer about it and he said that he wasn't sure but he thought that it could also have something to do with my male duck becoming old and being the only male.
  7. raeeldri

    raeeldri In the Brooder

    Mar 23, 2008
    i did not know that duck and chickens have that in common as well. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2008
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Might not have even been a disease, could have just malfunctioned. I don't think there's anything you can do or need to do to "protect" the other girls.
  9. Becky89*

    Becky89* Songster

    Apr 11, 2008
    Everyone is saying this is rare and everything, would I be able to find some reading on this situation?

    I have raised peking ducks ever since I was a little girl, when my grandpa and I watched them swim around on my pond. I have never heard of this situation.

    Do you think that it could be in the genes of my ducks? I have mother and daughter ducks and I am hoping that that won't be involved in this situation.
  10. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Songster

    Jan 25, 2008
    It "may" have something to do with genetics, but it is not something that I think you should worry about because it is such a rare situation.

    I do not believe it has anything to do with your male getting older.

    It may just be a malfunction in that particular female's hormonal balance. All that's happening is she is physically responding to the decrease of estrogen and increase in testosterone. Just like with anything else, an increase in testosterone would make your female "appear" more masculine, but it will not make her male.

    The reason I think it "may" be genetic is because hormonal defects can be tracked in human genetics. I wouldn't worry about it in your other girls, it is a rare situation and probably uncontrollable and unpredictable.

    Very interesting topic!

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