Cayuga Laying questions: Please give me answers

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by rgn87, May 29, 2010.

  1. rgn87

    rgn87 Songster

    163
    1
    111
    Mar 17, 2010
    Georgia
    My Cayuga Ducks will be 15 weeks old on Monday and I read that when they are between 16-20 weeks old they begin to lay eggs. Here come the questions.

    1.Is that true?

    2. Do I need to prepare a nesting box for them or will they build their own nests (I have straw)?

    3. Is it okay for the hen to sit on the eggs (I notice a lot of people incubate, but I want the hen to do it natural)?

    4. Should I separate the drakes and hens once the eggs are laid?

    5. How long before the eggs will hatch?

    6. I have three hens and two drakes, id this ratio okay?

    7. Lastly, if anyone has any advice or stories they can offer about CAYUGA(and only Cayuga) ducks laying eggs and hatching I would appreciate it.
     
  2. rgn87

    rgn87 Songster

    163
    1
    111
    Mar 17, 2010
    Georgia
    bump
     
  3. L0rraine

    L0rraine Songster

    814
    10
    156
    May 20, 2009
    Whidbey Island
    It seems mine started laying at about 5 months (but it's hard to remember).

    Mine have fashioned their own nests out of straw, but I usually move them away from the rest of the ducks after they've been setting for awhile (the other females will keep trying to lay new eggs in their nest). I do put a 'nest box' in their cordoned off area that they enlarge a nest in one corner of (they make it bigger and bigger as the time for hatching gets closer). It's 28 days to hatching, but I've found it's more like 30-32 from the time my ducks appear to start sitting on the nest. I think the eggs aren't necessarily being incubated those first few days.

    Two drakes to three ducks is too many -- they will be hard on them. Can you separate the females from the males to give them a break if they need it? I've had one to one ratios for a little while, but when they reach breeding season the females necks and backs really suffer.

    Sorry, I've not had Cayugas, though my first duck looked like a Runner/Cayuga cross. She was an excellent mom, but I lost her to an eagle after her second batch of ducklings.

    Hope this helps, I'm sure others will eventually have suggestions as well.
     
  4. rgn87

    rgn87 Songster

    163
    1
    111
    Mar 17, 2010
    Georgia
    thanks
     
  5. rgn87

    rgn87 Songster

    163
    1
    111
    Mar 17, 2010
    Georgia
    bump
     
  6. Cayugas are much the same as many other breeds of duck, my neighbor two houses down has about a dozen adult cayuga and 2X as many ducklings last time i was down there...

    But I have muscovy, welsh harlequin, and magpie (only breeders are my pair of scovies-rest are only about 14 weeks old)

    Most ducks tend to like to fashion their own nests.

    here are my questions for you:

    1) Are your ducks all penned together? seperated? or free range?
    I ask this because with 2 drakes and 3 ducks (hens), thats too much the drakes will end up wearing the girls down and if they are penned together you run the risk of the drakes running a duck or ducks off nests in their inattention to wanting to breed with the drakes...I'd suggest get rid of one of the drakes (seperate him from the other 3 atleast after the girls are finished sitting) or add more adult hens to your flock atleast 2 more, maybe 4 more. Cayugas can be like magpie and scovies : uber breeders and sometimes people suggest 5 ducks to one drake, so...it all depends on the drakes. but definately seperate them when the ducks go to laying.

    2) Do you have a nest box or materials already set up for them?
    I suggest straw, pulling up weeds and adding dry leaves, sticks, pine shavings all in a small area near but not in a corner of the pen or out by an area where you'd like her to lay if they're free ranged... My scovie duck is in my neighbor's weenie dog's doghouse sitting on a dozen eggs, she used the pine shavings and straw already in the dog house and her own feathers to make a nest (her and the dog are like BESTEST FRIENDS : go figure - took me 4 days to find her! lol )

    3) will you keep all hens together?
    if so : mark eggs, i'd say 8-12 eggs (however many fit snuggly under her) every day till you get to that amount that fits snuggly under her, and then any unmarked after that you should remove because the other ducks will probably try to lay eggs for her to keep sitting on, and then the eggs are not going to be properly incubated because she has too many crowded under her and you'll wind up with dud eggs.

    It will take between 24-30 days, some ducks I've seen a clutch hatch at day 24 & 25, others haven't hatched till day 30+ after the female sat on them...but I'd say 28 days give or take a couple days.
     
  7. rgn87

    rgn87 Songster

    163
    1
    111
    Mar 17, 2010
    Georgia
    All Five of my Ducks are free range, and I am going to pen the hens back up once breeding season starts. I can build them nesting boxes, they already have a fairly large coop, so i was thinking of building another smaller one. I do want to keep all the hen together. But if I separate the drakes will the eggs be fertilized?
     
  8. I don't know...I know sperm will last in a hen for a few days to a week in some poultry/fowl...i dont know about ducks personally on that though...I'd say keep them together until about egg 8...usually males will leave hens alone once they start sitting, but in a pen they may harass them off the nests wanting to mate...you'll need someone with experience penning up ducks for mating to answer that one.

    I say play it by ear. Most ducks just build their own nests so if they stay around the house leave them alone and watch where they go off to lay at...and just let them do it their way. lol. if anything the hens will come back eventually with ducklings trailing them. [​IMG]
     
  9. beryl1143

    beryl1143 Hatching

    2
    0
    6
    Jan 16, 2013
    Hatton vale QLD
    When is breeding season
     
  10. vidariffic

    vidariffic In the Brooder

    16
    1
    24
    Jan 27, 2012
    Cayuga ducks don't lay until they are 10 months old or so. Nest boxes we have found helpful especially to have a cleaner egg (less poopy) but they don't always use it. They like a nest in the straw too so sometimes I have just made one for them to encourage them to lay near the front of the house.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by