Has my female mallard turned into a male?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by horsin_around_cowgirl, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. horsin_around_cowgirl

    horsin_around_cowgirl New Egg

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    Dec 8, 2010
    I'm new to this site, but I have a dilemma. I have a male and female mallard that are about 2 and a half years old. The female laid eggs last year, but not this year. In the past month or so she has changed dramatically in appearance. She now looks like a young male. Her color has changed, she now has the white ring around her neck and her head is turning green. Other than her appearance, her behavior is completely normal. There is no chance that it is a different duck or anything like that either. What's going on with her? Is this common?
     
  2. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 19, 2009
    I'm thinking you have a young male, not a 2 1/2 year old female. Is your run covered?
     
  3. horsin_around_cowgirl

    horsin_around_cowgirl New Egg

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    Dec 8, 2010
    I have had this duck for 2 and a half years, raised her and the male from ducklings. They are loose, have free roam of the property. They pretty much stay in the pond except to come to the house to eat. There are not other ducks around my place, I live in the middle of no where.
     
  4. roocrazy

    roocrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2009
    minnesota!!!!
    it is probably going through or has undergone a sex change
     
  5. horsin_around_cowgirl

    horsin_around_cowgirl New Egg

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    Dec 8, 2010
    Is that normal? Why does that happen? I feel really dumb even asking these questions, but I've never had this happen before. And I swear I'm not that crazy, lol. I'm just not very knowledgeable about ducks.
     
  6. treldib

    treldib Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 5, 2010
    Southern California
    Any pics? Very odd situation?
     
  7. KansasKid

    KansasKid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2010
    South East Kansas
    Something has happened to her hormone level making her appearance change. this typically happens in older females but can happen to one like yours if something happens to stop the female reproductive organs and egg laying.
     
  8. horsin_around_cowgirl

    horsin_around_cowgirl New Egg

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    Dec 8, 2010
    I have a few pics, but I can't figure out how to upload them here.
     
  9. silkydragon

    silkydragon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 1, 2009
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    ive heard of this happining in pheasant where goldens or red golden hens will gain male color stop laying and act just like males but they still have female parts not male.
     
  10. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    If they're not in a fully enclosed run there is no guarantee other ducks have not flown in and/or yours have not flown off or been taken by predators. Being in the middle of nowhere doesn't change that, ducks don't limit their air travel to main roads. [​IMG]

    If it is your female and she's taking on male characteristics time will tell. Usually females who do so do not look exactly like a male. They retain some of their duller coloring -- along the sides of the head, in the body, etc.
     

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