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Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Jonaboo 16, Sep 3, 2012.
What is the best duck for eggs?
Khaki Campbells and Runners seem to be the best layers. But all my ducks lay well. I have several different breeds. But KCs have such beautiful feather coloring and runners are very entertaining.
Khaki Campbells,Runners, as well as a few different Hatchery Crosses for Laying. Some people believe Pekins are fairly good layers as well.
I also wanted ducks for eggs. When I did my research, according to waterfowl expert Dave Holderread the Welsh Harlequins lay as many eggs as the Campbells and the runners. They are less nervous and flighty than runners, and I think more beautiful than Campbells. The breed began as a sport of the Khaki Campbell. If you want more information I'd check out Holderread's website www.holderreadfarm.com, or read Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, which was written by Holderread. I ordered my WH ducklings from Holderread's Waterfowl Farm and Preservation Center, and they are beautiful and fun. I've only had them about 12 weeks, so they aren't laying yet.
As far as I am concerned, you can't go wrong with Welsh Harlequins!!
We run a flock of Khakis they aren't as nervous as descriptions make them out to be. Lay wonderfully, and forage extremely well.
I stick with my KC's for eggs.
However (!!!) they do stop laying when they are in moult (just learned this ) but can still produce eggs during the winter time (so I'm told).
From experience (albeit, this year) I bought KC's for eggs; I bought a trio. I also keep hens. ONLY buy as many ducks/fowl for eggs that you can cope with!!
We utilise our excess as a subtle "skills trade" networking thing. DH takes in free eggs to work and one of the guys is a sea fisherman and in return gives us any excess fish he has; another of his co-workers is an ex-builder - he gives us advice on DIY and has done a couple of jobs for us (bless his heart, he even sourced us a fab deal on hay from his local farmer!); others he works with, simply enjoy the eggs for free - but I'm a great believer in what goes around comes around. The main point is the same: only buy as many ducks for eggs that *you* can cope with
LL birds stop laying during molt, they are producing new feathers which turns off egg production.
Yes the KC lay over winter (atleast for us they do) and without added light to force them to keep laying. (not a fan and don't advise force laying by artificial light)
COF, I'm not a fan of enforced laying either.
Me either. I figure we need a break when we work hard and so do they. Mine mooch most of the winter and pay their rent the rest of the year.
After a lot of research- you will find that a lot of different ducks lay well. You will find sources that say Runners are the best. No, Khaki Campbells are the best. Wait...over here, they say Welsh Harlequins! And then you can also read that people say their Pekins are dropping an egg a day.
I think it doesn't come down to just one breed now. There are a few that are good layers. Holderreads WHs are said to be excellent layers, excellent foragers, calm and beautiful. It's hard to argue that considering it's one of the most respected names in waterfowl chatter. I have read that Golden 300s (from Metzers and are hybrid using KC and they claim lay better than KC), Khaki Campbells & Welsh Harlequins seem to be on par with one another (and bear in mind that WH began as a color variant of KC so you can see why they may also be prone to be good layers)... Runners are also said to be great layers. Nowadays less so than the KC/WH...but they are light birds, said to be great foragers and eat little feed. That can be very appealing to some and some find them odd looking. Depends on the person.
I think even if Pekins are good layers- it's important to note that I personally find them to not as good at foraging and they eat more feed than my smaller ducks. So I do not find them an economical source for eggs. ALTHOUGH if you have them as pets and eggs are just a bonus- they are fun as all get out and worth considering.
I really feel like the breeds I mentioned are all worth considering (shoot some of the other larger ducks not mentioned can be good layers too- especially if you buy from a place that considers egg quantity in their breeding program). We got a couple of several kinds to see which we would like to keep in the future. We've only just began to get eggs so I cannot substantiate any of the claims. Only trust well regarded sources. In the future- we are likely to continue with WHs as our small egg laying breed though- maybe a few more Runners. We love the way both look and behave. We do not find our Runners to be as nervous as some articles claim though. Ours are very calm.