Post by thesurisecret on Jun 17, 2007 21:33:43 GMT -5
We have our first Muscovies: three ducklings. I've read up on the gender differences over on other sites and in Storey's book, but I can't seem to figure out for sure which of our ducklings is which.
How can I post pictures of them?
The ducklings are about 6 weeks old: one black (barred?) and two "grey" (also barred?). The mothers were described as mottled grey by the breeders. The father is solid black (perhaps wild type?).
The black duckling seems to be a bit smaller (maybe). I can't see a difference in foot size. Maybe I should take a ruler out to the pen tomorrow!
The two grey ducklings hang out together, play together, and sit together most of the time. I've definitely heard one of the grey ones make a hissing sound, with an open beak, when I bring the food. I also hear peeping (which they all used to do), but I can't tell which duckling is doing the peeping.
Can anyone help me identify genders and/or colors in my ducklings?
I can't helps much in the color department, but I have raised several Muscovy ducklings (all blk/white). It has been in my limited experience that the males are almost always larger than the females after 2 weeks. Now this is considering that they were from the same hatch. There are people way more qualified to answer this question though. Hopefully they will put their two cents in. Brit
Post by thesurisecret on Jun 17, 2007 23:06:23 GMT -5
the males are almost always larger than the females after 2 weeks. Now this is considering that they were from the same hatch. There are people way more qualified to answer this question though. Hopefully they will put their two cents in. Brit
Brit, The three eggs hatched on the same day, as far as I know. They could possibly be from two different (nearly identical) mothers who are likely full sisters. All three ducklings share the same father.
Pictures are up on our website. (You can click on each one to see the detail better.) I think you'll see that they're pretty much the same size, unless I'm missing differences. This is possible as I'm totally new to Muscovies.
It's possible that they're all the same gender. I've been working on the assumption that the black one is a female as it seems a tiny bit smaller than the other two. They're 6 weeks old.
OK. They do all appear to be barred, congrats - they're a less common variety in most places!
There are a few ways to tell gender. The feet are a good indication, not only will the feet be larger, the legs will be thicker and they'll be more wide-set. You can also tell by body shape. About 4 weeks or so, drakelets will be longer, front to back, than ducklets. The drakelet's body will be long with a bulky breast, looking in profile. A ducklet will have a nice rounded underbelly, again, in profile, and won't be near as long.
From looking at that first photo, the duckling in the middle actually appears to be a drakelet and the other two appear to be ducklets. I can't be 100% certain but I'm fairly confident.
Oh, as far as colors, if they have white feathers they are pied, the colors are black and I think blue, blue being the name for 'grey' looking birds. It's hard to tell the blues since there's so little solid color to them. Once the get past their first molt it'll be easier to tell...about 10-12 weeks, I think.
When I'd describe a bird like these, I'd say black barred pied, blue barred pied. If there is no white feathers then they'd just be black barred or blue barred.
Post by thesurisecret on Jun 18, 2007 22:50:53 GMT -5
What about the copper-brown band at the base of their tails? The black duckling seems to have more of it and it is slightly darker and more noticeable on "her." The two blue ones have the copper-brown, too.
Okay...so black and blue...barred. Pied? Does that mean that the yellow duckling down that's left on their backs will be white? Or is it the white splotches on the chest?
I've seen pictures of pied muscovies that reminded me of a pinto horse. I guess I'll have to wait and see how these ducklings look after their molt. I'll post new pictures then.
The remaining down doesn't necessarily mean that the feathers will be white since barred birds also have yellow down. The pied comes in when a colored bird has white. It's a layman's term because those who are truly knowledgeable about genetics get very particular about the use of piebald and 'pied'. To me, a pied is a color plus white, I'm not interested in all the little details going on in the chromosomes...
I don't know what to make of that copper color, I've not seen it before that I'm aware of. It'll be interesting to see how they look when they get fully feathered!