Male or Female Welsh Harlequins?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by gottsegnet, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. gottsegnet

    gottsegnet Songster

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    Mar 19, 2009
    Nebraska
    I had 11 ducklings from Holderreads, 6 females and 5 males (I thought from bill color upon arrival) but a rat killed most of them. I have five survivors and am trying to figure out the sex. I thought I had two males (the smaller ones) due to the darkening of the necks, but the bills seem a lot darker than most of the pictures I have seen. Are they male? Or did I end up with only females surviving?

    [​IMG]

    Thanks!
     
  2. It does look like there might be two males and three females . . . the bill color is unusual though. They look old enough to have different voices -- have you tried picking each one up and listening to it? My ducks have a loud quack! And the drakes have a pathetic rasp . . . I can't remember if my youngsters have yellow bills yet. I'll try to remember to check today. The chest feathers are darker on those two also, which is how mine are looking. Mine are about 8 weeks old I think.

    That is a great picture -- however did you get them to all stand together so still?

    I'm sorry you lost your others -- that is terrible about the rat. Maybe the feral barn cats around my farm are doing their jobs since I only see the rats in their mouths . . .
     
  3. gottsegnet

    gottsegnet Songster

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    Mar 19, 2009
    Nebraska
    I've never actually seen a rat, but their little bills and feet were chewed off and then my husband found the tunnel. We tore everything open so there wasn't such a protected path to the henhouse and haven't had any problems since.

    They do have different voices, but I haven't heard that raspy quack yet. The larger ones definitely quack, but the two smaller ones are still peeping.

    I hadn't seen any sort of rodents for the longest time since getting our guinea fowl. We closed off half the henhouse to make a nursery for the ducklings, goslings and chicks and then this happened. I think I'm going to redo my plans to involve cages off the floor but open it back up so that the guinea fowl can patrol the entire henhouse.
     
    HelplessHomeSteader likes this.
  4. PetesMom

    PetesMom Songster

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    Mar 28, 2012
    Columbia County, NY
    I see 2 boys 3 girls
     
  5. gottsegnet

    gottsegnet Songster

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    Yeah! That will give me two boys and a total of five girls. Not the best ratio, but at least I may have some fertile eggs next year!
     
  6. Tahai

    Tahai Songster

    Hi!

    Feather and bill color don't mean much at this stage of the game. I have 13 WH from Holderreads, almost 9 weeks old, and my darkest breasted duck is definitely a female. She has a quack that will knock your hat off. Also, I have a fairly dark breasted duck with a bright yellow bill - also definitely female. And a relatively pale breasted gold phase drake with a black bill.

    Bill color does not change into boy/girl colors until the laying/mating hormones kick in.

    Going by color, you won't know for sure until they get their nuptial plumage at 4-5 months. Drake feathers come in anywhere from 12 -16 weeks, going by the experiences of people here on the forum.

    Do you plan to hatch eggs this next spring, is that why you need a drake right away?

    Best Wishes,

    Tahai
     
  7. gottsegnet

    gottsegnet Songster

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    Mar 19, 2009
    Nebraska
    We are planning to breed next spring so without a drake, that won't get very far. :)
     
  8. QueenDuck

    QueenDuck In the Brooder

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    I see 2 boys 3 girls but I could be wrong ;)
     
  9. MamaDuck1

    MamaDuck1 Chirping

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    I see 2 males and 3 females, too. But i dont know for sure, like the others :)
     
  10. If you keep listening to their voices -- that is a sure thing. I'd say if the three have a quack, and the two don't by now, then you are probably right that you have 2 boys and 3 girls. But, another few weeks will tell for sure. I was so new to Welsh Harlequins last year, that I thought the hatchery had crossed them with Khaki Campbell accidentally -- till I learned there were Silver and Gold phases . . .silly me!
     

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