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Author Topic: Sexing Ducklings  (Read 27167 times)

Maria1969

  • Joined Jul 2011
Sexing Ducklings
« on: July 10, 2012, 08:02:33 am »
Hi All  :wave:
 
I have 5 Cayuga duckling about 4weeks old ish, can any explain how I go about sexing them (if even possible at this age) and at what age can I sell them??
 
Sorry for the newbie questions.
 
 
Many thanks
Maria
1 x soon to be husband, 2 x kids, 1 x dog, 1 x cat, 10 x ex bat chickens, 2 x rabbits, 1 x Gecko and 6 x 12 week old cocker spaniel puppies :0)

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: Sexing Ducklings
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2012, 05:57:38 pm »
the male curly tailfeather's the first "symptom"  ;) of  boyhood, I think, you might also notice a change in voice in the boys. Not sure about the timing , Maria. Whereabouts are you?  ;D :&>

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Sexing Ducklings
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 06:07:14 pm »
See YouTube video for vent sexing, though yours are a bit old now.

Metzer Farms - Sexing Baby Ducklings and Goslings

Their voices are different. Boys sound like they've got a slightly sore throat, girls 'peeping' is very clear. Then it's the girls that quack, the boys carry on with their sore throat peeping.

Eventually, the boys get curly tails but not til 20 weeks or so.


WarescotFarm

  • Joined Jun 2012
Re: Sexing Ducklings
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 06:38:34 pm »
i used that video - it was really helpful!
Miniature Falabella, Pygmy Goat, 2 Glouster Old Spots, 1 Long Island Red, 1 Light Sussex, 1 Dark Sussex, 1 Silkie, 1 Magpie Duck and hopefully some more chicks and ducklings due to hatch soon!

Beeducked

  • Joined Jan 2012
Re: Sexing Ducklings
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 06:39:48 pm »
You can vent sex them from a few days old (well day old but it is harder when they are tiny) but once they are 4 weeks old I actually find it much harder as they are so big and quite strong. Vent sexing is an acquired skill and it can be learnt from videos etc but if you can find someone to teach you it is much better.


The voice is the next thing to give it away. Yours should start having different quacks in the next few weeks. The girls have  the classic "ducky" quacks and the boys sound like a quack with a sore throat. Some people say that they can tell the difference from the peeps they make as ducklings but I can't tell any difference and everyone who sexed ducklings from their peeps for me prior to their adult quacks at about 6 weeks was 100% wrong (which statistically is quite impressive in itself!).


Plummage is the the last sign. The drakes develop their curly sex feathers with their nuptial plumage at 20-24 weeks. They also develop their sexual behaviour at about this time and then it is very obvious!
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 07:58:32 pm by Beeducked »

Maria1969

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Sexing Ducklings
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2012, 08:38:04 am »
Hi All
 
Thankas for all the replies :0) and I am in Suffolk Northfife
 
Thanks again
 
Maria
1 x soon to be husband, 2 x kids, 1 x dog, 1 x cat, 10 x ex bat chickens, 2 x rabbits, 1 x Gecko and 6 x 12 week old cocker spaniel puppies :0)

chris3000

  • Joined May 2012
  • Wiltshire
Re: Sexing Ducklings
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2012, 01:49:55 pm »
Hi,

This is a guide we wrote for our customers - hope it helps:

Ducks look alike, that’s a simple fact. It is difficult for a non-duck farmer to tell the difference between a male duck, (drake) and a female (duck). But there are some subtle differences that can tell the tale without using the difficult and often dangerous option of vent gender checking.

Tail Feathers
Looking at the tail feathers of the adult birds. Drakes will have what are called “male feathers” at the base of their tails that curl up. Females do not have this type of feather feature. If the drake is moulting you will most likely not see the curled feathers so you can tell by his voice that he’s a drake. Only the females actually quack, while the males make a hissing squawk-like noise.

Telling ducklings apart without vent checking
The drakes usually have bigger feet than the ducks due to the fact that the males will grow to be larger than the females. If you see a lot of ducklings all in one place, look at them very carefully and compare the sizes of their feet. Usually you will be able to see the differences quite easily.

Looking at the bill
Quite often ducklings of all one breed will have different coloured bills. Typically this is a good means of determining gender as the females usually have dark brown bills and the males often have either green or orange bills. This is not entirely fool-proof of course, as some ducks, the White Pekin, for example, possess orange bills in both genders. In most other breeds you will be able to determine male or female by the colour of the duckling’s bill. Most duck farmers prefer to get more females than males, as the drakes tend to fight if there are too many of them.

Colour
There are some breeds of ducks that have genders distinguishable by colour. This means that you can tell just by looking at their colours which gender they are, because the males and females each have distinctive colours. Not all ducks are like this so you will need to do your research in order to find out which types can be identified in this simple fashion.

Be aware that when ducklings get a bit older they will start to take on similar characteristics. Until they are nearly full grown and fully feathered out, you will have difficulty telling them apart except by their voices. Since only the females quack, they will have stronger peeps than the males. Males have weaker voices to begin with, and even as soon as the ducklings hatch you can start to hear the difference in the loudness of their peeping.
Any advice I give is purely based on my experience .... It may not be from 20 years of farming or a book I have read .... however it has worked for me.

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: Sexing Ducklings
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2012, 05:20:35 pm »
arrggghhh, I think it's a boy  :&>
Coming to 6 weeks, some green bits on the bill and the rhythm of the peeps has changed to the more male pattern. I'm annoyed after all this cooking porridge - all that's left to do in a few weeks is trying to find a new home  :'( . Stupid mum for giving up on the others which were definitely alive. Either I have to get an incubator or a Muscovy girl to so the job breeding properly! :&>

chris3000

  • Joined May 2012
  • Wiltshire
Re: Sexing Ducklings
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2012, 05:25:34 pm »
I would suggest an incubator or broody hen ... Our Buff Orpington Duck laid 22 fertilised eggs last year ... we decided to let her do her thing, but she was really uninterested and we ended up with 2 (luckily both ladies)

This year we took 5 fertilised eggs and put them under our broody hen - we now have 4 perfect ducklings - and even better we have 2 pairs of each.
Any advice I give is purely based on my experience .... It may not be from 20 years of farming or a book I have read .... however it has worked for me.

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: Sexing Ducklings
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2012, 05:36:03 pm »
didn't work last year , even the broody hens gave up. This year none seems to have inclinations to go broody. :'(

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: Sexing Ducklings
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2012, 10:39:18 am »
I'm so frustrated with this - I feel like I should be able to tell! First I was convinced it was a girl from the crystal clear peeps, then she grew big feet and orange bits on her bill, the rhythm off the peeps changed towards the male's. Now it runs with the other ladies I'm no longer sure as it's more like theirs and no curly tail feather's emerging. The duckling is about 2 months old now. My excuse is that it's a mixed breed and I don't have any other ducklings to compare it with (and only the second home- grown one we've had)  ::) ::) ::) . :&>

Beeducked

  • Joined Jan 2012
Re: Sexing Ducklings
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2012, 09:00:14 pm »
My boys have always had crystal clear peeps and I don't really believe you can tell them apart until they quack. I've had people tell me that they can and maybe they can. I just know that anyone who has said they can was right less than 50% of the time! ::)


They won't get their curly tail feathers till about 20-24 weeks but they should have a distinct quack by now. The best recording I have found online is the one I put in the other thread which might help.

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: Sexing Ducklings
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2012, 09:48:35 pm »
BD, could you give me a reminder where to find it, please?  :&>

Beeducked

  • Joined Jan 2012
Re: Sexing Ducklings
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2012, 08:07:23 am »

 

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