I bought 4 adult ducks in august. Unfortunately the seller wasnt very informative, so I never found out which was which - male / female. Although the seller said they had stopped laying for the season they started laying after 4 days here, and carried on right until we lost them. Im afraid I didnt think about mink, and one broke into the cage one night. (My neighbours have had totally free range chickens for years, and according to them the biggest dangers are loose dogs. So I never thought of mink. Now we know.) fortunately I had already put eggs in the incubator. I now have 9 ducklings, and there is an obvious difference in colour. Some have almost black beaks and feet, others have definately brown feet and beaks. Is this male / female difference? Or is it just chance? They are doing OK, those that made it thru hatching and the first 24hrs, but seem to be pecking at / eating sawdust. (Its not "dust" of course, larger pieces than that.) Should I have them on something else, not sawdust? If so - what? When I checked the eggs at 7 days all had veins and were obviously developing. However 3 never developed fully. 2 pipped and never made it out of the egg. 4 died within the first 24 - 36 hours. What am I doing wrong? Hoping someone can tell me a bit more about my ducklings.