How to Distinguish Duck Gender

Having trouble figuring out whether your ducks are male or female? There are various ways to tell them apart, some trickier than others.

When a duckling is first born, the hatchery or breeder will use vent sexing to check for a phallus. Only male ducks will show the phallus in their cloaca when it is checked. This is a delicate, tricky process that you may not want to do at home, however.

Don't worry- there are other ways to tell the gender of your ducks. At around 8 weeks old, you will notice a difference in the call or quack of your ducks. The females will have the loud quack that you hear very easily, but the males have a much softer, more raspy call.

Another trick is to look at the tail feathers of your birds. The males will have "drake feathers" which is one or two feathers on the tail that curve inward. This is usually showcased at about 2-3 months old. Be careful, though, sometimes a random female duck with have some curved feathers, of if your ducks are molting, it may take until the spring season to see those mature feathers growing in. 

Freckled bills are another possible indicator of gender- female ducks sometimes develop freckles on their bills when they have been laying eggs for awhile. This does not always happen to all of the females, though.

Last but not least, color and size are pretty good indicators of the gender of your ducks. These factors vary by species, but usually the drake of the breed will be the more colorful of the two genders, and is usually a bit larger than the female. 

Wondering about the mallard breed of ducks? Read our article on telling the difference in gender on those here.

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