Everyone, even those not related to farming and raising poultry, knows that the drake and duck are individuals of the opposite sex, belonging to the same species. Thus, the drake is a male duck, which is quite large in relation to the female. For example, the female of the widespread egg-meat breed of domestic duck reaches a maximum of 3.5 kg, while the male is able to grow up to 5.
Ducks are very popular with poultry farmers in our country. Few will say that he does not like large eggs with a large bright yolk or tender meat of this bird. However, it is important for poultry farmers to be able to immediately recognize which sex is ducklings, because for good egg production and selection, the ratio between females and males should be 4: 1. Those who have been breeding birds for more than a year will determine what gender the chick is, without much effort.
Determination of the sex of the chicks
Male birds among the grown chicks can even determine by photo – the child will cope with this. A baby drake is the owner of colorful plumage, while the feather of a female is grayish and inconspicuous. But the young growth begins to look like this at about 2 months old. How to distinguish a drake from a duck when they are still completely chicks?
A drake chick is more active.Anyone who lives in the village knows that if you raise the cub by the legs and leave it upside down for a while, the female will be calm, and the male baby will turn its head and try to pull itself up at its feet. Of course, it is impossible to find out for sure which gender the bird is, but there is still a certain probability.
The method that allows you to determine the sex of even two-week-old cubs with the greatest accuracy is the so-called “Japanese method”. It consists in the fact that the duckling must be taken with his left hand so that the chick is turned his head in the direction of the person holding him, and then carefully massage the anal passage of the cub. To do this, slightly pull up the edge of the cesspool. If a small pseudopenis appears, you have a male cub. In the female, a membrane-covered oviduct hole is located on the left side of the cloaca. On palpation – small rounded seals. In the same way, gender is determined in geese.
Pseudopenis is a distinctive feature of drakes, since most males have other types of poultry, such as, for example, rooster and turkey. This organ looks like a small fold with a size of up to 4 mm. Sometimes it can be found in a cub by simply pulling its tail to the back. This and the Japanese methods give an almost unmistakable result if you act carefully and correctly.
Differences between adult males
It’s not at all difficult to distinguish an adult male from a female in a duck family. In addition, the spleen is distinguished by its bright plumage, it is also significantly larger than the duck, weighs twice as much.
Also, the drakes differ from females in the following ways:
- Triangular beak with outgrowth on the tip, the duck’s beak is trapezoidal.
- Massive and irregularly shaped heads with extension from the forehead, in contrast to the rounded and small heads of females.
- The muscles of the legs are more developed, exactly the same , as well as the muscles of the back and wings, which is why their bodies are longer and larger compared to the bodies of females.
- Feathers on the tip of the tail twisting are up, some species form a ring
- Drakes, unlike ducks, not quacking, and publish distinctive hissing sounds and whistling. The duck, with his loud voice, calls the ducklings and attracts the males during the mating season.
- Sustainable immunity – the drakes are less susceptible to pathogenic bacteria and viruses, stay strong and healthy longer
- Aggressive behavior. Males often try to fly away or escape from the master’s house, fight for leadership.
The color of male ducks during the mating season
Drakes are distinguished by a bright color, which reaches its peak intensity in winter and spring – when pairs form in ducks.So, for example, the male mallard, the ancestor of the domestic duck, has a remarkable dark green with overflow head color, ending at the neck with a thin ring stripe. The back and wings are gray with brown tan marks, a black tart, a blue or purple mirror at the top of the wings. After molting, the spleen differs from the gray duck only in brown chest and yellow beak. It is better not to leave males on the same territory as laying hens because the duck is a very shy mother, especially when the ducklings only hatched and each chick counts.
The male musky duck is most often dark in color with light accents, but there are also absolutely white individuals. A distinctive feature of the drakes of this breed are corals – abundant growths of red on the head.
In a mandarin duck, a small forest bird, the drake has a remarkable crest on its head, a contrasting golden-brown back and wings with white and purple stripes.
Drake behavior during mating
During mating season ducks and drakes of common breeds behave equally active. The ratio of ducks to drakes is 4 to 1, especially in musk. Ducks sexually mature earlier, so the male should be 1-1.5 months older. In order to reproduce, the drake is recommended to be used for 3 breeding cycles, after which birds are no longer so good for procreation.
Under no circumstances should the male moult be boosted! The drake can lose potency and will not trample ducks and fertilize eggs. As a result, it will not leave offspring – and how much effort the breeders will be wasted! In order to avoid such an unpleasant situation after oviposition, it is better to transplant it to recently molted ducks.
Often male musk ducks are used to breed so-called muleards. For this, it is necessary that the female and the male match each other in color. That is, if a musky male is gray, then a female of ordinary breed selected for him must also be gray.But it is worth considering that musky drakes are very indifferent to the performance of “conjugal duty”, especially with females of other breeds, so most of the eggs can be unfertilized. There are no more than 4 ducks per one such drake.