Who's Your Duck-Daddy? AKA - Advice on picking the best drake

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by tactilecontact, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. tactilecontact

    tactilecontact Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2016
    Montague, MI, USA
    Well, it's been many, many weeks since introducing all five of my Runner babies here. They've all done rather well at growing into young adulthood, with our two oldest at nineteen weeks, and the three youngest at sweet sixteen.

    But, as my luck goes. Both of the oldest turned out to be drakes, while the others are all hens. In other words, I have a worrisome boy/girl imbalance.

    After contemplating the circumstances the last few weeks, we've decided we'd like to keep one of the drakes for breeding. (Our original intention was to have only hens for egg laying, but we've broadened to wanting to have a small breeding stock, for meat and possibly sale.) So my dilemma is, which one do I pick? I've spent a bit of time scouring the net for advice, but all of the advice seems to focus only on physical characteristics standards. Is that really the only thing to consider? What about behavioral characteristics?

    Here's a rundown on both of my boys:

    Pork-N-Beans - Healthy from day one; no leg issues. Vibrant plumage coloring (fawn/white). Started early as a BAMF bug eater; is the best in the flock at ninja fly-catching. Most active forager of the drakes. Highly alert and protective, always keeping watch with eyes on the skies, first of the drakes to go on the defensive at a perceived threat (including when we try to hold one of the girls).

    Pepperjack - Spent several weeks in ducklinghood with weak, wobbly legs, before brewers yeast and a change in feed got him back on track. Duller plumage coloring (fawn/white). Will eat bugs, but not as aggressive at pursuing them. Forages actively, but rarely takes the lead in venturing out. Snoozes. ALL. THE. TIME. Not particularly watchful, typically picks up a defensive posture and call after someone else does first.

    Reasonably speaking, Pork-N-Beans would be my more ideal candidate, considering behavioral traits. Honestly, both are a bit lackluster in the definitive "breed standard" idea; they're both rather paunchy... though, that's probably my fault because I free-feed them. However, PeeBee does have a slightly longer and more-slender neck than Pepper. The problem is, while PeeBee thus far has shown no real interest in breeding any of the girls, Pepper has been very enthusiastically "tapping that" with one of them. Seems to be the ONLY thing he's better at. Will this change at any point in the future? Or is it possible PeeBee might not be able to "meet the demands" of breeding multiple hens (we're looking into getting two more next year)? How should I choose?
     
  2. HeatherD42

    HeatherD42 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2016
    I think behavioral traits are way more important than physical if you're not looking for show birds. The problem I have with my drake is he is too aggressive during mating season and bloodies the two girls' necks within a month, so that I have to separate him until the end of August! Then nobody's happy... He's very attentive to his ladies otherwise, but he's a monster during breeding season. So from personal experience I would choose a less testosterone riddled specimen, lol.

    But if you want them for breeding stock, the one's weak legs and lack of vigor is a little worrisome
     
  3. purslanegarden

    purslanegarden Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2016
    There's nothing that says you can't use one of the sons in the future. Use one of the drakes for now and if you see something good in the future sons, move to them, along with some other females. Chances are, with your goals of meat, eggs, sale etc, you will soon find yourself wanting more than one group of breeders.
     
  4. tactilecontact

    tactilecontact Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2016
    Montague, MI, USA
    Thank you both for the assurances! I was hoping behaviour and health would be the better reasons. :)
     

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