How to tell the difference between male and female ducks

Written by ezmeralda lee
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Are you the proud new owner of ducks or ducklings? If so you are probably wondering how to tell if you have males or females. Telling the sex of a duck, just like any species of bird, can be quite a hard task. However there are a few easy tricks for telling if you have yourself a drake or a duck (male or female).

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    It's all in the colour. Whether you raise or own ducks for fun or business, you know that there are many different breeds that come in many diverse colours. One of the most common breeds is the mallard duck. Mallards, like many other breeds, can be told apart from each other by their colour. Males are very brightly coloured with green heads and a white ring around the neck, while females are varied shades of brown. This holds true for many breeds of duck, with the males being brighter in colour than the female. This is not useful though until the duck is full-grown, as with most methods.

  2. 2

    How big is that duck? Looking to the size of the ducks to determine their sex is always a great solution. Some breeds of duck are similar in size no matter what the gender, but in others it can be a great help. In breeds such as the Mallard or Black East Indie, the males or drake are larger than the female or duck. If you are dealing with these breeds or something similar this is a quick, at a glance way to establish the sex of your ducks.

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    Check out that plumage. Once your tiny ducklings grow to 2 months old, there will be one sure-fire way to tell the males from the females. Look at your duck's tail. At the very end, there will be one obvious feather, which usually curls down in a very distinctive curl. This is called the sex feather. This feather is located on all male ducks. The feather is present even after a moult, so the season will not deter you from being able to sex your ducks.

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    Listen to their voices. Many breeds of duck can be sexed based on the volume and tone of their quack. Black East Indie and Call breeds are well known for this trait. The females have a very loud and clear quack that can easily drown out the drakes. The drakes will have a softer much raspier quack. It may even resemble the cluck of a chicken. The difference in voices can be told by the age of 1 month old. It is one of the earliest ways of sexing the duckling without venting it.

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    Venting--Not for amateurs. Venting a duck or duckling in order to sex it is the most accurate but the absolute hardest way to determine the gender. Especially if you are new to duck handling and care, this should be avoided. In order to do this you have to hold the duck upside down and open the ducks genitalia vent. Females will have a cone shaped protruding organ, while males will have a more elongated one. It takes a trained eye and a lot of patience in order to do this.

Tips and warnings

  • * Allow your ducklings time to grow into adults before attempting to sex them in order to promote accuracy.
  • * Be extremely careful when venting your ducks, because if you do not handle them correctly, you may cause injury to them.

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