When do ducks get their adult plumage?

Do you keep ducks, quails, turkeys, pheasants, guinea fowl or others?
Discuss here!

When do ducks get their adult plumage?

Postby sewren » Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:29 pm

Hi, just a quick one - at what age do drakes normally get their proper adult feathers?

Our silver appleyards are coming up to 3 months old and we are keen to try eating one, but I want to wait until I see the boys proper adult plumage first, to decide which drake to keep. Do I have long to wait....? :?
Pea (?), Martha (L Sussex), Bess (Australorp), Elsa (Orp), Petal (B'velder), Dottie (Sp Sussex), Olive (Welsummer), Peggy (W Leghorn), Gertie (SLW), Maureen & Doreen (NHB), Hazel & Tilly (SPW), Lilly & Ivy (Orps) and Silver Appleyard ducks!
User avatar
sewren
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1854
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:18 pm
Location: Christchurch

Choosing which drake to keep

Postby sewren » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:26 pm

Update - here are some photos of the three that I think are boys (ie the ones that are getting greenish feathers on their heads) Fingers crossed the other seven are girls; that's a ratio I'd be happy with!!

*If* there is 7 girls then we will probably keep two of the drakes. At the moment I am thinking it would be best to keep the two larger ones, but I'm happy to let them get a bit older if it means seeing their plumage better.

Here they are:

The large one:
Image
Image

The small one:
Image
Image


The paler one (who is actually also large)
Image
Image

Here's all of them together - please ignore the photobombing girl in the foreground! You can see here how the small one is quite a bit smaller than the other two.
Image

Any thoughts?
Pea (?), Martha (L Sussex), Bess (Australorp), Elsa (Orp), Petal (B'velder), Dottie (Sp Sussex), Olive (Welsummer), Peggy (W Leghorn), Gertie (SLW), Maureen & Doreen (NHB), Hazel & Tilly (SPW), Lilly & Ivy (Orps) and Silver Appleyard ducks!
User avatar
sewren
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1854
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:18 pm
Location: Christchurch

Re: When do ducks get their adult plumage?

Postby Marina » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:01 pm

If you spread a wing and take a picture we should be able to tell you how far away they are from completing their adult plumage. I think they have some adult feathers already.

I wouldn't keep the small drake - unless you want to breed small ducks. I also think the small one doesn't have good colouring on his head and neck and generally is too dark. The light one looks most promising to me. I think judges like this narrow white ring aroud the neck - which they should have.

Both for eating and showing size is of the essence.
Marina
Emu
Emu
 
Posts: 3312
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 11:16 pm

Re: When do ducks get their adult plumage?

Postby Kracka » Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:19 pm

We've just been studying our Silver Appleyards too - tricky to decide, but I typed out the description of the colours, might help you to decide....


Drake:

Head & Neck: black-green with a silver-white flecked throat. Faint eye brown and cheek markings in silver. A silver-white ring completely encircles the neck. Base of neck and shoulders below the ring claret.
Breast: the claret colour of the shoulders tips the feathers of the breast which have a white under-colour. Each feather has a very fine white fringe. Broken claret bib fades to silver under the body.
Flanks: grey stippled pencilling on white ground. Claret of breast extends along the upper flank above the thigh coverts which are pale grey.
Back: lace claret replaced by dark grey mottled back feathers.
Rump: solid black-green
Undertail: black-green
Tail: grey with broad white edging.
Primaries: grey and white, with white edging.
Secondaries (speculum): iridescent blue tipped with black then white.
Tertials: grey. Silver light wing coverts match the breast and underbody
Scapulars: grey stipple, outer edge chestnut.
Bill: Yellow-green

Duck:
Head and neck: silver-white with crown and back of neck fawn flecked with brown-grey. This fawn on the neck to join the shoulder without a noticeable break. Fawn line through the eye.
Breast and underbody: creamy white
Flanks: creamy white or fawn, flect with brown-grey
Back & Rump: fawn towards the tip
Secondaries (speculum): blue, tipped with black then white.
Tertials: mottled fawn-brown
Coverts: white, marked with fawn and grey.
Scapulars: fawn streaked with grey-brown
Bill: yellow with brown saddle

in both sexes Eyes: dark hazel, Legs and Webs: orange

Serious defects:
lack of blue speculum
presence of a keel
undersize

In the drake: lack of silver cheek and throat markings
in the duck: lack of eye stripe. Brown head and neck.

Kracka
Emu
Emu
 
Posts: 1645
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 1:52 pm
Location: Levin

Re: When do ducks get their adult plumage?

Postby seatil » Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:35 pm

In my experience the appleyards get their dark green head in the breeding season and then they fade back to almost (but not quite) indistinguishable from the girls during the off season. I'd keep the large guy with the thin straight neck line (left most in the group photo) and eat the other two.
One of almost everything, a veritable rainbow of chickens. And Project Motzle.
User avatar
seatil
Turkey
Turkey
 
Posts: 773
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:40 pm
Location: Whangarei

Re: When do ducks get their adult plumage?

Postby sewren » Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:36 pm

So the little boy is definitely going then (as soon as we have time to process him)

Just wondering about ratios - would 2 drakes with 7 ducks be ok? I've heard they can get a bit hard on the ducks so don't want to risk that, but I was thinking we could keep both the larger drakes (maybe just in the short term) to keep a few more options in the mix for the next generation, but I don't want to do that if it means the girls are going to be bothered too much!
Pea (?), Martha (L Sussex), Bess (Australorp), Elsa (Orp), Petal (B'velder), Dottie (Sp Sussex), Olive (Welsummer), Peggy (W Leghorn), Gertie (SLW), Maureen & Doreen (NHB), Hazel & Tilly (SPW), Lilly & Ivy (Orps) and Silver Appleyard ducks!
User avatar
sewren
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1854
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:18 pm
Location: Christchurch

Re: When do ducks get their adult plumage?

Postby seatil » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:45 pm

I'm currently running three drakes to eight ducks. These boys are pretty heavy and slow which may help reduce how much they can chase the girls. My ducks don't seem to be hassled much by them. I've had some in-fighting between drakes around sexual maturity and briefly at the start of spring. Seems to settle down pretty quickly. Your mileage may vary :)
One of almost everything, a veritable rainbow of chickens. And Project Motzle.
User avatar
seatil
Turkey
Turkey
 
Posts: 773
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:40 pm
Location: Whangarei

Re: When do ducks get their adult plumage?

Postby Marina » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:49 pm

We ran 2 drakes with 4 or 5 ducks - that was years ago when you couldn't just go and buy a replacement drake when yours died. Drakes don't do nearly as much damage to their ducks as roosters do. I don't remember bare backs or mating injuries.
Marina
Emu
Emu
 
Posts: 3312
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 11:16 pm

Re: When do ducks get their adult plumage?

Postby sewren » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:51 pm

Oh cool, think we'll probably keep both the larger drakes for a while then and see how we go. If things get at all nasty then I can just stick with the paler one, but good to keep a few more genes in the mix if we can. Yey!

Now I'm counting down the days until they start laying so I can get going on that next generation! :)
Pea (?), Martha (L Sussex), Bess (Australorp), Elsa (Orp), Petal (B'velder), Dottie (Sp Sussex), Olive (Welsummer), Peggy (W Leghorn), Gertie (SLW), Maureen & Doreen (NHB), Hazel & Tilly (SPW), Lilly & Ivy (Orps) and Silver Appleyard ducks!
User avatar
sewren
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1854
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:18 pm
Location: Christchurch


Return to Other Poultry

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest