How do I decide which Drakes to Kill? How many is too many?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Froggygirl, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. Froggygirl

    Froggygirl Hatching

    Feb 10, 2010
    I have 15 straight run (many breeds) ducks. I think (?) 5 or 6 of them may be drakes. Yup, we love them all, but don't want carnage. They are 2 mo old, the Cayugas seem to be starting to want to mount the ducks already.

    1) Is color and voice enough to sex them? They are not in nuptual plumage yet, but from what I can tell I need to kill them before that happens. Only a couple have tail curl, a little.

    2) What should I select for? Less aggressive, more aggressive, size, personal favorites? What is best for the flock?

    3) When do I do the deed?

    If it helps what I think (it changes day by day) I have is;

    2 Cayuga drakes
    2 " ducks
    1 Welsh Harliquin duck
    1 welsh Harliquin ?? not the same as other duck but quacks????
    2 Silver Appleyards (do they vary greatly in size?)
    2 white Magpies
    1 white appleyard duck
    1 " Drake
    1 Khaki Campbell Duck
    2 Saxonys

    Thank you so much for any advice.

  2. chickensioux

    chickensioux Songster

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Can you try to rehome them first?
  3. animalloverabh

    animalloverabh Allons-y, Alonso

    try putting them on craigslist?
    or maybe someone here might want them?
  4. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Songster

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    That's what I was going to suggest. It may be possible to rehome them or sell them before killing them.

  5. If they are only 2 months old, they are the perfect age to prepare for duck dinner.
  6. Bryanccfshr

    Bryanccfshr In the Brooder

    Mar 29, 2010
    Farmington , NM
    Select the definate males. Select the ones to be culled by the number you want to remain. I would choose to keep the least aggressive.
    To do the deed seperate the culls and deprive them of food the night before the deed. DO the deed early in the morning. THey should be excellent

    I was able to rehome my big pekin drake to a home with 3 pekin ducks. He will be happy and My two pekin girls and remaining male will be happy too. Now, if one of my runners is a male, the remaining pekin male will need rehomed or treated as above. As sweet as they are the llogistics have to work out fore the purpose of the flock.
  7. Jeeper1540

    Jeeper1540 Songster

    I am under the impression the OP wanted to eat ducks. If she just wanted to re-home she would have worded it differently. i might be wrong, but thats my impression. I have no idea on how to pick the drakes out.

    I have 2 females and [i think] 2 males. I have put to much love into my ducks to eat them, but 2 drakes is to many for 2 hens, so i'm planning on putting an ad in the newspaper when im sure they are pretty sure one is because of the quack, i think his feather is curled, and last night he tried to ride a female IN THE WATER. i was worried she would drown lol.
  8. LittleSquidgenHome

    LittleSquidgenHome Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    Good rule of thumb is 2 girls for every boy, I prefer 3 girls for every boy but that is me.
    Really it is your personal preference on which boys to keep. If you are looking for purebred ducks you need to be sure you have boys and girls of the same breed. But if inter-breeding doesn't bother you, keep the ones you like, provided they are healthy and not going to have problematic genetic traits, and if you must, do away with the rest.

    Though honestly, if you have 10 girls and 5 boys, you probably dont NEED to rehome any, just watch during the height of mating season to make sure no girls are being..."loved" too much and it should all be fine. You won't know about the drakes breeding style till next season probably and then if you have a particularly nasty little guy you might be able to rehome him next year or this fall, if butchering really isn't your cup of tea.

    We actually just took our extra, "extra" being color patterns and conformity traits we didn't want to pass on, Ancona from this years hatch to butcher this week. Meat is one of the reasons we raise ducks, it is not for everyone, but like eggs, culls are a perk we enjoy on our dinner table, one is for dinner this evening as a matter of fact. 8 weeks it the typical cook book answer for when to butcher, but I find that 12 weeks works out better. The window at 8 weeks is a matter of days between full feather and start of molt into adult plumage. Since we never seem to catch that window, we wait till 12 weeks, you do not want to contend with half grown in pinfeathers, believe me. By 12 weeks, most are completely out of molt and will pluck cleanly.
  9. RunnerDucks

    RunnerDucks In the Brooder

    May 28, 2010
    Middle Tennessee
    What to select for depends a lot on what you're having them for. If you're wanting to breed for meat production, you would choose the heaviest, most feed-efficient ones to keep. If you just want pets, you choose the friendliest, prettiest ones to keep. If you want low maintenance lawn ornaments, you keep the quietest, least aggressive, prettiest ones. If you want to sell fertile eggs in the future, you choose keep the in demand breeds, or the prettiest ones.
  10. Violet22

    Violet22 Songster

    Jul 3, 2009
    Central Coast, CA
    The only thing I can say is I have 2 drakes and 8 ducks.......I thought that would be a good ratio.....but all my girls are constantly harassed, I swear the boys never stop and I keep wondering if mating season ever really ends. I have 9 new ducklings and more on the way, I will keep all the girls and maybe one male, but I definitely want more than 4 more females to one drake after watching my randy boys! Maybe I am just not used to watching it, this is my first year, but I feel so bad for my girls!

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