So what do you think is up with these ducks? Male? Female?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Guitartists, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Michigan
    Early this spring I purchased 5 ducklings.... 4 of which were runners and 1 was a Rouen. That one was definitely a female. So I had the 4 runners.... 1 of which developed all the drake signs.... whisper voice, drake feathers, yadda yadda... he even tried to mate with the turkeys that he was raised with... LOL The other 3 appeared to be females..... loud quacks, no drake feathering.... all 3 had the same slim necks and lines in comparison to my drake.... and I've been getting a TON of duck eggs! If I didn't know any better I'd swear they were all laying at least 2 eggs a day! LOL They tend to drop eggs wherever they are so it's impossible for me to know who is laying what for sure, but I know at least 2 are females for SURE as I get tan eggs and blueish eggs from them.

    Earlier this summer I was baffled when I saw one of the girls mount the other and mate [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] But didn't see any further male behavior from her.... and even saw her mated by the drake??? So thought maybe it was just dominant behavior???? Still the same slender loud female acting duck.

    But, I lost my drake a week ago....... now my girl in question is mating the other girls again and looks to be growing a curly tail feather????? [​IMG] [​IMG] Soooooooooooo........ Is my girl having hormonal issues???? Or would a drake in a flock with a severely over sexed male 'hide' the fact that he was a male until given a chance to assume the lead role? Or is it just a slow maturing male? It's around 6 months of age.
     
  2. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Well, if I had to guess, I'd say you've got a girl who is trying to "fill in the gaps" now that your boy is gone. It's not at all unusual for girls to mount other girls, so that's no surprise. And if the male is gone, then there is a missing piece there that she will try to fill in, both in terms of mating behavior and dominance.

    I think if she were a male, you would have seen some dominance struggles early on while the two males figured out who was going to be top dog (so to speak).

    But anything's possible. It's even possible for a female to suddenly start acting like a male & actually develop the male traits--curly tail feather and all--Dave Holderread mentions an example from his childhood, of his favorite duck, "Tina" who became "Tim" in later years of her life, even after having laid eggs all her life.
     
  3. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Michigan
    I guess I'll know in a few weeks when I either get fertile or non-fertile duck eggs [​IMG]
     
  4. It does happen that some ducks will develop ovarian cysts that change their hormones to produce secondary male characteristics, but I don't believe they get to the point of being able to fertilize a hen's eggs. But let us know how this develops!
     

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