We have 3 Peking ducks that are about 7 months old. My daughter opened the coop yesterday and there were 8 eggs. These are the first eggs we have seen. I thought they would be big, but they are about the size of chicken eggs. We have not figured out of our ducks are male or female. How do we know if the eggs are fertile? And on another subject, how do they do in the winter? We have an indoor shed for them where we put them to bed at night to keep them safe, and an enclosure for the daytime. Will they go out in the snow?(We live in Illinois). Do we need a heat source? We are new to the duck world, so any information is appreciated.
Pekin Duck Eggs
A young duck will lay small eggs, and they get bigger over the next few months. Pekins generally start laying between 6-7 months old, so you are right where you should be. Do you know how to tell gender with Pekins? Males will have a drake curl on their tail, and will have a low raspy quack. Female Pekins will get hormone spots on their bills, and the bill will be lighter in color when they start to lay. They also have a loud honking quack. Do you have pictures you could post? You would need a profile shot of each duck.
I am still figuring out winter, but it looks like for my area, we hover around freezing most winter, and I shouldn't need to add heat. I will see how they do, and change if needed.
The eggs are fertile if they have a bullseye spot on them. Crack one open - there will be a white spot on the yolk - this is the females DNA. If there is a white circle around that spot, like a bullseye, it is fertilized. It shows the cell division from the male contribution. If you aren't planning on raising ducklings, fertilization doesn't matter. You can still eat them. I wouldn't try to raise ducklings this year - it will be too cold. Gather the eggs daily to prevent her laying on them. Maybe try for ducklings in the spring when it gets warmer - or it could be really hard on the ducklings.
Glad I could help! You will need to make plans for the future - you need at least 2-3 female ducks per male, or the females life could be in danger.