There are different directions of breeding ducks: egg, meat, egg and decorative. Birds are distinguished by a rare fecundity, precocity, a feature of the offspring is viability. For the breeding of offspring of a drake, it is required to know what the young of a drake looks like, what are the characteristics of birds, etc.
To domesticated meat breeds of birds include Bashkir color. She is called so because of the unusual combination of black plumage and khaki. Another well-known meat breed is black white-breasted. It is easy to recognize by its characteristic contrasting plumage.
The result of successful selection of Indian runners and a Peking duck with a khaki campbell is the Moscow White Duck. So her name is for white plumage, large head, long neck, wide pink beak.
Meat of this breed is dietary, it is very useful and is in great demand among gourmets.
Indoout (in colloquial speech, they are called Muscat) - the most unpretentious birds. They have good health, do not need a reservoir, they just keep at home. Females fatten up to 2-3 kg already after 2.5 months, drakes mature longer.
Another interesting breed is called mulardy. It is bred by crossing musk and peking ducks. These are large birds weighing 4-7 kg, possessing white plumage and black crown. For breeding they are not used, because hybrids are not able to have babies.
Meat-egg and egg direction
Mirror, Saxon and khaki-campbell are the most popular meat-egg breeds in Russia.
Mirrored ducks are early ripening, their meat is of good quality. In the year they are able to give up to 200 pcs. eggs weighing 80 g. Birds have an elongated body of white, silver or gray color with a noble green shade and dark specks.
Saxon ducks are famous for increased egg production - more than 200 pcs. for one year. The duck has impressive color plumage, and the dark blue metallic shears wear drake. For these qualities they are also referred to the decorative direction.
The leader is khaki campbell, his egg production is record - up to 350 pcs. for the season. These ducks are white, fawn and dark gray.
One duck breed Indian runner is able to bring more than 350 eggs per year. However, the breeding of such individuals is associated with some difficulties: they need to create special conditions, and their maintenance suggests the possibility of free-range.
Determination of sex in chicks
To determine the sex of grown-up birds is not difficult, it can be done even by photo. The young male has colorful feathers, and the females are plain and gray. However, these external signs appear in birds only by 2 months. Gender of babies is determined by other signs.
Already at 2 months in the chicks begins to change voice. Ducks usually begin to quack and males sizzle and whistle
The villagers know that the chick-drake is more active than the female. If we take the ducklings by the paws and turn them upside down, the female will remain calm in this position, and the male will try to pull her head to the paws. This method is not completely accurate.
The Japanese method allows you to determine the sex of the cub with a greater probability. For this, the following manipulations are carried out: the duckling is clamped in the left hand and turned towards itself, gently massaging the anal passage, slightly pulling off the upper edge of the cloaca.
A drake is a cub in which pseudopenis is clearly distinguished - a small fold up to 4 mm in size. This organ is characteristic only for drakes; many males of other domestic birds (rooster, turkey) do not have it.
In females in the left side of the cloaca is the oviduct, covered with a membrane. The chick has a rounded seal that is easily felt by the fingers. This method is considered to be almost error-free, if you correctly perform all the manipulations.
Sometimes the floor can be determined by pulling the tail of the baby to the back.
Differences in adult drakes
The plumage of an adult male resembles the work of a talented artist: the head and neck have a dark green color with a pronounced outflow
It is much easier to isolate an adult male in the duck flock. It has a bright plumage and weighs 2 times the size of a duck, and also has such characteristic features:
- the drake's beak is triangular in shape and has a growth at the end, whereas the duck has a trapezium-shaped beak,
- the head is large and has an irregular shape, extending from the forehead, the heads of the ducks are small and round,
- the body seems elongated due to the developed muscles of the back, wings and legs,
- the tip of the tail has feathers twisting upward, sometimes forming rings,
- the drakes hiss and whistle, while the ducks quack, beckoning the ducklings as well as the drakes during the mating season,
- the male has good health and strong immunity, less susceptible to the harmful effects of bacteria and viruses,
- the behavior of the drakes is aggressive, they are fighting for supremacy in the pack, often trying to fly away from the yard.
Plumage of drakes in different periods
Drakes are characterized by bright plumage, especially in winter and spring, during the period of formation of pairs. For example, a drake of a mallard has a dark green head with a shimmer; there is an annular strip around its neck. It has a black nadhvoste and a blue-violet mirror in the upper part of the wings.
After shedding, the male will differ from the duck only by a brown breast and yellow beak. Adult ducks molt 2 times a year. The first molt usually occurs in the summer (May - July), the second - in the fall. In summer, the plumage changes completely, and in the fall - only small and medium feathers.
Natural molting in the drakes cannot be accelerated, otherwise the male will lose potency and cease to fertilize the eggs. To prevent this, after egg-laying, it is planted in already faded ducks.
Differences in adult males
Distinguishing an adult male from a female in a duck family is not at all difficult. Besides the fact that the drake is distinguished by bright plumage, it is also much larger than a duck, weighs twice as much.
Also drakes differ from females in the following ways:
- The triangular beak with a growth on the tip, the duck has a trapezoid beak.
- Massive and irregularly shaped heads with expansion from the forehead, unlike rounded and small heads of females.
- The leg muscles are more developed, in the same way as the muscles of the back and wings, because of which their bodies are longer and larger than the bodies of the females.
- The feathers on the tip of the tail twist upward, forming a ring on some breeds.
- Drakes, unlike ducks, do not quack, but produce peculiar hissing sounds and whistles. The duck, with the help of its loud voice, calls the ducklings and attracts the males in the mating season.
- Stable immunity - drakes are less susceptible to the influence of pathogenic bacteria and viruses, stay strong and healthy longer
- Aggressive behavior. Males are often trying to fly away or escape from the master's house, fighting for leadership.
The color of male ducks in the mating season
The drakes are distinguished by a bright color, which reaches a peak of its intensity in winter and spring - when the ducks form pairs. So, for example, a male mallard male, the ancestor of a domestic duck, has a remarkable dark green color with a tint of the head, ending at the neck with a thin ring stripe. The back and wings are gray with brown markings, a black nadhvoste, a blue or purple mirror in the upper part of the wings. After molting, the drake differs from the gray duck only in its brown chest and yellow beak. It is better not to leave the males in the same territory as the hens because the duck is a very shy mother, especially when the duck just hatched and every chick in her account.
The male musk duck is most often of a dark color with light inserts, but there are also completely white individuals. A distinctive feature of this breed drakes are corals - abundant growths of red on the head.
In the mandarin, 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.
Behavior of the drakes during mating
In the mating season, ducks and drakes of ordinary breeds behave equally actively. The ratio of ducks to drakes is 4 to 1, especially for musk. Ducks sexually mature earlier, so the male must be 1-1.5 months older. In order to propagate the drake, it is recommended to use it for 3 breeding cycles, after which the birds are no longer so good for breeding.
In no case can not force the process of molting in males! Drake can lose potency and will not stomp ducks and fertilize eggs. As a result, will not leave offspring - and how many breeders efforts will be wasted! In order to avoid such an unpleasant situation after egg-laying, it is better to transplant it to newly-shed ducks.