Hens or Drake Cayugas?


May 3, 2015
I picked out 3 Cayuga ducklings in June... and I still can't tell if they are hens/drakes!? I am a first time duck owner. They sound like males, from what I have read, but they don't have any "curled" tail feathers. 1 just started doing the head bob... possibly wanting to mate? (indicating male?) Any suggestions? Thank you! The pictures of are each individually and then all as a group.

females quack. Males have a quieter, raspy whaap whaaap.
At 16-24 weeks they will develop the curled drake feather- only AFTER the second molt.
And he head bob happens in either gender. The ONLY ways to successfully and accurately tell gender is:
a) voice sexing at 6-10 weeks
b) Drake feather sexing at 16-24 weeks
c) vent sexing at birth
Thanks for the response... I am fairly confident that I have 3 males, unfortunately. Geesh... what are the odds.
Well, unfortunately if they were bought as straight run from a feed store your chances are much higher for males. The hatcheries will vent sex for females to fill the orders from the folks that wanted females and then all the rest go out as straight run. That means there is a much greater chance for males just because there are more of them in the bin.

Cayuga males should have a much more distinctive green iridescent sheen to their feathers, especially on the head and neck. Females will have it too, just not as pronounced. Though this is also depend on the quality of the stock they came from and isn't a reliable way to sex them, especially at a younger age. You're just going to have to wait a bit more to see if they get curly tails or lay eggs.
The first picture to me looks like a female, she looks like my female Cayuga.
The second one looks male to me.
Third picture I think is female.

I'm in 4-H and I have had to do quite a few projects based on the Cayuga, I show my Cayuga. From my research that's what they look like to me but like they said above I would wait until you see some sex feathers come in or by their voice, luckily I had a male and female and could tell their voices apart.

This is the site I used to figure out my hen and drake before his sex feathers came in.

Good Luck :fl
Last edited:
So, based on bill colour I would say first is a girl, other two are boys. My two Cayuga girls have dark gray bills like the top one, and my Drake has that yellow/lighter gray.

Head bobbing definitely doesn't mean male, my girls do it a ton, usually they start it and the drake joins in. Even mounting doesn't mean a drake necessarily, my girls mount each other more than he mounts them.

But voice is the most reliable way I know to tell.
The proper ratio for males and females- if you end up with fenales too-
1-5 females per 1 drake.
You can have 1-3 females per drake if you don't have any other ducks, 4-5 females per drake if you have other ducks.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom