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Drake Mallard duck heads not green

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by Dennis R., Sep 12, 2006.

  1. Dennis R.

    Dennis R. Myself and Roy Rogers Goose Hunting

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    I hatched 100 mallard ducks on June 16. When do the drakes heads turn green? The ducks body size are full grown, the blue on the wings is excellent, I can tell the drakes from the hens, but absolutely no green on the drakes heads. I am just curious when (or if) the heads with change? Thanks.
     
  2. waterfowl-artist

    waterfowl-artist New Member

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    You should start to see the Mallard drakes heads color in within the next 2 to 4 weeks or so. I have Woodies and Mandarins, and they are starting to color in now, ( heads and side pockets) but they wont be finished for about 3 to 4 weeks. This is the best time of the year for people who raise wild ducks, the beautiful color changes of my ducks finally happens again.
     

  3. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    Mid-June is somewhat later than wild mallards would usually hatch their broods, so I am guessing that yours will be slightly delayed compared to the wild ones. My guess would be mid to late January before they are prime.
    Don't make the mistake of killing them when you think they finally look good enough. They can look awesome and still be so full of pinfeathers that they are totally worthless for taxidermy.
    Make sure that you know how to tell when a duck is both fully feathered and hardened off before you kill any.
     
  4. James Parrish

    James Parrish Tundra Swan...Its What's For Dinner!

    Ditto on what Nancy said. I purchased a GW teal from a breeder that looked great, but when I went to mount him, he was full of pin feathers, most of which fell out.
     
  5. Dennis R.

    Dennis R. Myself and Roy Rogers Goose Hunting

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    Thanks for the reply. I was getting worried they were not mallards. I believe it about the pinfeathers. I hatched 500 jumbo quail and they look great. I mounted one yesterday and it was full of pinfeathers. It's going to take a little time. I also never realized ducks were that nasty. I believe I will stick with raising quail and pheasants.
     
  6. Michael Pelc

    Michael Pelc Guest

    The first year nuptial plumage for waterfowl begins later and usually takes longer to complete than older birds . . . divers typically average later than puddle ducks. Somewhere between mid November into late December most birds are ready for taxidermy purposes, with few pin feathers. I would suggest examining them for pin feathers and for the ‘sleeve’ that surrounds the shaft of a growing feather, before putting one down though. Though first year birds can be gorgeous, it is very difficult for them to compete (both visually and in mountability) against2nd year birds. If you are mounting them, I would encourage you hold some back for next year; the differences in most cases is worth waiting for.

    Michael
     
  7. Jim Wilson

    Jim Wilson Guest

    Last year duck hunting in Saskatchewan at the end of Sept we took several Mallard Drakes that were just starting to show green feathers in their heads--a mottled green/brown color.
     
  8. Bobbym1232

    Bobbym1232 New Member

    It take about 1 1/2 to 2 months after hatching before you begin to see the green in the head growing in. My wife brought home four ducks about a year ago, and yes they are MESSY. We were constantly rinsing sidewalks and changing water. They also love to dig holes in the yard. The plan was to raise for mounting, but they became our little pets. Untill they attracted the neighbors cats.