Duck or Drake - how to tell?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by PepperM, May 5, 2016.

  1. PepperM

    PepperM Out Of The Brooder

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    GOOD MORNING!

    How can you determine the sex of a duck? I've read things talking about coloring, raspy quacks, etc but my neighbor, who also has ducks, said it's all about the rounded tail feathers. What's the "proper" way?

    I have two stinky toddlers [​IMG] (born 4/4), one a bit taller than the other. "He" has a raspy honk already where the other one, "she" is still peepy and quite the talker.

    Ideas? Thanks!

    Pepper
     
  2. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    at a month old, you will need to wait until they fully get their voice (for mallard derived breeds) then quacking is a girl and that raspy hoarse voice is a boy

    once 4+ months or so, the males will start to develop a curled tail feather (one on the top of the tail feathers and it just curls up and a round a bit) - again, for mallard derived breeds.


    Not sure what works on ornamentals and muscovy
     
  3. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For muscovies the larger ones are generally male and will hiss more while females tend to peep and coo and will remain smaller.
     
  4. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Vent sexing will tell you for sure.
     
  5. PepperM

    PepperM Out Of The Brooder

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    I will have to read up on that. Thanks [​IMG]
     
  6. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do not try to vent sex a month old duck
     
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  7. cymbaline

    cymbaline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you've got a "honker", you've got a girl. At only 4 weeks, the other could still turn out to be a girl too. If you don't hear honks/quacks by 7 weeks or so, you've likely got a boy. The voice change is slower and more subtle for boys, I've found.

    This is one of my girls as her voice changed over from peeping to quacking so you can see exactly what you're listening for:

    [​IMG]

    I think, unless you're a pro at vent sexing, that voice sexing is the easiest and most reliable way to tell. I watched video after video on how to vent sex and tried it a couple of times and probably fared no better than dumb luck, lol. And the curly tail feather won't come in for months and won't be present when they're molting, so it's a definite sign it's a boy if you see it, but just because you don't doesn't mean it's a girl. However, I can hear a wild mallard quacking as it flies overhead and tell if it's male or female - easy-peasy.
     
  8. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Full sized ducklings can, and often are, vent sexed at hatching. I wait two weeks on my bantam sized ducklings.

    The expression "if it quacks like a duck, then it is a duck" came about because only the ducks (hens) quack while the drakes never do.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  9. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, you can vent sex a 4 week old duckling, but they are bigger and not likely to be so cooperative and if you don't know what you are doing, you are more likely to hurt the older duckling that the couple day old duckling. So if you don't know what you are doing, I wouldn't suggest trying to vent sex and older duckling.
     
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  10. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, I was thinking you were saying they were too small, not too squirmy, lol. I have sexed adult ducks and even adult geese but you do need to be able to handle a bird to make it work. By the time ducks get their voices there is not much reason to vent sex unless you can't get them to make enough noise.
     

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