Purchasing unsexed ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by kcbode, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. kcbode

    kcbode Out Of The Brooder

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    I bought Aussie Spotts a couple years ago from Holderreads. They are a great all round duck to raise. I was thinking about raising them again in a new location . My question is this: last time I ordered I received far more drakes than hens...is that typical ? They are sold unsexed so you don't know what your getting. Thanks
     
  2. DemonicFowl

    DemonicFowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its all up to chance. If they don't sex them then they don't know what their giving you.
     
  3. emmajane07

    emmajane07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! This past spring I got two ducks from my local farm store. Like you said, they are not sexed. I got lucky and ended up with one of each. However, my male duck is over mating my female so I was in need of more females. I decited to bite the bullet, order online from a hatchery and pay the shipping. At least this way I could order sexed ducklings and not end up with more males. It was worth it to me.
     
  4. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Ducklings are easily vent sexed (look up the video on the Metzger farm site). I've never bought from Holderhead, but I see that they raise some to adults to sell and I bet they get a lot of requests for extra females as adults. If I were them, I'd be tempted to pull out some extra females for raising up and sell the "male heavy" remainder as straight runs.

    I have not idea if they do this or not. I once bought 100 sex link chicks from a hatchery and found I had about 60% males. I can't prove they switched out a few of my pullet chicks for males (they would otherwise not be able to sell for as much), but it would have been quite simple to do that. Both hatcheries are for profit enterprises, so the temptation to boost the profits in small, seemingly innocuous ways must be there.

    Honestly, this is the main reason I am reluctant to but bantam duckings from Holderhead. They are expensive (about $11). I can imagine buying 6 or 8 and finding I only have 1 female, making for a pair that costs more than buying adults (except shipping is even higher on adults). I will probably wait until I can find some locally rather than risk a male-heavy order.
     
  5. sunnyfishy

    sunnyfishy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On this same vein, I have seen some farms sell straight runs etc, but if you go there, you must surely be allowed to pick the ducklings you want right? What breeds can you tell the sex by color as ducklings? I was hoping to order some silver appleyards from Holderread this coming spring, but I'm so worried I'll get a ton of males.
     
  6. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    If you were the seller and could sex them, would you let a customer pick out all the females? I wouldn't. I sell chicks, not ducklings, and some breeds are easily sexed. Those are $8 for females, males are free. None are for sale "straight run" because it doesn't makes sense to do that. I wouldn't let the customer pick their own because one of us is not getting a fair deal. Now, on the breeds that are not sexable, I will let them pick the ones they want as SR, if they know more than I do, they might have an advantage, but I don't believe anyone that says they can feather sex chicks that have not been sex linked for that.

    Your best bet is it order more than you want and sell the extras locally once they sex out. It should still work out to be cheaper than buying shipped adults, but there is a risk of course. Even better is to find a local breeder and buy eggs or ducklings from them. I believe local, "back yard" breeders are less likely to stick you with extra males intentionally. There is something about a face to face transaction that makes it harder for someone to act badly, IMO. I'm not trying to sound like I'm accusing anyone of being deceitful, just seems like the potential and temptation is there.
     
  7. JadeComputerGal

    JadeComputerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Holderread is a very well-respected breeding operation, and I'd have trouble believing they say straight-run only, then sex the ducklings anyway to ship you a male-heavy order. I really believe that you tell them you want ten of xyz breed and they just randomly pick them. This wouldn't really make sense because it wouldn't boost profits since at least most breeders charge a premium for females.

    Look at it this way...Even if they charged only a dollar more for females, and the spread is usually more than that from breeders that will sell you the sexes you request, you'd pay USD $1,100 for 100 unsexed ducklings. If they were sexed and the females were USD $12 each, and you had a male/female ratio of 60/40, that would cost USD $1,140. More money even with a lower ratio of females, so what you suggested wouldn't work out to Holderread's advantage.
     
  8. JadeComputerGal

    JadeComputerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That depends what you mean by farms. Some farmers just raise ducks and let them breed and don't know how to properly sex ducklings. If that were the case, you'd have to know how to sex them yourself, and the farmer would have to be willing to let you do it. I'm not sure about the farms around here that have ducks, or even if there are any nearby, but I know that the farm stores in this area won't even let you pick the ducklings up and hold them, much less sex them. They say that's to avoid introducing diseases, but I have my suspicions about that being the real reason.
     
  9. sunnyfishy

    sunnyfishy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never been to any farms that have sold ducklings, so I have 0 experience there. In the spring, I planned to order Silver Appleyards from Holderread and then potentially drive to some farm in southern ME for Welsh Harlequins since I'm in NH.
     
  10. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My guess is that when people order females, they pull out females. When people order straight run, they get pulled from whatever is left, so they're pulling yours randomly, but they're not starting at 50/50.

    On the breeds they sell only straight run, they probably just pull
     

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