Couple of Questions... Sex and missing feathers (Big Pictures)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by DucksRGood, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. DucksRGood

    DucksRGood Hatching

    Apr 11, 2010
    Northern NC
    We got our ducks the Saturday before Easter, I think it was April 11.

    First question --
    I read that male ducks will not change until at least after 4 months. Now, my ducks are starting to look very different from eachother and I'm wondering if it is possible to tell the drakes from the hens/females.

    It seems as though 2 of the ducks have a curl at the end, which I also read was a sign of a male. Those same two ducks also have very dark colored heads now, but I cannot tell if they are green in color yet, right now it just looks almost black.

    I just stopped to get some advice and see if anyone can tell me if these two are male.

    These are the two that have the darkest heads and the curls

    Here you can see all five.

    Second question --
    Now, my ducks are free range, so they have their pond and their fenced in lot and they forage on their own and have taken up with the Geese that visit every year. However, I went to visit them after not visiting them for awhile, and now 2 ducks are missing feathers. I'm not sure if this is related to them being male ducks or not. But, since they are the only two affected, I want to make sure it couldn't be something else.


    Thank you!
  2. bock

    bock Songster

    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    The 2 in the top 2 pictures are definately drakes, but it looks like you might have 3 based on the last picture. 3 drakes to 2 hens is a bad ratio, you will need to re-home 2 of the drakes or get more hens. As far as the missing feather, I am not sure. [​IMG]
  3. paddock36

    paddock36 Songster 9 Years

    Dec 24, 2008
    Ocala, Florida
    Don't know what caused the missing feathers but the two ducks in question (first two photos) are drakes. The curly feather on the tail is the drake feather.
  4. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Where are the feathers missing? If it is at the back of the head, that could be mating/dominance-fighting related.

    It looks to me like you have 2 boys and 3 girls. You should get one or two more girls [​IMG]
  5. PlumTuckered

    PlumTuckered Songster

    Jun 27, 2007
    re: missing feathers. Are you talking about the grey looking areas? Those are your Drake's mature colors coming in. I absolutely see 2 Drakes.

  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member 9 Years

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Two drakes for sure-probably three. Feather loss is just eclipse moulting. They are getting their adult plumage.
  7. AdamD77

    AdamD77 Songster

    Jul 1, 2010
    Bedfordshire, England
    I agree there are two definite drakes, but I think the one on the far right in the last photo looks like it's face has some darker splodges on it, so you could have another!

    And as has been mentioned before, the feather loss is due to the moult from juvenile to adult feathers. One of my adult runners is moulting to his eclipse plumage so looking pretty scruffy with all of his big wing feathers missing [​IMG] They should all look very pretty/handsome soon [​IMG]
  8. DucksRGood

    DucksRGood Hatching

    Apr 11, 2010
    Northern NC
    Thank you everyone for all the responses. I was pretty sure those were drakes as well but a second opinion is always better when it's my first time raising ducks. I hope there are only the two drakes, but I will keep my eye out and see what happens.

    Well they look pretty scruffy right now - just wanted to make sure it was normal and not anything bad.

    I really didn't want them to even be free range so early (they've been on their own for about 2 months now) maybe a bit longer. But, they decided one night they didn't want to come up to bed and wanted to stay with the geese so ever since then they've been staying with the two geese!

    I will keep my eye out if I see any more Mallards available in my area. Ideally I want them the same age so they can free range as well and blend in hopefully.

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