Sexing 5 in a half week old muscovy ducklings

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by brandy21410, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. brandy21410

    brandy21410 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I know I should wait until they get older but Iam far too anxious. I was hoping some experts would be able to tell me how many drakes/females I have?!
    The blue one is the most fiesty and is o e of the biggest one. Also I have them outside full time since the weather permitts and they do not get up and run arroubd alot. I have been supplementing niacin but idk if that is eveb the problem. I feed them 24% protein feed just like my chickens. Its Swans natural poultry feed. TIA and sorry for all the threads I am very new to duck keeping.
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    Also I am pretty sure that one is a magpie colored but the one blue one seems to be barred is that right? Any suggestions.?
     
  2. WillGriffin03

    WillGriffin03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck
     
  3. Devw

    Devw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! Fellow musky breeder here.

    By now, it should be fairly obvious what gender you have. Muscovy drakes are longer in body type, heavier, have BIG feet, wide tail feathers (like an expanded fan), and flat beaks (I like to call them platypus beaks ;) ). The hens are smaller, lighter, have tiny feet, have a pointier tail (like a partially closed fan), and a pointier beak.

    It's a little hard to tell in your photos, so hopefully those guidelines will help. It looks like you have two drakes and two hens (the blue one is probably male, and the smaller white one is female. The duck with the brown head is female. The magpie is probably male.). Also, drakes will start developing their mask sooner and will get almost twice the size of the females.

    Barring on the muscovy breed is a bit unusual, though I have had quite a few pop up in my flock. However, most barred ducks usually loose the barring by the time they get their adult feathers in. Also, ducklings that are dark colors may appear to be barred on their chest and belly, but it's actually a temporary "fringe". They generally start as an orange/brown color that eventually fades into a solid color. Blues also have a slightly darker lacing on their feathers, so be careful not to confuse that with barring.

    The one with the brown head is probably a creme, or a similar variant. The other light one (not the magpie) look like a color of duck that I used to breed exclusively for, which I used to refer to as an "opal", since it didn't fit the description of creme or lavender, but a mix of both. It's probably a creme though, if it's siblings with the others.

    Hope that was helpful for you :)

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
  4. brandy21410

    brandy21410 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for the info do u have any pointers as for them not standing alot? I dont know if that is normal or not and yes they are from the same brood. Here is a pic of the parents
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    the dark chocolate female and the white female with the grey on the back co brooded but I think the white female is the mom because there was only 15 eggs. I think u are right the big white one with the black on the head and the blue one look like the males to me and the other two the females. Thank you for the response I hope they are healthy I am worried about them not standing alot.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
  5. Devw

    Devw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's super normal for ducklings of this age to lay down a lot. Their bones are growing very quickly, and it makes their legs a little sore. They won't usually be as active as the adults until 3 or 4 months, or when they have all or most of their feathers.

    I would say that you definitely have one "magpie" (though it's usually called pied, when there's more white than color.)

    Pretty birds :)
     
  6. brandy21410

    brandy21410 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yay thank you again for the info. Its my first time with ducks and theu are messy and grow fast but I love them. I hope my drakes dont end up fighting.
     
  7. Devw

    Devw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chances are your drakes won't fight as much as drakes that haven't grown up together. But they will fight eventually (as will your older drake) to establish a hierarchy. The hens might fight a little too, but not as dramatically. Once the hierarchy is established, they likely won't fight again unless you introduce a completely new drake.

    Try to avoid getting involved with the fighting, as the drakes will take advantage if you're holding one back. It's best to let them do their thing. I promise they won't harm each other as much as it looks they do (since they all know each other.) At most it will be pulled feathers, and hitting each other with their wings.

    They also might not fight at all, since they're from the same brood, but don't be alarmed if they do. :) Congratulations on your first time. Muscovies are such a delight to own (they're the main reason why I'm so involved with poultry. I just fell in love.)

    Since these babies are so young, you can even give them names and they will sometimes even learn them. All my hens (especially one I hand raised) know their names, and come when called. It's the funniest thing ever! They are such an intelligent breed.

    Also, if you don't know already, the hens tend to be fliers once they figure it out. So it might be in your best interest to clip the secondaries on one side when they're younger, to prevent them from figuring it out. :) Usually the drakes get too heavy to fly, but on occasion I have had one fly over the fence and get stuck because they couldn't quite figure out how to get back over.

    Something also worthy of mention, if you don't already do it. Muscovies are a roosting breed of ducks (hence the long and thick toenails), and will probably enjoy a suspended pole/bench to sleep on at night. Currently I use a wooden ladder that's suspended between the walls of the coop.

    I hope your babies get big and are as sweet and lovely as mine are!
     
  8. brandy21410

    brandy21410 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I will definitely be clipping the wings as soon as possible I dont need any ducks on the loose. And do you house youre muscovys with hens? I will b eventually integrating the ducklings into my flock of 8 hens and am alittle worried. Here are updated pics. 2 of them are almost completely white and I think the blue coloured one will have no white on it at all?
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  9. Devw

    Devw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I keep my drakes and my hens in the same coop (separate from other types of poultry, since ducks can spread certain diseases to chickens, turkeys, etc.).

    The boys are usually very sweet and dote on the hens. Integrating them young will not cause any huge problems (and neither will introducing them as adults.) At most, the ducklings might get a little pecked on, but not enough to injure the ducklings.

    Personally, I let my hens raise the ducklings with the other adults once the babies start getting feathers on their wings. Muscovy ducks become very close with their other flock members, and will accept the ducklings pretty well.

    Since you're introducing them as older ducklings, I would let them interact during the day and separate them at night for 2-3 days. Then let the ducklings sleep with the adults.

    Hopefully that answers your question :)

    The blue probably won't get white on it, but as it gets older white feathers might show up on the breast, wings, and head.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017

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