Gender roles

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by dunkinmoby, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. dunkinmoby

    dunkinmoby Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 28, 2015
    I have three female ducks all at laying age. Two of my ducks are blue runners and the third is a Buff. The Buff duck appears to be taking on the role of a male! She is not laying, playing the male part of their daily mating games, and chasing off/defending their "territory " around our pond. Am I correct in guessing that this is normal behavior when a male is not present? If so, will she ever lay eggs? Any thoughts or experience with this would be helpful.
     
  2. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 26, 2014
    Sweden
    It's true that females will often play "hop on top", even with a male present. It seems to be a dominance thing among the girls. If there is no male present, or the male is uninterested in a group of females, they seem to be more likely to mate amongst themselves.

    Sometimes female birds will suddenly take on some of the behaviors, and even plumage, of males. I have a female Cayuga who laid eggs her first year, but the next season became much more bright green, grew a drake feather, and has not laid at all since. I did get rid of my drake around the same time, but the plumage change in her started before that. At any rate, I also read that this can happen with females if they sustain an injury to their reproductive organs, or for some reason they just stop working right. My special Cayuga has other health issues, so my guess is some kind of abnormality with her reproductive organs is what caused the "sex change", but I really don't know for sure. It has been interesting to see, that's for sure! She has become the dominant duck of the group, but does not mate with any of the other females, though some of them lay down for her often. She just doesn't seem to know what to do and just bites their necks until they get up and leave her alone. lol

    So, in conclusion, I'm not sure if your female will ever lay again. All we can do is wait and see. ;) I wouldn't say that this "sex change" phenomenon is normal, but it does happen.
     
  3. dunkinmoby

    dunkinmoby Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 28, 2015
    Thanks for your reply, it was very helpful.
     

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