Ancona Egg Laying Period?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jnj10000, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. jnj10000

    jnj10000 New Egg

    Jun 29, 2013
    Hello guys,

    few months ago, I posted a thread asking questions about caring for muscovies and geese, and now that I have kept them for few months and enjoyed the experience, I have other questions.

    Yesterday, I harvested my very first muscovy, and yes, she was delicious, definitely gamier than ordinary pekin ducks, and far less fat content even though I had her eating only dried fruits for two weeks... More importantly, I have not had a single egg (I have hens that are old enough to lay, but I know it is not the season for them to lay), and given how much I like duck eggs, and given how badly I felt and how much work it was to dispatch these animals, I decided to go for primarily eggs, rather than meat (I am willing to harvest one or two for special occasions like Christmas or New Year's Eve). I came across the anconas, a wonderful dual-purpose breed, and here are my questions:

    1) I heard that the anconas are outstandingly prolific layers, laying anywhere from 200~340 (!) eggs per year. But is seasonal like muscovies or do they pretty much lay eggs year-round like chickens?

    2) If they are seasonal, typically during what months do they lay?

    3) It is typically true that those lay lots of eggs, like runners, tend to have smaller eggs. Compared to those of pekins, which are huge, how big are ancona eggs?

    Just in case, the reason I am trying to have anconas as opposed to super-prolific layers like runners is that, as I mentioned, I want to keep them more or less a dual-purosed breed.

    Thanks in advance, and have a wonderful day.
  2. learycow

    learycow Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 1, 2011
    Southern Maine
    They are great layers, averaging 200-280 eggs per year. They eggs are not quite as jumbo as a pekin egg, but they are very large (much bigger than most chicken eggs).
    They tend to lay year round. Here in Mane, mine will take the really cold months off (Jan-Feb) but tend to lay the rest of the year (except when they molt).

    I do not find runners to be great for egg production. Khakis and Welsh harlequins have always done the best for me. But like the runners, the khaki are small birds so not the best for meat. Harlequins are small too, but a bit larger than khakis.

    I had a flock of cayugas that I bred and raised (for 6 years) and developed a strain that were excellent layers (250 egg average) and were large. So the males made GREAT meat birds. I just didn't like how they left dark pin feathers on the skin when harvested. But that's certainly something you can do with some breeds. I am doing it now with my anconas. They are not recognized for showing yet, so you can play around to breed the type of duck you want. And I like larger, heavy birds that can be used for eating and are well worth it. But it takes, LOTS of birds and selective breeding to get the ones you want.

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