Young Ducks and Egg-laying questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by blue lotus, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. blue lotus

    blue lotus Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 27, 2011
    This spring, we (well, my FIL bought them but we take care of them) picked up a number of Blue swede and Khaki ducklings. We already have two female runner ducks and a Buff drake, so right now we have a total of 12 ducks.

    My problem right now is actually in trying to figure out if we still have any more drakes in this group. I know that out of the 12, at least two are drakes (our Buff, and a khaki that looks like a Mallard). But how can I tell if any others are male? We are getting two eggs a day, but I am pretty sure my runners aren't laying so they would have to be from the new ducks. I have seen a few of the questionable ducks *acting* like males, by mounting some of the other ducks. But is this strictly male behavior (I know it is seen in other species, so I am not positive here).

    One of the black colored Blue Swedes has a rather green colored head, and we assume it is male. I just can't seem to find many answers on the interwebs, and I am hoping someone here can help us out!

    Ultimately if they are all female (well, except for the two males we know we have), that would be awesome. I would love to try and figure this out before spring, though, and without having to separate each duck from the flock for a few days just to see if they are laying.

    Thanks! [​IMG]
  2. duck&chickencrazy

    duck&chickencrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2008
    Females quack and males make a kinda raspy sound...if they quack its a girl...if its raspy its a boy
  3. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2011
    orange county
    In just a little while, your drakes will confirm what gender they are with that curly feather on their tail. I ended up ordering all females and one turned out to be a drake, I suspected it it for a while due to the quack, but knew I had ordered a female, so until that feather grew, I was in denial. Ultimately as long as your females outnumber your males by a few you should be fine and you'll get more eggs a little further into the season. I personally get 3 or 4 eggs a day between 2 gold star hybrids and 2 runners, I can tell who is laying based upon their size.
  4. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 25, 2010
    Kansas City
    The best way to tell is by the quack or curly feather. My girls tend to be quite amorous with each other, so I wouldn't go by that behavior at all.
  5. blue lotus

    blue lotus Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 27, 2011
    I knew about the curly feather, several that we processed had it. I was just hoping there might be other obvious differences. Unfortunately, right now most of them sound like they have a raspy voice, except my two runners. Good to know that the girls will also act so affectionately with each other. I guess we will have to wait a while longer to see if more of them start laying eggs or get a drake feather.

    Thanks! And if anyone else comes up with ideas or ways to identify them, please let me know! [​IMG]
  6. duckdad

    duckdad Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2011
    How old are they?

    the girls will make more noise and a wider variety of noises. The girls also have a darker beak as it grows out. The boys beak will be lighter, perhaps a slight yellow/green tint while the girls will have a definate dark tip and streak up the middle.

    You can physically sex an older duckling...IF you can hold them and you're willing to risk a poo bath. (not much risk actually, its a certainty) Thats why sexing birds is reccomended before they eat their first meal..
  7. daydreamer92

    daydreamer92 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 17, 2011
    The quacking/non-quacking gave our ducks away well before the curly feather. I'd say just listen to them. The quacky ones will be your girls and the non-quack noise makers will be your boys. As you've noted, all ducks are randy critters, so that's not a great way to tell boy from girl. If you think eggs are already coming out, then their voices should have changed by now.

    Good luck! We have too many boys to girls ourselves, but at least there are more girls than boys. Along with two geese the boys have given up wooing and a gander many of the girl ducks think is dreamy (lots of stalking and bobbing and chuckling).
  8. Dusky Beauty

    Dusky Beauty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2011
    Upshur County, Texas
    I have girls that make a noise that could be considered "raspy", they sound like an out of breath voice cracking teen a lot of the time (haven't ruled out them being hermaphrodites, they don't lay.) Clearest difference I can say is that girls sound like ducks, boys sound a bit like frogs.

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