Marking your ducks
As with pinioning of the ducklings the males are ringed on the right leg and the females on the left leg. Because the difference between male and female is difficult to distinguish in some species like, Chiloe Widgeon, Bahama Pintail and others where the male and female are so alike it is recommended that you ring your ducklings as soon as they are in full feathers or at about 25 to 30 days old.
Indigenous birds MUST be ringed with a solid closed ring to prove that they were ringed when babies. We use small cable ties on our exotic species. You can also use different color cable ties. You will want to do this because once your ducklings have their feathers you will not easily distinguish between parents and babies and soon you might give away or sell your breeding pair!
So if the parents have black cable ties on make sure you ring their ducklings with another color. Also note that the cable tie should fit very loosely around the duckling’s leg. The reason why we do no ring at 12 days (when we sex and pinion) is because the duckling’s legs will still grow in the next 3 to 4 weeks and only when they have their adult feather (around 25 to 30 days) is it advisable to ring them.