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Aylesbury Ducks

(6 posts)
  • Started 7 years ago by donaldduck
  • Latest reply from campbell ridge

  1. donaldduck

    Hi Everyone, I have read a lot of posts that have helped me and decided to join to "pick your brains"

    I have recently purchased 2 Aylesbury ducks, a Drake and a Hen. There are approx 18-20 weeks. This is my second pair of Aylesbury's, the first 2 two hand reared and very tame but unfortunately a fox got into the pen.

    I have a few questions and please excuse me if I am being stupid, I have tried to research as much as I could before purchasing and to be honest can not find that much specific information on the net.

    Firstly, these two new ducks don't seem as greedy as the first two, the first pair would eat constantly if I allowed them and the two new ones are not eating a huge amount (today I have given them two handfuls of layers and 2 handfuls of mixed corn and there was still a small amount left at the end of the day) I don't know if this is normal, I'm just comparing the amount the first 2 ate.

    Secondly I know the female will start to lay any time between now and the next 6 weeks or so, will she lay this year or will she start laying in spring? Do they only lay between spring and late summer normally?

    Thirdly, The Drake is, I believe, mating with the Hen and I didn't know if this was normal regardless of whether the hen was laying or not, I have searched for eggs but am yet to find one. I have a very small pond in the garden that they have never visited, but they love being sprayed with the hose, and actively run over whenever I turn the hose on, after I have sprayed them the Hen lowers her stance and the Drake is pushing her head down and getting on her back, I assume this is them mating? There is also a lot of "head bobbing"

    any information would be great and again I am new to all this so hopefully you wont consider me stupid! :D

    Paul :D
    Posted 7 years ago #
  2. dollydylo

    Hi Donald

    I have had ducks for about a year - started off with two drakes by accident, and now have 4 khaki campbell females. They lay all year round, although not as regularly at the moment as they have all just moulted.
    The head bobbing is a mating signal I think, and yes, it does sound like the drake is mating with the hen - something I have heard before happens.
    I am sure you will get more info and guidance from more experienced duck owners than myself.
    Hope the fox stays away this time....

    Karen x
    Posted 7 years ago #
  3. Mama
    Member Hi donald ,you are not stupid and never hesisate to ask questions here as we all learn form each other .they are not normaly greedy ducks as you will see from the link. I do think it is all normal what you are seeing as Karen says and mating and nothing to do with laying . Perhaps the laying season is a bit late now and she will lay early feb time I think.Really sorry about the fox , must have been heartbreaking .I had what I thought were Aylesburys but looking back and learning on here think they might have been Khaki whites .Easy to tell pink beaks and a much lower slung heavier bird . Can you post a pic just for us to see .Mama

    Goose Girl
    Posted 7 years ago #
  4. hiya, have read Aylesburys only lay about 40 eggs a year between February and June so looks like you will have to wait until next year now
    as for the food maybe they arn't eating much as they are eating lots of wild food at the moment, not sure what others may say but im wondering if you should have them on something other than layers until your girl begins to lay next spring
    as to swimming ducks really enjoy clean water so not sure what your pond is like, they clearly like water if they run to your hose pipe
    so sorry you lost your first pair to a fox and trust you have put in some security measures to prevent another fox attack

    mo x
    Posted 7 years ago #
  5. donaldduck

    Thanks for all the feedback everyone, I am feeding them on a 50/50 mix of layers / mixed corn because that is what they have always been fed on, they are free ranging our back garden during the day but to be fair hardly ever go onto the grass, they stand at the patio doors all day which is a concreted area. I am making sure they have plenty of clean water all day and the food is also down all day for them. Maybe they are just settling in, I only got these ducks last Thursday and they were free ranging on approx 1 acre with many other ducks?

    Thanks again everyone for the help / advice, I had assumed that she wouldn't start laying until next year.

    Paul :D
    Posted 7 years ago #
  6. campbell ridge

    Hi Paul,
    yes they will still be settling in. Moving away from a large flock and with new areas to explore will take a little time. You probably won't get eggs til November or even spring as the others have suggested, for all those reasons including her age.
    Head bobbing is mating and bonding behaviour and I am sure they will soon settle in and feel at home. You can feed them a few treats a couple of times a week so they get more used to you.
    They will need a deepish pond so they can immerse themselves fully.
    We have all contributed a good list of "treats" here :
    Enjoy them

    Sarah L
    Posted 7 years ago #

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