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12 week old ducks mating....will they start laying eggs soon??

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Apologies if this is a silly question, this is my first time raising ducks and chickens smile

Today I discovered that my ducks have hit puberty....they were having a real good time with each other by their wading pools and this is the first time I've seen this behavior.  I have 3 Rouens (one drake, 2 females) and 2 Cayugas (judging by the mating behavior & lack of quacking I think one is a drake).  All the ducks are completely feathered out....The Rouen drake has completely gotten his big-boy feathers and no sooner did his head turn completely green, that he decided to try out his equipment, it seems wink

From reading the forum here it seems ducks start laying eggs much later than chickens do- with some of you reporting ducks not laying until 6 months-1 year of age!  And yet I've seen a couple posts where ducks have laid their first egg as early as 16 weeks.  The fact that my ducks grew & matured so much faster than my chickens has me wondering....if they grow, feather & mate so much earlier than chickens, why wouldn't they lay eggs earlier as well?? 

So I was just wondering....is the mating behavior of the females an indication that they're getting ready to lay eggs?  Or is it something they all "do" at this age regardless of whether eggs are on the way or not??  The females (especially the Rouens) were definitely "taking part" in the act....acting silly, bobbing their heads, running around, crouching, splashing in the water, doing whatever they could it seems to get the drakes' attention.  lol

Meanwhile, I have 2 EE roosters who are a little older than the ducks and they're JUST now starting to act like boys.  One is crowing but showing no interest in mating so far....whereas the other hasn't crowed yet but he is SO desperate to get in on the action with one of the Rouen females!!  They all share a huge 3 acre outdoor pen during the day.  I feel bad for the poor guy....every time he tries to climb on the duck's back, the big drake chases him away!!  I guess he hasn't figured out that that's what the hens are for....?

the chukar are evil, the quail are good, I manage the balance between the two and there is harmony in the universe.

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the chukar are evil, the quail are good, I manage the balance between the two and there is harmony in the universe.

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post #2 of 4

They really won't as a rule begin to lay eggs until 6-7 months old.

post #3 of 4

I one had a duck start to lay at 16 weeks old- But it was not regular or normal good sized eggs.  By the time she was 22 weeks old she had settled in properly and was laying good eggs every day.  Just be careful with what you read about some ages of ducks laying.  Dont get mixed up and calculate a 20 week old duck as being five months old or vice versa.  There is more than 4 weeks to each month and  many people make the mistake and dont calcualte the proper age of the duck.  Either way 12 weeks is way too young- but be hope full in the next 1 - 2 months ( 16- 24 weeks of age ) they may lay depending on climate.

Ducks will often start mating a number of weeks or even months before eggs are laid- It is completely normal.  They will develop a bit more of a pouch down between the legs when they are laying so its a good way to judge how close they may be to the first egg.  remember that once they are laying- their feed needs also change.

<(" ) TAYLORDUCKS  ( ")>       
<(" )  Breeder of Harlequin and Crested Indian Runners.  ( ")>

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<(" ) TAYLORDUCKS  ( ")>       
<(" )  Breeder of Harlequin and Crested Indian Runners.  ( ")>

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post #4 of 4

One of my chocolate runners (I reckon due to the color of the egg) started laying at 16 weeks, three days.  The egg was about 2 1/2 inches long, 45 grams.   Next day's egg was just a tad over 50 grams, and most of the eggs since then are in the 50 gram (medium chicken egg) range, as expected.

  They started acting out mating behaviors at around 12 weeks.  Most of my eleven runners are not laying.  Yesterday I received two cream-colored eggs and one light green egg.  From what I have read and heard, that is two chocolates (of six) and one black (of five).  Today it was two cream-colored eggs.

My current guess is that it will be another month or two before everyone is laying.  We all seem healthy, which is the most important thing to me.  And I have the one runner, Elf, who is just about two to three weeks behind everyone.  So she may wait a full couple of months before laying.

I see that some of my ducks have the belly pouch (I call it egg belly), some still do not.

Please consider adopting rescued ducks.

 

David Holderread:  

People often ask if they should "put down" a bird that has suffered major injuries.  In my experience, birds appreciate the opportunity to recover.  Ducks have an amazing ability to heal, even from injuries that appear to be catastrophic.

 

Spring-Summer 2014 - please bear with me - plate very full - PM if you need to...

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Please consider adopting rescued ducks.

 

David Holderread:  

People often ask if they should "put down" a bird that has suffered major injuries.  In my experience, birds appreciate the opportunity to recover.  Ducks have an amazing ability to heal, even from injuries that appear to be catastrophic.

 

Spring-Summer 2014 - please bear with me - plate very full - PM if you need to...

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