Raising Ducklings and Goslings

Embden, African, and Toulouse Geese

Sexing Your Ducklings and Goslings

Normally we ship the birds straight run which means you get them as they hatch - which in larger numbers is about 50% males and 50% females. But we also can sex all of our ducklings and all of our goslings except Canada. We do not sex our guineas, pheasants or turkeys. You tell us the sexes you want and we will mark those birds with colored masking tape and charge an extra $2.05 per bird for this service.

Most goose breeds are only sold in pairs. For more common goose breeds (White Chinese, Embden, Toulouse and African), we will sell up to two more females than males. This means that if you purchase one male you can get up to three females. If you purchase two males, you can get up to four females. If you purchase three males, you can get up to five females, etc.

Following is the chart showing which breeds have which colors. Please note that for the goslings, if the tape is on the gosling's right leg it is a male, if it is on the gosling's left leg, it is a female.

In the past we have used plastic leg bands. We have switched to masking tape for several reasons:

1) there is no injury to the bird if you fail to remove the tape - the tape will fall off naturally within 14 days
2) if you want to remove the identification immediately upon arrival, it is easier to rip off the tape than remove the plastic band
3) there is more surface area with the tape and colors will be easier to distinguish
4) there is no harm if the birds eat the tape

Colored tape will stay on the birds for 7 - 14 days before it falls off on its own.
PekinYellowMale: Purple
Female: Green
RouenBlack with yellow stripes by eyes & on wings
Khaki CampbellDark Brown
MallardSame as Rouen, smaller size, one back toe clipped
Blue SwedishGray with Yellow Chest
Black SwedishBlack with Yellow Chest
BuffTan, often with stripes by the eyes
White CrestedYellow, Tuft on Head
Welsh HarlequinYellow with touches of black
Chocolate RunnerDark BrownMale: Black
Female: White
Blue RunnerGray
Black RunnerBlack
Golden Hybrid 300Males-blackish, Females-brownish
Fawn & White RunnerYellow with tan splotches
White LayerYellowM: Purple & Red
F: Orange
Grimaud Hybrid PekinYellowM: Purple & Black
F: Blue
Jumbo PekinYellowM: Red
F: Yellow
Males - Right Leg. Females - Left Leg.
AfricanOlive Gray and yellowBlack
Brown ChineseOlive Gray & YellowOrange
BuffBuff & YellowYellow
EmbdenYellow & Light GrayRed
French ToulouseOlive Gray & YellowPurple
Large Dewlap ToulouseOlive Gray & YellowPurple & Orange
PilgrimM: Yellow & light gray
F: Olive Gray and yellow
Roman TuftedYellow & Light Gray, Tuft on HeadBlack
SebastopolYellow & Light GrayWhite
Super AfricanOlive Gray & YellowYellow
ToulouseOlive Gray & YellowGreen
Tufted BuffBuff, Tuft on headRed
Tufted ToulouseOlive Gray & Yellow, Tuft on headYellow & Blue
White ChineseYellowOrange

Sexing Tape Colors
Sexing Ducks

Sexing Tape On a Duckling
Sexing Geese

You want to sex a baby Duckling or Gosling?
This cannot be easily explained. It can only be learned if someone is showing you the steps. We have been told it is similar to sexing rabbits. You must expose the cloaca. If a penis pops out, it is a male. If nothing pops out you have a female (or a male that has been done incorrectly). In the hands of an experienced sexer, this rarely causes any harm to the bird.

Sexing Adult Ducks
This is fairly easy. After about eight weeks, the males have a deep, raspy voice. The females have the typical, loud QUACK. In addition, the males develop a curly feather on their tail. If you see a curly feather, it is a male. If there is no feather, it is either a female or a male that lost his curly feather. Males also have larger heads and thicker necks. Males of the Rouen, Mallard and Welsh Harlequin breeds also develop the green head and colorful wings by about 15 weeks of age. Until that age they all look like females. In addition, the bill of Rouen and Mallard drakes is dull green by six weeks of age, females' bills are normally dark brown and orange. The final way to determine the sex is that if you see them lay an egg... it is a female.

Sexing Adult Geese
Sexing adult geese is more difficult as there are no definitive, obvious differences between males and females. Males are typically larger and have more shrill voices. They also seem to walk around appearing a bit more cocky with their chest stuck out, especially when challenged. Males are typically larger with thicker necks and bigger heads. And during the breeding season they are more protective of their female mates by standing with their neck extended between the intruder and their mate. By about January of the year following their hatch, you can often vent sex the adults. It is difficult to do before this time as the penis is very small before sexual maturity. But once it matures, it goes from the size of a pencil lead to a spiral corkscrew of a pencil's diameter and is barbed. The difficulty is in opening the vent sufficiently in an adult to make the penis pop out. Their sphincter muscles are pretty strong. Turn the bird over and use your forefinger and thumb to pull open and press the vent. You just have to practice until you can do it. But only try for about 45 seconds on a bird until you go to the next. They learn to clamp down and you will never be able to expose the penis after about 45 seconds of trying. Try that bird again tomorrow.

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