Duck or Drake?


If  you are keen to know whether your ducklings are male or female, this page, based on my experience with eight Call ducklings,  may help! Please note, my ducklings are a bit of a mixed bunch with a Silver Drake father and unknown grandparents. Their colourings may be very different to your own ducklings!


Drake = male

Duck = female


When can you expect to see differences?


Day 1

Experts can "vent" ducklings at this age to sex them, but it is easy to hurt the ducklings and so it is not something that most of us should attempt.

Weeks 5-9

My ducklings all gained their adult voices between these ages. The females have a loud quack whereas the males have a quiet, raspy noise that sometimes sounds like a hoarse quack! The point is the males are very quiet by comparison. This is the first and best way to tell the sexes apart for most of us!

Week 5-8

Their beaks began to turn from similar dark brown shades from week 5 onwards. The photos below are from week 9!

Female beak - a browny, orange shade.

Male beak - increasingly yellow but with a greenish tinge.

Week 10

The boys started to develop these black patches around their beaks at around week 9.

At the same time, the boys developed the first of the green feathers which will give them gorgeous heads like their Dad! At this stage, it looked liked someone had taken a green felt tipped pen and drawn a few splodges on!


Female head. The ducks do have hints of green (apparent from week 5) but no bright green splodges.

Week 11

Having started moulting after the other boys, Marty has put on a little growth spurt and he is the first to show signs of his black, curly drake tail!


This picture of Bruiser shows the new, dark brown breast feathers. At this point, both he and Marty have very scrawny necks as they are growing lovely new feathers.

On day 82, Marty (right) and Bruiser both have white collars of feathers under their chins- developed almost overnight!

Week 15


By three and a half months old, Marty and the other drakes have their full adult colours- very handsome!

As you can see from this picture of Sheldon, the ducks are beautiful too but in a subtler way with their mixture of browns, fawns and white!



What about our ducks?

Click here to see who is going to be quacking in our garden!