Mallard Questions

GennyMSeptember 21, 2005

A while back someone told me that a way to tell a boy and a girl muscovie apart is that the males have a curl on the end of their tail. I have never been able to see that on a muscovie...Anyway we have a mallard and I thought it was a girl because she is brown like a female one but she has a curl on the end of her tail so I wondered if maybe she was a boy..I'm not sure what do you think?Genny

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helen4

I only know that the male mallard definitely develops a little flip at the tail end that could be described as a curl. I don't know how old your duck is, but we thought we had females until our 4 ducklings were about 6 months old and the coloring began to come out. Not one female in the lot. We did give away 2, but have kept the other 2 and have become quite attached to them. Ducks may be messy, but they can be quite funny and charming, in their own ducky way!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 10:00PM
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GennyM

I know they are real neat as pets.We have 7 ducks in all now. All of them are muscovies except the mallard. My mallard is about 5 or 6 months old. The reason I thought she was a girl is becasue she is brown and doesn't have any green on her....I still am not for sure...

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 10:17PM
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cindee11461(z9CA)

my mallard male is five months old and has had green in his head for about a month already. So probably if your mallard has no green then it is a female.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 10:46PM
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bulldinkie(pa)

You can see the green head early on.The female is all brown white specs there is a touch of navy blue on her tip of wing.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 7:40AM
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GennyM

Well, now I am pretty sure she is a male because....I don't pick her up often because she gets scared and spooked easy and hard to catch, but I caught her today and she has a light green tint on her head and did I mention she is turnign silver up under her on her stomach? What do you think now?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 2:57PM
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bulldinkie(pa)

I think there is also a ring around neck of male, white?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 3:14PM
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GennyM

yeah she/he doesn't have that yet :)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 9:34PM
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pauls931(8)

At about 6 weeks you can tell. Just pick up the duck. It will probably get scared and if it's a female it will start making quacking sounds. The males do not quack at all so if it's a male, it will probably just breath hard and want to get away. I've used this method numerous times without missing.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 4:07PM
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GennyM

..i THOUGHT JUST mUSCOVIES COULDN'T QUACK? I THOUGHT ALL MALLARDS COULD QUACK. HE IS A BOY WE KNOW NOW BECAUSE HE HAS THE GREEN ON HIS HEAD AND IS TURNING THE COLORS THAT THE MALES ARE.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 9:21PM
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pauls931(8)

Yup, I've been raising mallard for 2 years as pets and the males just make a raspy sound and only the females quack. That's why I sort of laugh at movies or shows where they have a male mallard quack. Someone had to make the effort to record a female quacking and dub the sound byte in...

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 1:47PM
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GennyM

oh. wel he can quack. but he has the green head. it sounds a lot like a quack. i hearmy muscovies hiss a lot but when he makes sounds it sounds more like a quack....

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 3:35PM
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judyag_44(SW FL)

I have ducks, too and enjoy the little characters. I do not feel like there is any doubt but what your duck is a male. The smooth grayish coloring underneath and the little curl just over the tail feathers are a give away.

My Rouens are colored like Mallards and after the breeding season this Spring the male lost his pretty green coloring on his head and neck AND the gray feathers and became again the color of the female (as his juvenile feathers were). I'll bet that if you had a female to compare the "quacking" with you would also note the difference....the males are so much quieter in their sounds.....the females just scream QUACK, QUACK, QUAAAACCK (this is true across breed lines).

Besides the Rouens, I have a pair of Cuyugas, a Swedish Blue drake and a Crested Saxony. Characters ALL.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 9:02PM
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GennyM

OH ok well that explains it then. I guess it just sounds like he is quacking because he is the only one that does! thanks

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 9:13PM
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sumac(SE MI)

To add to the mix of ID cues: The female mallard has an orange or redish orange with black bill and the males have an olive green bill. This is the best ID for me when they are juvies. Too add my 2cents about the quacking, What Judy said is true about the females being rather LOUD in their quacking. I've heard the male quack described as a whispery quack. I think that is a better description than no quack.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 6:50PM
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GennyM

Yeah Jamoca has a dark colored beak. Every thing about him is like the males. He is beautiful. His best friend is our female muscovie he grew up with. We had them both when they were babies and so they have grown up together. They follow each other every where.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 10:07PM
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michellerawdon

I also have a question about mallard ducks.
We have a 5 week old mallard
and it peeps non-stop. We think its a female because it is fully brown, what do you think?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 8:59AM
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Kamster78

I have a month and a half old grey call ducks! I have had mallards in the past and know all about how to tell a male from a female. But I cannot quite tell with the sounds produced! Are male call ducks just as loud as females? Do females have any sort of green tint to their head?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 6:27PM
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