?? For Welsh Harlequin Breeders

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by duckyfromoz, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    5,583
    26
    241
    Jan 11, 2010
    Australia
    So I know that with Welsh Harlequin you can fairly accurately sex ducklings by the bill colour when they hatch - but my question about this is- At what age do a females bill start to turn dark??

    I dont know if it is the same for Harlequin coloured Indian Runners- I am hoping so as it would make things easier for me to sex my runners if I knew. Also I have sold off some girls already- and am thinking maybe I sold them too young and hadnt waited long enough to see the colour come into the bill.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    11,199
    43
    311
    Oct 2, 2008
    Colorado
    It only takes a few days to a week before their bills start to get darker. By 4 weeks or so it is hard to tell the girls from the boys by bill color. Of course the girls start getting noisy so you can tell by sound at that point.
     
  3. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    5,583
    26
    241
    Jan 11, 2010
    Australia
    Thanks so much. [​IMG] Having never raised any WH from babies myself I didnt know. I guess now that I have been right in selling off the ones I have- as they were 4 weeks plus in age- so if their bill was going to darken at all it already would have by then.
     
  4. kswaterfowl

    kswaterfowl Chillin' With My Peeps

    373
    1
    131
    Mar 11, 2009
    Greencastle, IN
    Not all Welsh Harlequins are able to be sexed by bill color. A large number of them are, but I've seen a few here and there that appeared to be drakes as dayolds, but when they were older were actually ducks. I would imagine that you may have the same problems in some of the birds in your projects. Our Snowy Mallards are often the same way as Welsh Harlequins, we've had many batches where you could sex them all as ducklings. Good luck with your project, I would love to have some Harlequin-patterned runners I love our trouts, and have thought about how to get blue trouts, and splash trouts, but there are so few runner breeders around here, but if I ever run across something I could use, I am sure it will end up in the pen for a color project. (I take that back, I did see a blue trout drake at one point, but I would prefer a female, I have enough drakes and could always use more females.)
    K&S
     
  5. kswaterfowl

    kswaterfowl Chillin' With My Peeps

    373
    1
    131
    Mar 11, 2009
    Greencastle, IN
    overpost
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  6. kswaterfowl

    kswaterfowl Chillin' With My Peeps

    373
    1
    131
    Mar 11, 2009
    Greencastle, IN
    n/t
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  7. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    5,583
    26
    241
    Jan 11, 2010
    Australia
    Ks..thanks for your reply. Yes my project has seen my doing some planing - and re planing..and changing plans. The feather plumage is ok with my birds- but the beak colour is what I really need to improve as well as the abilty to breed true to colour. It looks that I have bought some birds with questionable genetics- so I have just borrowed some birds to test my drakes. Knowing when they are likely to change colour will allow me to know sooner if a bird is worth keeping longer or to let it go sooner. I have seen early changes in a friends drakes- from orange to green beaks within the first four weeks- but havent seen the same so far in females. Hopefully with the latest hatch I will see what I am hoping for.

    I am so limited by council regulation limiting the number of bird I have and also space. I would love a few acres so I could really spread them out and do some experimental colour breeding as well as my project with Harlequins and Cinnamons. I did dabble a little early last year- but now am concentrating on trying to get some good show birds for the 2011 show season.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by