How to tell the sex of muscovy ducks

Written by elaina wingfield
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How to tell the sex of muscovy ducks
Muscovy ducks are popular residents of community ponds. (Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Muscovy ducks are brightly coloured, and strikingly patterned waterfowl popular in community and personal ponds. The unmistakable animated quack sets Muscovy's apart from other traditionally quite breeds. Male Muscovy ducks are known as drakes, while females are known as hens. Determining the gender of Muscovy ducks can be difficult, as males and females aren't patterned differently. While there is no way to determine the sex of a young Muscovy duckling by appearance, following these steps will allow you to distinguish between mature drake and hen Muscovy ducks.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Listen to the call of the ducks. Hens will sing out, whereas drakes will hiss as they quack.

  2. 2

    Look at the differences in the Muscovy's masks. The area between the eye and beak will be less prominent in females, while males will have more elaborate and swollen facial masks.

  3. 3

    Watch how the ducks walk. Male Muscovy ducks will shake their tail feathers as they strut around the pond. Female Muscovy ducks will walk gingerly, and appear shy.

  4. 4

    Look for differences in the ducks sizes. Drakes are substantially larger than hens. Hens have a smooth appearance, while drakes look fluffy and heavy.

Tips and warnings

  • Muscovy drakes are social, and will gladly accept a treat.
  • Beware of getting close to Muscovy ducks during the spring, as the drake and hen will be guarding their nest.

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