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Mystery: Five ducks hens, no drake....still getting fertile eggs?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by DowntonDucks, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. DowntonDucks

    DowntonDucks New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2015
    Hello, I have a mystery going on.
    I have five duck hens: Two Anconas, one Swedish/Khaki mix, one Pekin, one Cayuga. My Ancona drake recently died (3 wks ago).
    My two Anconas and the Swedish mix laid eggs and even one got broody this past summer. All were mates of the drake before he died. So, I am positive they were all female.

    I recently added the Pekin and Cayuga, both of which were apparently laying when I was gifted them.

    Since the Anconas and Swedish recently molted, one of the Anconas has been "mounting" the other two ducks. I haven't seen any "male appendages" so I thought it was just dominance behavior for lead female.

    Yesterday, I used an egg that had been laid that morning and it was fertile...I am very confused as to who is the male of the group. I am very familiar with male markings and voicings and none of the five ducks have the low voice or tail curl that my previous drake had. I live in the city and am home all day, so I am very confident there is no wild drake flying in and getting acquainted with the ladies.

    Any ideas?? I know that sometimes a female duck can turn male, but there is no sign of that. Four of the ducks have been seen pinning down other ducks, which I assume is dominance since there is no longer a male.
     
  2. jducour

    jducour Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2015
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    I don't want to sound rude, but are you sure they are fertile? What are you going off to think they are fertile? Also - could you post pictures or a video of your ducks? I'm sure you are right - and you have all females, but you never know! I know ducks can store semen to fertilize their eggs, but I thought they could only lay fertile eggs for two weeks after mating. I could be totally wrong here though.

    I wanted to add - can you post a picture if the yolk of a fertile egg? It should have a bullseye around the female dna. There is a white spot on every yolk, and another ring around that spot if fertilized.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  3. DowntonDucks

    DowntonDucks New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2015
    You know what, you confirmed my internet research this afternoon! I was seeing the white spot on the yolk and thinking it was fertile-- especially the one laid this morning. Some of the older collected eggs were probably fertilized before my beautiful drake died. THank you for you help. I am now convinced they are all female and just trying to re-establish the pecking order! [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. jducour

    jducour Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh good! I am so glad you figured it all out. You have such beautiful birds!
     
  5. Buck Oakes

    Buck Oakes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay fact time :) love sharing this

    Females can't actually turn male, they establish the male physique and dominate but are infertile, no babies :( and also it takes 18 days for an egg to become fertile so it actually takes 2 weeks and 4 days to lay these fertile eggs so possibly after a while u can still have fertile eggs
     
  6. DowntonDucks

    DowntonDucks New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2015
    Oh, thank you, Buck Oakes, for that clarification! Love learning new things about my ducks! So are you saying that if they become male in appearance that they will no longer lay any eggs?
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
  7. DowntonDucks

    DowntonDucks New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2015
    Thank you! They sure are a lot of fun...free entertainment daily!
     
  8. DowntonDucks

    DowntonDucks New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2015
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
  9. Buck Oakes

    Buck Oakes Chillin' With My Peeps


    I'm not sure, I mean I've only heard of it the no babies part; but most of the time a female won't even become a male, they'll all just be chill and lay eggs on occasion
     

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