Ever been perplexed, gazing out into your yard at a Pekin duck ambling along and wondered if it’s strutting its stuff as a Drake or just fluttering around as a Hen? You’re certainly not the first.

Distinguishing the sex of these charming waterfowl can be anything but straightforward for newcomers to the world of ducks. I recall spending countless moments observing my feathered friends, half-jokingly wishing they could simply wear badges announcing “male” or “female.”.

Through time spent in careful study and observation, I’ve uncovered some unmistakable indicators that shine a light on this mystery. It’s fascinating to learn that male Pekin ducks are generally heavier than females—with Drakes often tipping the scales at about 9-10 pounds compared to the Hens weighing in closer to 8-9 pounds.

In this guide, you’ll receive insights into the most practical methods—not only based on physical characteristics like size differences and distinctive quacks—but also behavioral cues that will streamline your gender identification process.

By wrapping up this read, you won’t just have a shot at telling Drakes from Hens; you’ll do it with confidence.

Excited to get savvy with your Pekins? Let’s jump right into it!

Key Takeaways

  • Male Pekin ducks have larger bodies, weighing between 9 to 10 pounds, while females weigh around 8 to 9 pounds.
  • Look for bright plumage and curled tail feathers in males; females have duller colors and no curl in their tails.
  • Female ducks quack loudly and often, whereas male ducks have a softer, raspier call.
  • Males may show off by bobbing heads or wagging tails during courtship; females look for places to lay eggs.
  • Check the color of their beak: males usually have a yellow or greenish-yellow beak, and females tend toward orange or brown.

Physical Differences Between Male and Female Pekin Ducks

Male Pekin ducks are generally larger and heavier than females, with a more pronounced neck and thicker legs. Their plumage tends to be brighter in color, while female ducks have softer, milder tones.

The bill of male ducks is typically yellow or greenish-yellow, while female ducks have darker bills. Additionally, male ducks have curled tail feathers, which are absent in females.

Size and weight

I’ve learned that male Pekin ducks usually tip the scales a bit heavier than their female counterparts. On average, a full-grown male will weigh about 9 to 10 pounds. The females are not far behind, typically weighing in at around 8 to 9 pounds.

This size difference is one of the physical attributes that can help us figure out whether we’re looking at a male or female duck.

Checking their weight and comparing sizes gives us clues for Pekin duck gender identification. Since they don’t have noticeable features like some other animals, observing their body’s heft becomes an important technique.

It’s fascinating how these subtle differences play such a big role in distinguishing between them!


Now, let’s talk about the plumage of Pekin ducks. Male and female Pekin ducks can be differentiated by their plumage. Males typically have brighter and more iridescent feathers compared to females.

Females tend to have duller or mottled feather patterns, especially on their heads and necks. This difference in plumage coloration is a helpful visual cue for identifying the gender of Pekin ducks.

When observing a group of Pekin ducks, look for these distinctive differences in feather coloration to determine the gender accurately.

Beak coloration

Male Pekin ducks have a bright yellow or greenish beak, while females typically have a darker orange or brown beak. The color difference in the beaks is one of the most noticeable distinctions between male and female Pekin ducks.

This visual cue is often used by birders to determine the gender of these ducks based on their appearance.

Moving on to another essential characteristic – plumage.

Curled tail feathers

Male Pekin ducks often have curled tail feathers, while female ducks’ tails tend to be straight. This difference is subtle but can be a helpful visual cue when trying to determine the gender of your duck.

Keep an eye out for this feature along with other physical and behavioral characteristics like quacking sounds and size to confidently identify the gender of your Pekin duck.

Behavioral Differences Between Male and Female Pekin Ducks

Male Pekin ducks are typically quieter and have a raspy, low-pitched quack, while female Pekin ducks have a louder and more pronounced quack. To learn more about how to tell if a Pekin duck is male or female based on their behavior, keep reading!

Quacking sounds

The quacking sound of a Pekin duck can reveal its gender. Females have a loud and distinctive honk, while males produce a softer, quieter quack. This difference in vocalization is one of the key indicators for identifying the gender of Pekin ducks.

Additionally, observing their social behaviors can also provide clues about their gender.

Social behaviors

Pekin ducks exhibit distinct social behaviors based on their gender. Males often display protective behavior, while females tend to be more vocal and assertive within their flocks.

Understanding these differences can help birders identify the gender of Pekin ducks more accurately, contributing to a deeper appreciation of these sociable avian creatures. Watching how each duck interacts with others offers valuable insight into their dynamic social structure and individual personalities.

By observing their interactions closely, it becomes easier to differentiate between male and female Pekin ducks, enhancing the birding experience.

How to Identify the Gender of a Pekin Duck

To identify the gender of a Pekin duck, pay attention to visual cues such as size and plumage differences, listen for distinctive quacking sounds, and observe mating and breeding habits.

Want to learn more about how to tell if a Pekin duck is male or female? Keep reading for a complete guide.

Visual cues

To identify the gender of a Pekin duck, I use visual cues:

  1. Males are generally larger and heavier than females, with males weighing around 9-10lbs while females average 8-9lbs.
  2. Male Pekin ducks have a more upright posture compared to the more horizontal stance of females.
  3. The plumage of male ducks is brighter and more colorful, especially around the head and neck, whereas female ducks have a plainer appearance.
  4. Male ducks often have a darker beak coloration compared to the lighter beaks of females.
  5. In some cases, male ducks may exhibit curled tail feathers, which are not commonly found in female ducks.

Differences in quacking

When determining the gender of Pekin ducks, differences in their quacking can provide valuable clues.

  1. Male Pekin ducks have a softer, quieter quack compared to the loud and distinctive honk of female ducks.
  2. The male’s quack is often described as raspy, while the female’s quack is more pronounced and resonant.
  3. Listening to the quacking sounds can help birders identify the gender of Pekin ducks, with practice and careful observation leading to accurate distinctions.
  4. The difference in quacking between male and female Pekin ducks serves as an essential behavioral cue for gender identification.
  5. By paying attention to the nuances of their quacking, birders can confidently determine whether a Pekin duck is male or female.

Mating and breeding habits

When observing mating and breeding habits of Pekin ducks, it’s essential to understand their distinct behaviors. Here are the key aspects:

  1. Courtship displays: Male Pekin ducks engage in elaborate courtship displays to attract females, involving head bobbing, tail wagging, and vocalizations.
  2. Mating rituals: When a male duck has successfully attracted a female mate, they engage in mating rituals that involve the male mounting the female.
  3. Nesting behavior: Female Pekin ducks exhibit nesting behavior by seeking out secluded areas to build their nests for laying eggs.
  4. Egg-laying process: Female ducks lay eggs every day or every other day until they have a complete clutch before beginning to sit on them for incubation.
  5. Incubation period: The average incubation period for Pekin duck eggs is approximately 28 days, during which the female diligently tends to her nest.
  6. Brooding and hatching: After hatching, both parents play an active role in protecting and caring for the ducklings, guiding them to food sources and water.
  7. Parental care: Both male and female Pekin ducks demonstrate protective parental instincts towards their young, ensuring their safety and well-being.


1. Spotting the differences between male and female Pekin ducks isn’t as tricky as you might think.

2. Male and female ducks vary in size, weight, plumage, beak coloration, tail feathers, and even their quacking sounds.

3. Observing their behavior can also give you clues about their gender – pay attention to how they quack and their social interactions.

4. Visual cues like body shape and feather color can help you identify whether a duck is male or female.

5. Understanding mating habits may also assist in distinguishing between genders.

6. The distinctive honk from a female duck versus the softer quack of a male is your go-to clue for telling them apart.

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