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Drake question

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by GordieH, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. GordieH

    GordieH Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 10, 2011
    West Texas
    I have 9 ducks right now. I know that my three younger White Pekins are drakes because I ordered them that way. At least 2 of 3 should be anyway. I also have 4 White Pekins that are 2 month old straight runs, 1 Rouen and 1 Black Cayuga. Not sure what the Rouen is yet as it is 2 months old and is feathered like a hen so far. But I see a spot of white on the front of its neck that may be the start of the drake ring. I am thinking the Cayuga stands a fair odds of being a hen. Not sure yet on the 2 month old Pekins. But I am sure at least one of those will be a drake.

    My question -- If my rouen is a drake, would it be better to use it to cross with the Pekins for eggs to hatch next year and butcher the extra Pekin drakes I now have or would it be better to keep a Pekin drake and keep their breed pure? I would like to have the best dual purpose duck when I hatch out next spring with what I have right now. I probably will keep one extra drake for back up. I live in town so I can't get a huge flock. Especially since I have chickens as well.

    Gordon
     
  2. learycow

    learycow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2011
    Southern Maine
    It all depends on the market in your area and what you want them for.
    If you want to breed them to sell ducklings, my suggestion would be to keep the breeds pure. Pekin x pekin. I've found that purebred ducks are more sought after than mixed breeds. The pekins are also very dual purpose ducks to have. Mine lay huge white eggs, and they lay almost year round. They also grow fast and get quite large so they make excellent meat birds. I don't use mine for meat, but I have sold quite a few for that purpose.

    However, if you are looking for some ducks just to keep around the place and you don't care what they are, then it's fine to cross-breed. From my experience, rouen is a dominant trait, so all of the rouen crosses I've had end up more rouen than the other breed. I currently have rouen/khak campbell crosses, rouen/swedish crosses, and rouen/welsh harlequin crosses. They ALL look like rouens, just a little different coloring here and there. I really can't tell you how well they produce only because they are all penned together. But they have been laying steady since April. They are roughly the same size as my campbells, maybe slightly bigger. But mine are all just for eggs and pets, so in my case mixed breeds don't really matter.

    It's all personal preference. You just have to figure out what your goals are for them, and breed them according to what works for you!
     
  3. GordieH

    GordieH Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 10, 2011
    West Texas
    Thank you LearyC.

    I think I will allow cross breeding for my own egg production. That is, if the Rouen is a drake. If not, my decision is made. But if I decide to hatch out eggs to sell ducklings, not a big priority, I will keep the breed pure.
     

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