Mule duck questions!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by irisshiller, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. irisshiller

    irisshiller Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2014
    Israel
    Hi! I have a few ducks that puzzle me and I wonder if anyone has experience with ducks that are mixes between muscovies and a mallard-derived breed.

    This is Shulman:

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    The people that gave him to me told me he was a muscovy male. As he grew though, I realised he looks nothing like my other muscovy male. He is now more than a year old and still has not a trace of red carucles on his face. He also doesn't have the crown feathers on his head and doesn't make exactly the same sound - it is less of a hiss and more of a very hoarse quack. He is as big as a muscovy male though and he is not a female (male private parts all present :)) I am wondering if he is some sort of a mule?

    Then, there are these two:

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    The people who gave them to me as 4 week old ducklings had no idea what they are and I can't trace their origins anymore. They are about 3 months old by now. They grew incredibly fast and are now as big as Shulman and Boris, my other muscovy male. But both of them are also hardly developing any caruncling. I haven't heard any type of sound from them, no hissing and no trilling, no matter how hard I try to listen. I assumed they were both males and resigned myself to having to find them another home, but then something strange happened: both Shulman and Boris caught the duck in the last picture and forcibly mated with her (him?). Then it made a sound, something I've never heard before, like a shriek.

    I'm really confused now. Are they males? Females? Male and female? They are inseparable and don't associate much with the other ducks.

    This is them with my pair of true muscovies (Boris and Katya), to compare:

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    I also have a pair of Welsh Harlequins with 10 babies. They keep to themselves, too, and the male does not try to mate with them. He does however mate with the muscovy female. She is laying eggs at the moment and has a nest of about 14 eggs by now! I wonder if there will be any mules among the hatchlings, it would be very interesting to see! :)

    I had two other muscovy females but they flew off recently... I was planning to get some more females, as it is hard on Katya to be constantly mated by everyone. But if those two black and whites are females and they can take the pressure of Katya, it would be good.

    I'd be grateful for any opinions or ideas!

    Thanks,
    Iris.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Hi, Iris. Katya needs your protection, and so does the duck in the last picture. I will guess that latter duck is a male, and the shriek was from pain. Drakes will do that to another male, and that can be painful and very harmful.

    I would put the unnamed duck (drake) and Katya in an area where there are no drakes most of the time, and I would supervise any time together, till you can get things sorted out.

    While it depends on the drake, some are just brutal. Aside from the ethics - I feel that our domestic animals depend upon us to watch closely enough to protect them - I would not risk my investment, however modest, and allow any of them to be at risk.

    Splitting flocks has been used successfully to change dynamics. It does require observation and flexibility.

    Yes, Sholman looks like a mule to me, as do the others.
     
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