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Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jackrooster, Nov 7, 2010.
ahhh what is the best kind of laying duck if you want alot of eggs???
Khaki campbells and welsh harlequins have good reputations for eggs and my WH's do well for me. I have some normal pekins (not the jumbos) that lay nicely as well. There are some golden layer 300 from Metzer Farms in my flock but they aren't old enough to be laying yet. I decided to give them a whirl because they're supposed to be excellent producers.
Here are the breeds everyone is going to tell you: Khaki campbells, Golden 300s, Welsh Harlequins, and Indian Runners.
And they will be (sort of) right.
But I learned something new this year directly from Dave Holderread (world-respected waterfowl expert): more important than breed is the line.
The reason for that is that anybody can buy an Indian Runner and start hatching babies. But if the breeding stock in each generation are not carefully selected for laying ability, they will quickly lose their edge, and before long you have ducks that look like Indian Runners but lay like Pekins.
The moral of the story is: buy a good laying breed from a reputable breeder who carefully selects for laying ability.
Holderread Waterfowl Farm is an excellent choice--any of the high-laying breeds from his stock will be good choices all around--hard to beat all the way around. You can also choose a local breeder if you can find one that selects carefully for ability. The production hatcheries--McMurray, Metzer, Ideal, etc.--will produce good egg qualities with pet-quality looks (speaking very generally). You might find a good breeder on these boards too-lots of excellent options here--just be sure to ask whether they select for laying ability.
I'll be frank--I don't. My birds are all second or third generation from either Holderread or McMurray, and I don't have the capability to select for egg laying at this point. So my birds are selected for looks primarily. I am up front about that--they still have good laying ability, because I started with good stock, but the laying ability will probably taper off after a few generations if not carefully monitored. I do plan to add laying ability into my plan, but I'm not there yet.
Just check with whoever you buy from, and look for signs that they're giving you straight answers. My birds *do* produce good quantities of eggs, but birds bought directly from Holderread would probably be even better if egg production is your primary concern. That's the kind of answer you want from your breeder, and then you can make an informed decision.
IMO Khaki Campbells and Welsh Harliquins usually come through for you. There are also several hybrid breeds specifically bred for laying, the Metzer's Golden 300 and their White Layer, also Murray McMurray Gold Star Hybrid. The hybrid breeds won't breed true, but will probably pass down some good laying genes to their offspring. Occasionally you can find a super fawn and white runner or a pekin that really lays well.
Quote:Same Breed...McMurray drop ships from Metzer (hence the idnetical picture, increased price, and same avaliability times)
Geeze!! Good to know! Thanks treldib.
Quote:I bought 4 Pekin females from the Jockey Lot the end of Spetember. They have all layed an egg a day, none have missed a day and 1 of them is going thru a molt just now and is still laying. Im waiting for the day I go out and only find 3 big eggs..
I also have 8 Khaki girls who are this years babies, 4 out of the 8 are laying. I can tell its the same girls every day by the shape of them, all 4 are different shaped. I just wish the others would start laying too. But I cant be greedy, out of the 15 girls I have im getting 9 eggs a day..every day
Golden 300s really are excellent producers. They're very hardy ducks with sweet temperaments. Once they start, they produce like clockwork. Mine started back in the end of September and they show no sign of slowing down.
The "layer" non-hybrid breeds like the Campbells, Welsh Harlequins, and Runners are good . . . but as has been said, how good they are is all in the bloodline.
Sooo . . . if you want a lot of eggs and don't want to do a lot of thinking, Golden 300 hybrid layers. If you don't want a hybrid, then one of the other suggested breeds . . . with two caveats . . . first, order from a breeder who's controlling for egg production. Second, if you breed your own, only breed the most prolific laying ducks (though given the nesting habits of ducks . . . how one will determine which duck is laying what egg is an exercise I shall leave the reader. )