Thursday, April 14, 2011

Poultry Intimacies

One of the issues with buying straight runs is that you never know what you're going to get. I am not an experienced poultry sexer (but my rabbit sexing skills I think are quite good). I bought these four Pekings from the feed store hoping I got at least 1 female from the bunch. I bought the geese that way too, hoping for a mating pair. My idea was keeping all the hens and 1 drake and selling the rest since we don't care for duck meat. I only got 2 geese, they're more than twice the price of the ducks. Fingers were crossed big time hoping for a mating pair.  

If there are any experienced poultry sexers out there that might give me an idea on what I have I'd be mighty happy. I have two with light peach beaks and two with bright yellow. Bright yellow beaks are larger than the Peach beaks (the beaks are the only way I can tell them apart right now and they have not been named). So, I thought maybe the Peachies were hens and the BY's drakes. (*note to self, next time buy multicolored birds)

Today's photo session squashed that thought. They're 5 weeks old now and I think I see some sex feathers on two of them, one BY and one Peach. I'm not sure if it's the right time for sex feathers or if two of my ducks are just having a bad hair day.

Here you can see how much shorter the Peachies are to the BY's, their bodies are also smaller.

See the flipped up feathers on the rump on Peach Beak?

And here on the Bright Yellow?

The Peachies tend to hang out together as do the Bright Yellows. So maybe I got a pair of each? (Don't mind the turkeys, they're sooo ugly and think they're ducks and/or geese.)

The geese are harder to determine. They're not fully feathered yet, both the same size and coloring so far. With my luck they're both males. But here's a picture of them anyway since for some reason they've become my favorite in the poultry division. They're braver than the ducks, they like to explore around the barnyard and not just stay in the perimeter of the paddock. Usually, at least one turkey tags along. They come to me when I call and honk at me. I love it.

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