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Discussion in 'Ducks' started by farmerChef, Jul 27, 2011.
At what age can you tell a hen from a drake by feather color?
Mine got their coloring in at about 14-16 weeks. You will notice green splotches appear on the drake's head and curly tail feathers start to form.
My friend had about 18 3-4 month olds, and he might have all hens. Wanted make sure they were old enough to tell him when I go over. I actually have another friend that has 5 mallerd drakes and no hens. Maybe they'll get lucky and can swap.
Quote:Man 18 hens is every duck egg eaters dream Hopefully they will swap. That's about 3 hens per drake. A good ratio.
You can only use color to tell a drake from a duck part of the year. When the drake is in his nuptial plumage, he is a different color. If he is in his eclipse plumage, he looks very much like the duck.
With my ducks, the juvenile plumage is pretty much the same on drakes and ducks. On the juveniles I have right now, I can tell by their voice, but not by their color.
Here is a picture of my Mallards at about 6 weeks. You can see a slight green sheen on the heads of 3 of them.
Here is a picture of one of those drakes at 18 weeks
The surest way to know sex at that age in any mallard or mallard-derivative is by voice. Of course, you have to pick them up or separate them one at a time to do it this way, but it's quite effective. Ducks have a loud, stereotypical duck QUACK. Boys have a raspy quackish murmur. Good luck--18 and all hens would be amazing!