Register or log in:

Farming Friends Forum » Ducks

age ducks lay eggs

(18 posts)

Tags:


  1. kellyk
    Member

    Hello
    I have a question about the age at which ducks start laying eggs. We have five young female ducks (aged between 12 and 22 weeks) of various kinds (2 runners, a crested, a khaki campbell and one of mixed heritage.) I just wondered if any knows if there is any chance that they will start laying soon. I know that the laying can be dependant on day length -does this mean that the ducks are unlikely to lay any eggs until the days start getting longer? In adult ducks does laying stop completely in winter or just slow down? Also I read somewhere that the abdomen of ducks swell prior to laying - is this the case as the two oldest ducks do look a little bit plumper that usual!
    I have read somewhere that you can expose the ducks to artificial light - would this be something that you would recomend or not?
    I seem to have asked quite a few questions but I am so excited about the thought of getting our first eggs.
    Thanks for your help :)

    Posted 8 years ago #
  2. Hi kelly,
    Welcome to the farmingfriends forum.

    Generally domestic ducks start to lay around 21 to 26 weeks of age.

    My ducks started laying at 20 weeks old, they were hatched in the Spring so were 20 weeks old as they headed towards the Autumn winter months and they have been laying ever since which was last year now!

    I have found that my khaki campbell ducks generally lay their eggs early morning and they don't seem to be affected by the number of daylight hours. I haven't given them artificial light as they have laid eggs through Autumn, Winter Spring and now Summer and I have had 6 eggs a day from my 6 khaki campbells practically everyday!

    Let me know how you get on with your ducks and their laying.

    The eggs are great for baking and friends love to make omelettes with them or poach them.

    Kind regards
    sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 8 years ago #
  3. kellyk
    Member

    Thanks for your reply Sara.
    I'll let you know as soon as I get an egg - hopefully it wont be too long now
    Kelly

    Posted 8 years ago #
  4. campbell ridge
    Administrator

    Hi Kelly,
    If your older ducks have laid before then they will soon start again, once they have settled in (you don't say how long you have had them) Your younger ducks won't now lay until spring and the longer daylight hours.
    Only one of my adult campbell's has started laying again, since we had a clutch of ducklings hatched by them in the summer, so I'm not sure why the other isn't laying again too. However they often go back to the house to see if the fresh egg is still there. I'm sure it will take mine time to re adjust to just laying instead of brooding and raising a family :)
    Regards,
    Sarah L

    Sarah L
    Posted 8 years ago #
  5. kellyk
    Member

    Hello again,
    The older ducks have not laid any eggs previously. (We've had them since the middle of August). I think that we are doing everything else right (food, housing etc). I guess that we will just have to wait until the days start to lengthen again.

    Thanks
    Kelly

    Posted 8 years ago #
  6. Hi Kelly,
    I have just checked the date when my ducks first started to lay and it was the end of September, so some of yours may lay. Mine are khaki campbell ducks and are notoriously good layers which I can definately vouch for!
    Kind regards
    sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 8 years ago #
  7. quax
    Member

    Hi Kelly
    I have 2 Khakis (one drake, one duck) and 3 white (think they are poss Aylesburys), our Khaki duck is a brilliant layer and started laying at about 22 weeks on the 12th August and has layed an egg every day since (recently quite alot of double yolkers!), 2 of our 3 white ducks have now started laying and we are just waiting for the 3rd white one to get a move on and lay her 1st egg. It seems that once they start, we get an egg from them every day, which is great and I can understand your anticipation, waiting for your first egg. I think I did a crazy jig on the lawn when we got our 1st egg! Good luck :)
    Rachel

    Rachel
    Posted 8 years ago #
  8. westcomfort
    Member

    Hello everyone,
    I've been so busy lately hardly had time to post. Hope you are all doing ok, sounds as though things are going well from reading your posts.
    I also have been wondering when I should be expecting my ducks to start laying. Some of my Aylesbury's are approx 24 weeks and the other shouldn't be too far behind. I seem to have 1 duck laying as I average 5 eggs a week.
    Does the laying calm down during the winter months?
    Many thanks
    Lisa x

    Posted 8 years ago #
  9. campbell ridge
    Administrator

    Hi Lisa, My 2 adults are now laying every other day (i think - as the eggs are slightly different sizes)so we now only get one per day :(
    My youngsters - now 17 weeks won't start laying til next spring.
    They are VERY noisy!!!!!! lol
    Regards,
    Sarah

    Sarah L
    Posted 8 years ago #
  10. quax
    Member

    Hi all
    Our last white duck has now started laying, so we're getting 4 a day. None of them have missed a day yet, although our last duck did lay a couple of shell-less eggs, but now lays fine (she was a bit embarrassed by those I think!). We were away for the weekend and had a friend look after them, they had a long night in though as he put them in early and didn't let them out until 11am, poor things, but as my husband says, they are only ducks and can't tell the time!!
    Rachel

    Rachel
    Posted 8 years ago #
  11. Hi Lisa,
    Great to hear from you. You asked if the laying calms done during the Winter months. I would imagine this could depend on the temperature/climate and the breed of duck as well as their age. My khaki campbells don't seem to be discouraged to lay come rain or shine, Summer or Winter!

    Hi Sarah, My ducks lay slightly different sized eggs, one of them lays a big one, would love to know which laid which but guess it will remain a duck mystery!

    Hi Rachel,
    Sounds like your ducks had a lie in over the weekend! Couldn't get my poultry out on sunday as the rain was so harsh. I didn't even get the duck out as I didn't want them to get drenched and then get a chill so they stayed in all day. I think they enjoyed rummaging around in the fresh straw I'd given them. Today they all bounded out into the sunny, dry, crisp November day!

    Best Wishes
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 8 years ago #
  12. kellyk
    Member

    Hi everyone,
    I started this post over 4 months ago now and my ducks still haven't laid a single egg! I definately think that what I thought was a female Khaki Campbell is a male (green head and curly tail feathers, though when we tried sexing him/her we couldn't see anything that would indicate that he was male.)
    I can't think of any reason why the others shouldn't start laying soon though - they are all healthy and have a diet that is 50%wheat, 50% layers pellets. They are all very active and love swimming in their pond. I've been following the advice in the storey's guide
    Can anybody suggest anything that i'm doing wrong
    Thanks
    Kelly

    Posted 7 years ago #
  13. Ducks tend to stop laying at the end of August altho I often have a couple who go on over winter, bucking the trend, and then stop for a while just when the others are starting in mid February! The one you think is male is definitely a drake, and the others if they are youngsters will start to come into lay any time soon - from end Feb to mid March, so just be patient a little longer. I find my older ducks tend to start a little before the younger ones, and the cold weather delays things a bit, but as soon as the days lengthen, they'll get going. You aren't doing anything wrong. It's helpful to learn to sex by voice - I can do this from about 7 weeks old (and I never try to vent sex in case I hurt them).

    Posted 7 years ago #
  14. kellyk
    Member

    Thanks for the advice Mopsa.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  15. campbell ridge
    Administrator

    Hi Kelly, don't worry, you're not doing anything wrong. Your ducks are free range and have a happy, active life. As they were young and hadn't laid before winter set in, they won't now lay til spring - which is just around the corner. Hang on in there and around March you will find your first eggs.
    My white campbell adults were laying every day til November, but only one of them has continued laying daily throughout the winter, and she is noticeably smaller than the others who have obviously just been putting on fat rather than the energy going into egg production. I expect my youngsters - born in July last year - will start to lay in March too.
    I wouldnt do the artificial light thing, that will be an extra chore for you. Let it all happen naturally.
    Regards,
    Sarah L

    Sarah L
    Posted 7 years ago #
  16. Hi Kelly,
    My 6 ducks laid practically an egg each a day from October 08 to October 09 and then this Winter they have laid between 1-4 eggs a day. My ducks don't get any artificial light. They sleep in their hut at night and then free range during the day and eat layers pellets and then grass and insects.
    My drakes head is turning a green colour again as the green seemed to fade over the winter and I have noticed him in the last few days pushing up against the ducks again, not doing anything but getting closer to them so I think he is getting ready for the breeding season, so eggs will soon be in abundance once again and the pesky hens that have been eating the duck egg over Winter are now in their own hut so none of the duck eggs will get broken!
    It sounds like your ducks have a happy life.

    Hi Sarah,
    Interestingly I have 2 khaki campell ducks that are quite abit smaller than the other 4 a couple of them are very big!

    Kind regards
    sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 7 years ago #
  17. campbell ridge
    Administrator

    Hi Sara, yes it's strange. Our young male is enormous!
    We are sure it was Lucy who raised the babes last year and this winter she is much whiter than the others - they went a bit yellow as we added corn to their diet. Lucy hasn't eaten it. She is our egg layer and is much more compact than all the others and often goes off on her own, hunting down insects, worms etc and eating grass..................

    Sarah L
    Posted 7 years ago #
  18. quax
    Member

    Hi Kelly, I know it's hard waiting for the first egg, I was always out first thing checking like a mad thing. We bought one of those pretend plastic eggs to encourage them to lay, forgot to put it in the hut and the next day we found our first egg!! I have 1 Khaki and 3 white cambells and once they started laying they haven't stopped, we generally get 4 most days sometimes 3. And they didn't stop over the winter. I didn't bother with artificial light either. Your eggs will come along eventually, just try and forget about it and then, there it will be..... your first egg. I bet you will be leaping up and down when you find it and your ducks will wonder what all the fuss is about. By the way, they do start off smaller and get bigger as they grow older.
    Patience is a virtue they say!!!! Rachel

    Rachel
    Posted 7 years ago #

RSS feed for this topic

Reply

You must log in to post.