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Pekin ducks and laying

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I took in a group of older Pekin ducks a few months ago. I have one drake and five females. The ducks are 7 years old, according to the man who gave them to me. He didn't really say anything about them, just brought them to me and dumped them in a pen then left. I am not sure he spoke a lot of English.

Since I have gotten them, I have not seen the male showing any interest in mating, while my chickens are constantly doing so...is this unusual, or is it normal for me to not catch them in the act? I've never had ducks before.

Also, I have only gotten one egg, it was not in the nesting area but in the mud near their pool, and looked as though it had been rolled around a lot in the puddles, it was so covered in mud and poop it took me a while to realize it was an egg and not just a ball of mud. Since then, no more eggs, and no apparent signs of interest in laying or getting in the nesting area.

Are these ducks just old and done laying? Or are they a seasonal layer, only a certain time of year? If they are not going to lay eggs anymore, we're going to butcher them, we've just been waiting to see if we can get eggs from them to hatch another generation of ducks. Is it possible that the problem is just the heat? It's been 80-110 degrees just about every day since we got them...but if they won't lay when it is over 80, then ducks aren't really a good choice in Arizona--by the time it cools off, the days will be so short they won't want to lay because they don't get enough light!

Currently chicken-less, hoping to get a fresh start soon.
My wish-list: Old English Game Bantams, American Game, D'uccles, Japanese Bantams, Bantam Cornish, Large Fowl Cornish, Lakenvelders, Welsummers, Kraienkoppen, Andalusians, Speckled Sussex, Cubalaya, Sumatra, Easter Egger (large and bantam), Orpingtons, Iowa Blue, Marans...I think I'm going to need a lot of pens!
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Currently chicken-less, hoping to get a fresh start soon.
My wish-list: Old English Game Bantams, American Game, D'uccles, Japanese Bantams, Bantam Cornish, Large Fowl Cornish, Lakenvelders, Welsummers, Kraienkoppen, Andalusians, Speckled Sussex, Cubalaya, Sumatra, Easter Egger (large and bantam), Orpingtons, Iowa Blue, Marans...I think I'm going to need a lot of pens!
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post #2 of 5

I would not be quick to cull them.  Here are some ideas.

They are past their laying prime, but if they are in good health, they may be able to lay.  Hard to say.

But what I did read from you is that it's really hot and they have just been moved to a new place.  Stressors like that can affect their breeding and laying behavior.

We have had temps in the 90's and 80's here quite a bit the last couple of months and my runners are laying fine.  They have shade all the time, when it is near 90 I change their water (it is not deep at all - just 5 inches or so) twice a day so they have a place to cool down, I also change their steel water bowls twice a day.  I set up a shade cloth over their pen and over their house.  There is very good ventilation in their housing.  I give them peas just thawed, so they are very chilly.  I make feed available to them about 16 hours a day.  I visit with them.  I wet down their shade cloth sometimes, to cool it down and give them something gently dripping on them.  Once, when it was near 100 degrees, I put an ice block in their water bowl.

Some people freeze lettuce and other vegetables they like into an ice block and float that in their swimming water.

If you did not communicate with their former owner, you cannot replicate anything familiar to them.  Just try to keep their environment calm and safe and see how it goes.

Their behavior may give you some clues about what they are used to.

I like giving vitamins during times of stress.

"stable families living peaceful lives in prosperity and physical security while free to pursue our own spiritual or religious beliefs. Adequate nutritious food and clean water. …  balanced lives with time for family, friends and community .... All to be ensured, ... on a foundation of regenerating soils and biologically diverse communities on Earth’s land and in her rivers, lakes and oceans."...

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"stable families living peaceful lives in prosperity and physical security while free to pursue our own spiritual or religious beliefs. Adequate nutritious food and clean water. …  balanced lives with time for family, friends and community .... All to be ensured, ... on a foundation of regenerating soils and biologically diverse communities on Earth’s land and in her rivers, lakes and oceans."...

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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

As far as heat, since they have been living in this neighborhood for seven years, they're used to the heat, that is nothing new. I just wonder if Pekin ducks particularly won't lay when it is hot? Which means they won't lay at all here lol. My neighbor's magpie ducks lay fine, but they are younger.

Their entire pen/coop is in the shade, and they get fresh cold water multiple times a day (as much as I can do without a ridiculous water bill, these birds are wasteful of the water!) Yes, they were moved, but I wouldn't say "just"....it's been 3+ months. Are ducks stressed over a move longer than chickens? They don't seem stressed. Adult hens I have brought home, even some very old ones I got with these ducks, start laying within a couple weeks. Maybe ducks are different?

Currently chicken-less, hoping to get a fresh start soon.
My wish-list: Old English Game Bantams, American Game, D'uccles, Japanese Bantams, Bantam Cornish, Large Fowl Cornish, Lakenvelders, Welsummers, Kraienkoppen, Andalusians, Speckled Sussex, Cubalaya, Sumatra, Easter Egger (large and bantam), Orpingtons, Iowa Blue, Marans...I think I'm going to need a lot of pens!
Reply
Currently chicken-less, hoping to get a fresh start soon.
My wish-list: Old English Game Bantams, American Game, D'uccles, Japanese Bantams, Bantam Cornish, Large Fowl Cornish, Lakenvelders, Welsummers, Kraienkoppen, Andalusians, Speckled Sussex, Cubalaya, Sumatra, Easter Egger (large and bantam), Orpingtons, Iowa Blue, Marans...I think I'm going to need a lot of pens!
Reply
post #4 of 5

I used  to own 2  Peking female  ducks  raised  from babies with bunch of chickens   and some Muscovey ducks, Pekins were laying machines,  hardly ever missed a day laying huge  eggs  through  Florida scorching  summer.

I switched  to Campbells  only cause  Pekins were noisy , feed hogs  and slobs, they  made me change the water  for the whole flock  several times a day.   I   just keep a few ducks for baking eggs. I  like Campbells so far  much better than Pekins,  but they are young,  not laying yet.

Your ducks are  7 eyars old....     perhaps more   who knows?


Edited by pascopol - 8/20/10 at 9:39am
Good  Lord  made birds  of meat   for us  to eat.
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Good  Lord  made birds  of meat   for us  to eat.
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post #5 of 5

I have 2 Pekin Hens, a Jumbo and a Regular.  They are 17 months old and 11 months old and lay every single day, lately we've hit temps of 110 and they still layed.  I'm inclined to think the stress of the move is keeping them from laying. I'm also assuming that 7 yr old Ducks still lay... I could be very wrong.   Maybe give them some treats and sweet talk them, once you win them over it could be a whole other story.

Michelle

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I'm a Digital Portrait Artist, Digital/Paper Artist.10 Chickens,3 Turkeys 1 Pekin Hen, 2 Mallard Hens, 1 Magpie/runner cross Hen,1 Muscovy Drake w/ 4 Muscovy Hens,4 Pekin/Scovy ducklings.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm a Digital Portrait Artist, Digital/Paper Artist.10 Chickens,3 Turkeys 1 Pekin Hen, 2 Mallard Hens, 1 Magpie/runner cross Hen,1 Muscovy Drake w/ 4 Muscovy Hens,4 Pekin/Scovy ducklings.

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