Hi, I am new to this site as well as keeping ducks as pets.
Around the start of December last year the 8th to be exact i bought two Crested Ducklings and they were already a week old. Everything was fine with them and i had the best time raising them they were such good pets! But when they were around a month old one of the ducklings was getting quiet sick, so we took him to the vet and unfortunately ended up putting him down, that was the saddest thing I’ve had to do. The next day i went out and bought a mallard duck (the same age and was male) because the duck we had at home was lonely and wouldn’t sleep that night and kept us up. They have become really close and we had no problems after that.
Now that we are older enough we know that we have one female (which is the crested) and a male, mallard. They are both now going over 23weeks. And I have noticed they are starting to mate. I would like to know when she would start to lay. Because I have read they start to lay around 20- 22 weeks, am I correct?
I know I should just wait and be patient for her to start, but I have been thinking, I have a sheep dog and she sort of herds them around during the day, because they are free range during the day and get put away at night. Could this be stressing her out? I try to keep them in the back yard but they are the ones that get through the fence to where the dog is to try to get closer to the house.
Another theory is that she is or was recently molting. I think she has stopped now though... I’ve read that they don’t lay when they molt...?
One more thing is with their food, my mum who is the one who buys there food, got given the wrong one (just normal chicken food) we were unable to return it considering it was a 15kg bag. Could a change in food be the reason? They were on layers pellets before.
Don’t worry, I know I probably sound I don’t Know crazy..? For already asking questions.. When she will be laying soon.. But I’m just curious because this is my first time owning ducks and I’m wondering if I’m the reason for why she’s not laying. Its better now to know what I’m doing wrong instead of stressing her out more from just waiting when I could fix the problem.
Thank you if you have any advice on what I am doing wrong or if you just want to tell me to relax and just wait!?
crested duck not laying? just curious.(10 posts)
Hi, I am new to this site as well as keeping ducks as pets.
welcome to this helpful, friendly site run by Sara Risdale in Yorkshire.
Firstly, moulting does stop ducks from laying. Secondly, is the weather colder? I see you are in Australia - ours often don't lay when its too cold. Thirdly, Layers pellets are what she really needs to produce good eggs and fourth, what sort of "crested" duck is she? If she is a campbell or pekin crested she will probably become a good layer but other breeds don't lay so well or so often.
Best thing is to sit back and enjoy watching their funny behavior and their personalities develop.
Sarah LSarah L
Hi Sarah, I'm not sure what type of crested duck she is, the lady who sold it to me just said she was a crested duck.
The weather has just gotten colder.. maybe this is way then. i think she has just finished molting.
i wont be able to put her back on the layer pellets until they have finished there old food.
ill just have to wait and see for this one.
Thanks for the friendly advise, its much appreciated.
Welcome to the farmingfriends forum.
If your duck has been moulting and is about 23 weeks old then she should start laying soon. what time do you let them out. mine tend to lay before 9am and infact often before 7-8am.
One or two of my ducks will lay abit later and will find some where to go and lay her egg. Maybe yours has started to lay and is laying whilst she is free ranging. Does she disappear for periods of time?
They tend to make a funny quacking noise when they are wanting to lay an egg and are at a nesting site, it seems to be a repetitive quacking.
Hope she starts to lay soon. Often once you have aired your concern or curiosity about them not laying then they start to lay!
Let us know when she does.
sara @ farmingfriends
hey guys, she just laid her first egg today!! (: im soo proud of her.
now i have a acouple of questions now that she is laying.
since we have a male duck, will her eggs be fertile now becuase i have seen them mating before, and is it okay to eat fertile eggs?
i do want to have duckling soon, so when i do do i just keep the eggs in her nest and she will keep laying there untill she has the right ammount to start sitting on them? i this right.. im just going on what ive read before.
can someone run me through what i need to do, how many eggs she'l lay before this, and how do i know that she will sit on them if i leave them there?
sorry for all the questions, i have tried reading through the internet but every site says different stuff.
so thankyou in advance.
You can eat fertilised eggs, They are just the same and unfertilised if you remove them every day.
if you want your duck to raise her own brood, then you will have to wait until she is ready. You will know this when she makes a good "nest" in her house and covers the egg over as if to hide it - rather than just dropping it anywhere. She will also start to behave differently and keep going back to check that egg is still there, This will continue over the next week or so, til hse decides she has the right number and will then sit and brood them.
Not all ducks get broody and some may start brooding but give up after a little while. It takes dedication.
She's a little young to brood, but you never know.
You may decide to brood them yourself in an incubator instead.
thankyou for the information.
as i whent down to let her out yesterday, there was no egg. she had made a little nest but not using the straw or hay that i have given them but its like she has built the nest inside, sort of like a well. so its just around the nest and the eggs were laid in the nest on the grass/dirt. is this normal?
i later read what you wrote and then when i went to put them away i looked under the hay and sort of on the side of the nest was an egg!
so she tried to hide it from me? does this mean anything?
i left it there just in case and she has now laid two eggs in the nest. but are no longer covered up.
anymore directions on what i should do is very appreciated.thanks.
Hi Zara, If you do want ducklings, I would be inclined to wait and see what she does, She may well be just practising and it may not be successful. However, you will need to be prepared to get rid of excess males as they will cause you problems later on when they are sexually mature.
If you don't want ducklings, then take the eggs away daily, flatten out the nest and she will just get on withlife as normal.
Hi, my duck has now layed 14 eggs in her nest now... should i keep them there still? will she sit on them anytime soon? because i dont want them to start rotting out and attracting other animals..
thanks for all the help Sarah
Thats rather a lot and unfortunately the ones laid over a week ago would not be viable if she started brooding now. I doubt that she has been sitting on them at night but if its not consistent sitting - they won't survive anyway.
She is still very young to brood but she may well do so. Have you marked them with dates? If so, take out the oldest and leave her with 4or5. If they smell at all or are discoloured, discard them.
Give her a few more days to lay some more if she wants, dating them as you go. If she starts brooding she will stay on the nest and you will have to force her off to eat and drink.
Sarah LSarah L
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