Question About Duck Gender

Haunted55

Songster
7 Years
Feb 15, 2012
2,818
265
218
Central Maine
I have a Mallard, may be a Mallard and Pekin mix, that looks physically like a female except for a darker patch of green/black feathering on the very top of it's head. This duck has the raspy quack of a male. The body feathers are the browns of a female. The other drakes, that were hatched a month after this one, already have their wedding colors. They're about 5-6 months old now.

Does anyone anyone know what or why this is? He has a female friend and they always hang out together, although I have never seen them mating. He's a tough little nut too. There have been a couple of times when the other drakes have tried to 'mate' with him and he doesn't put up with it at all. It's funny...the geese allow this little guy into their room and also let him hang with them in the pen. Not so much with the other ducks, they, the geese, usually keep themselves segregated pretty well and will not allow any of the other ducks with them.

He's happy and healthy, no problems there, it's just a head shaker as to why his coloring is so off from what it should be. [I'll be getting some pictures of him this morning and will post them today.] Anyone have any ideas as to what this is?
 

shicks0211

Songster
7 Years
May 7, 2012
272
18
101
Orlando Florida
hmm..if he has a drake feather and has the quack of a male..i'd say that it's a mallard mix since his coloring is off. I had a mallard pekin cross..he was a male but never got the classic green head of the mallard..his color was very mallard like..but like your duck, he got maybe a slight not so distinctive patch of darker..green feathers on his head..but not the coloring..and in my case he got a patch of white on his chest from his pekin cross
 

Haunted55

Songster
7 Years
Feb 15, 2012
2,818
265
218
Central Maine



This is Sweety duck. As you can see there is no drake curl or any coloring to make you think this is a boy. The quack is definately male. Below is a picture of him/her, as a baby. Sweety was the only hatch from a clutch of 4 eggs. He/she got a lot of attention from us before the next batch was hatched out.

Doesn't know it should be afraid of that cat, lol. Not really, the cats actually are afraid of the birds. Can ducks be hermaphrodites? I have no ideas other than that. It looks like a female but acts like a drake in every way except for mating.
 

Senna95

Songster
9 Years
Apr 6, 2010
537
130
196
Woodland
How old is your duck?

Mallard (wild type) colored ducks take a few months to get all their colors. Before that they all look like females: it's called "eclipse plumage"........ they will also have this plumage starting in the fall, through early spring. It's an adaptation to help the males camoflauge themselves durring the non-breeding season.
 

Haunted55

Songster
7 Years
Feb 15, 2012
2,818
265
218
Central Maine
How old is your duck?

Mallard (wild type) colored ducks take a few months to get all their colors. Before that they all look like females: it's called "eclipse plumage"........ they will also have this plumage starting in the fall, through early spring. It's an adaptation to help the males camoflauge themselves durring the non-breeding season.
I know, Sweety is right around 6 months old now. The Mallard males that were hatched a month after him are in full wedding colors now. Sweety....not so much as you can see. Sweety is also not interested in breeding even though the other ducks, Pekins, Mallards, Kakhi Campbells, Muscovys and Silver Appleyards are all about it. All but my original Mallards and Pekins, 1 year olds, were hatched after Sweety. It's odd that's for sure.

edited for spelling
 
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Haunted55

Songster
7 Years
Feb 15, 2012
2,818
265
218
Central Maine
http://www.flickr.com/photos/crappywildlifephotography/8748459722/

http://www.daltonstate.edu/galeps/Gynandromorphs.htm

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/400424/gynandromorph-chicken

Well, it seems I wasn't too far off, just didn't have the proper terminology when asking the question. A gyandromorph! Who'd a thunk? Lol, I'm going to have to get more updated pictures of Sweety to show the new developments going on with his, yes I think the "Y" is dominant, plummage. One side is starting to show some of the grey feathering normally associated with the drake's wedding colors. Still no true drake curl, but Sweety has a duck friend who he hangs with and has even protected from other drakes. No sign of mating between them, but she is obviously 'his' girl.

Funny, Sweety is the only live hatch from my favorite Mallard duck, Lily, who passed last Fall. Lily had a white diamond on her breast. It wasn't a blend of feathers, like I have seen with other Mallard ducks. This was a distinct, all white, diamond shape. I should have known her child would be as lovable and funky as she was, lol. No idea if Sweety will ever mate. I'll leave that to chance and see how Nature plays this one out.
 

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