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