Gender Bending Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by kitianity, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. kitianity

    kitianity New Egg

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    Dec 18, 2013
    I recently purchased several ducks from a woman who has a farm near by. I was told that I was getting 1 male and 2 females.
    I was told the crested duck was a Rouen (true) and a female (false). I was also told that the spotted brown duck is a female (true) and a Khaki Campbell (dubious). The solid brown duck was supposedly a male Khaki Campbell -- which brings us to the interesting part.

    The "female" Rouen grew a curled tail feather and both its head and tail turned glossy green; it is clearly a male. The "male" Khaki Campbell's curled tail feather fell off, and it has not changed color in any other way.

    (For the curious among you, the spotted brown duck has not changed, although she is closer in size to the Rouen than the Khaki Campbell, which is why I suspect she may also be a Rouen).

    If the Khaki Campbell lost its curled tail feather because it is shedding into its eclipse plumage, then why did the Rouen grow in male plumage at the same time? Also, why did the Khaki Campbell not change color? It literally just seems to have had its tail feather fall off, and that is the only way it has changed.

    Do I have gender bending ducks?

    I have included a picture, but unfortunately I do not have many pictures from before the Khaki Campbell lost 'its' tail feather. The top picture is the only one I could find that even sort of showed the Campbell's curled tail feather from before.

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  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Can't answer your questions but wanted to say [​IMG] and your ducks are beautiful.
     
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  3. cymbaline

    cymbaline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I only have Mallards, so I'm not sure how to visually identify the gender of a Khaki Campbell, although the darker brown head suggests to me it's a male. The curled tail feather could have fallen off naturally or been plucked out in a scuffle, I suppose, if not during molting. They can molt at different times though, especially if they are different ages, but even at the same age there can be a couple of months' difference in the stage of plumage they are in (I've seen this firsthand).
    Voice-sexing is what I would suggest - does his/her quack sound like the known male, or like the female?
     
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  4. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here I notice green bills on KC drakes. And black bills on ducks.
     
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  5. kitianity

    kitianity New Egg

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    Dec 18, 2013
    Thank you! I have been following Backyard Chickens for quite some time now, and I have found that most of the answers to my beginner's questions can be found on the BC forums. Although our quail are the only birds currently giving us eggs/meat, the ducks are still the family favorite because of their personalities. :)
     
  6. chiqita

    chiqita Overrun With Chickens

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    your spotted duck really does look like a rouen.
     
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  7. kitianity

    kitianity New Egg

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    Dec 18, 2013
    The ducks all sound the same to me, except the muscovy, which hisses. I will admit that I have not individually picked them up and listened to them, so I will give that a try. The unidentified brown duck and the Rouen are clearly different types of duck, which I have kept in mind while I try to determine the campbell's gender. For what it is worth, I have noticed that the spotted brown female and the khaki campbell both have the same black colored bill, while the Rouen drake has a lighter, more greenish colored bill compared to the other two.

    So far I have not seen any of the ducks fighting, but I have seen the Rouen drake mating with the spotted female. The campbell and the muscovy seem to be fond of each other, and hang out together a lot, but I haven't seen the campbell or the muscovy engaging in mating behavior.

    I don't know if it matters, but the campbell's tail curl fell off about the same time the Rouen drake's green plumage started to come in.

    I will see if I can't catch the ducks and listen to them for quacking differences. The mallard-types are all due for wing clipping anyway.

    Thanks for the responses!
     
  8. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will add that for me to voice-sex, I have to pick up one duck and keep it kind of apart from the rest to really hear its "voice."
     
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