What age do they start looking like a drake?


9 Years
Apr 5, 2010
Viroqua, WI
I read a post a couple days ago saying that the ducks go through a transition when they first feather out where they all look pretty much female. I'm definitely noticing this in my ducks. I'm pretty sure from the quack/rasp ratio that I have 3 saxony drakes and 2 appleyard drakes. They *barely* look different from the quackers, though. When are they going to get their colored heads and all that business? I'm expecting the drake tail feathers to come last, right?

I'm not sure what went wrong with my drakes, but they immediately went into male plumage when they started getting feathers. They didn't get their drakes feathers (hints of them, not realy big yet) until a few weeks after being FULLY feathered.
Am I mistaken? Do I have 8 females and no drakes? I did hear at least one of those that I thought was a drake quacking loudly today...?
I know you can't know what I've got, but does anybody else remember a time when the ducklings all look female...do they sometimes get the male colored plumage later, somehow?
I'm specifically looking at Silver Appleyards and Saxonies right now.
I've not had saxonies or appleyards, but I do have rouens. The males also get the dark green head. On rouens, the green head feathers start showing up before any of the other 'drake' colored feathers. There is a short while, from about 4-8 weeks, where the males and females do look pretty much the same, but I've noticed that the males have a white band around their throats in the rouens, and the females don't.

You need to quack test them. Pick each and everyone of them up and see who quacks. You didn't mention how old they are, but if they are over 4 weeks old you should have quackers and raspers by now. They won't get their curly drake tail feathers till they are 4-5 months old.
I have three 9 week old all ducks. Two are white and one is gray. One of the whites quacks, so definately female. the other white has a raspy voice, no quack, so I am thinking male. The gray looks like a female. No drake colors such as the green head ect. but he doesn't quack. He looks like a female but has a raspy voice. I am thinking male by the voice. I was also interested to see what others say because I would also like to know if he will lose the female coloring and when he will get the male coloring.


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