There’s a good reason Pekin ducks are one of the most popular backyard ducks to raise. From their beautiful silky white plumage to their hilarious personalities.
Of course, if you’re raising young Pekin ducks in the hopes of a constant egg production, then you’ve got to make sure you’ve got yourself Pekin ducks and not drakes!
Here’s how you can tell the difference between male and female Pekin ducks at all ages, from their physical traits to their quacks.
Pekin Duck Male Vs. Female: How To Tell The Difference
Just like with most poultry, telling the difference between females and males can be a rather challenging task.
Things get even tougher in the world of Pekin ducks, where they share most of the same white physical characteristics.
However, when you’ve been around Pekin ducks for a while you get to pick up slight differences in the physical appearance of the female and males.
Although subtle, there is a visual size difference between mature male and female Pekin ducks. As you would expect, Pekin drakes (males) are slightly larger and heavier than Pekin ducks (females).
While a male Pekin typically weighs around 8 lbs, a female weighs about 6–7. You might also note that female Pekins appear shorter than males when their walking or standing.
Both male and female Pekins are adorably fluffy with soft feathers in white, gray, and black (though the most traditional Pekin duck is fully white).
The one distinct difference is that male Pekins often have a single feather in their tail that curls upward.
This is almost always a tell that you’ve got yourself a Pekin drake, although it’s not always present – so don’t be fooled!
Aside from the slight physical characteristics between the male and female Pekin ducks, you can also observe some very different behaviors.
Of course, every duck will have a slightly different personality, but generally:
- Male ducks are more confident, controlling, and higher on the social hierarchy.
- Female ducks are more conservative, and “followers” more than leaders.
You might see some of the male ducks nipping the necks of the females as a way to attract them for mating too.
Best Way To Tell Male Pekin Ducks From Females: Their Quacks!
Because the physical characteristics of male and female Pekin ducks are so similar, one much more reliable and easy way to tell if you’ve got a male or female duck is to simply listen closely to their quacks.
This is because a male Pekin duck’s quack sounds much deeper, softer, and raspier, and a female Pekin duck’s quack is much higher pitched and much more of a traditional “quack”.
This same vocal difference can be observed in many other duck breeds – including Khaki Campbell ducks which share the difficulty in male-female identification.
Of course, you’ll have to wait until your ducks are about 4-6 weeks old before you’ll hear these vocal quacks.
How To Tell If A Pekin Duckling Is Male Or Female
We’re going to set aside vent sexing, as this process should only be completed by professionals otherwise there is a high risk of harm to your ducklings.
The other bad news is from the young ages of 0-4 weeks old there’s not really any other way to tell whether your Pekin duckling is a male or female – they simply look identical!
However from 4-8 weeks, you can start looking for a single curly tail feather which may indicate it’s a male Pekin, or you can closely listen to their quacks to help make your determination!
Quick Wrap Up
At maturity, Pekin males are visually larger (just) than Pekin females. In most cases, males will also show a curly tail feather, whereas the females will be more rounded or stick straight out.
In saying all of this, the easiest way to tell if you’ve got a male or female Pekin duck is by listening to its quack!
A male Pekin duck’s quack is much softer, raspier, and deeper – and almost doesn’t sound like a “quack”. A female Pekin duck’s quack will be a higher tone and more traditional in terms of a “quack”.
Of course, if all else fails, you’ll be able to tell you’ve got a female Pekin duck because she will start laying eggs from as young as 6 months old!