Monday, January 4, 2021

Abby and Gabby the Transgender Ducks.

 I have had my two female Rouen ducks for over 20 years. They look similar to Mallards, but are heavier and they don't fly. Seen here they have no tail curls, no neck rings, and overall drab camouflage coloring. 
                    Mother Goose (Lolly) with Abby & Gabby 
  Mother Goose with Gabby, and Emmy duck the Kaki Campbell.

Year after year Abby and Gabby laid eggs for me. Then about four or five years ago they stopped. About two years ago, I noticed Gabby had a tail curl. Usually an indication the duck is a male (drake). 

Then Gabby also started getting a white ring around her neck. I thought I was loosing my mind. How could this be? With a little research I learned that female ducks (hens) are born with two ovaries, but generally only the left one is functional. As they age and this ovary begins to fail, the cells can transform and the production of  testosterone is not unheard of. (This can also happen in a large flock of mainly female ducks. Then the transformation is not necessarily relative to age.)

Before neck ring but has tail curl

              Now with tail curl, neck ring and beak changing. 

As the months rolled by, I noticed when sunlight shone on Gabby's head, a pretty green sheen could be seen as well. She was becoming quite colorful, with her beak showing more and more streaks of bright orange. 
A year or so later, Abby must have noticed this wild affectation flaunted by her sister, and apparently jealous of such elegant plumage, she began the same transformation. 

 Now, with both of them brimming with testosterone, 
                   occasional scuffles breakout.                                                            
      Mother Goose still rules the "flock" and plays referee.

Bottom line, I guess boys will be boys, or girls can be boys. Either way, I love my Gabby and Abby. They are good little ducks whatever color or gender they choose to display. 

Elegant Plumage from the Love Rock Musical Hair 
Over 50 years later this album is still relevant.

#ducks #transgender #atthefarm #HairtheAmericanTribalLoveRockMusical

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