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Decreased Egg Production - Ideas?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by 3bird, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. 3bird

    3bird Songster

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    Apr 2, 2017
    Rockland, Maine
    Hi All.

    Our wee flock of six sliver Appleyards (one drake and five ducks) has dropped egg production from a consistent 4 eggs/day earlier this spring (sometimes 5) to 1 or 2 eggs/day (it's mid-July now).

    The ducks are two years old, and we live on the coast of Maine. They free range for an hour every morning and an hour every evening and many hours (if not all day) many days of the week. We switched last fall to DuMOR Organic Layer Pellets 16% when our previous food became unavailable locally, but they laid well throughout the winter and early spring. They have free choice of oyster shells and we feed them egg shells every couple days.

    Starting a couple weeks ago we were just getting two eggs in the nest every morning, and now we are down to just one most morning. We are finding one or two soft eggs laid during the day in the field where they are during most days. We have one duck that we know has reproductive issues owing to an illness last summer, but everyone else was laying strong until fairly recently.

    What do you recommend?

    Thanks in advance!

    -3 Bird Farm
     
    Miss Lydia likes this.
  2. lomine

    lomine Crowing

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    Mine are down too right now. Some is due to broodiness but some are also starting to molt. It could also be due to the stress of high heat (if you have it).
     
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  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    If your in the heat wave that can cause production to drop off. Anyone molting? And then there is just age and time for getting body built back up to start again. Soft shell can come at beginning or end of a laying cycle. And if they lay them often should be a concern and try adding some Calcium citrate to see if that helps. Are you finding soft shell eggs everyday?
     
  4. SueT

    SueT Crossing the Road

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    Heat wave here, egg production down quite a bit.
     
  5. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

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    Could they be building a nest?
     
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  6. 3bird

    3bird Songster

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    Rockland, Maine
    Thanks all.

    We've got two pretty broody girls, but they are off the nest everyday all day. We are finding soft shells (1 or 2) daily (laid at odd times of the day--not early morning like they usually are), which has been the case with our one girl who has reproductive issues, but only with her. The heat has not been bad at all on the midcoast of Maine (although that is changing for us tomorrow). No molting at the moment.

    Please tell me more about calcium citrate, @Miss Lydia

    Thank you!
     
  7. happy duck

    happy duck Crazy duck mom

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    I have been having the same thing lately. My girls seemed to lay very well trough winter but dropped real low during the main laying seasons. I had several ideas why my girls were not laying(and still are not very much) and I will share then with you: molting, heat, broodiness(hormone imbalance or other ducks hormones trying to figure themselves out why they are living with a broody duck), unclean environments(kinda needing to clean my coop right now), not feeling safe, etc.
     
    3bird likes this.
  8. DuckyDonna

    DuckyDonna Free Ranging

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    I can tell you about the calcium citrate because it was miss lydia that told me.

    I got the 600mg pills in the vitamin area of Walmart. I take a hammer and smash them up and sprinkle it over tomatoes or something they will be sure to eat. I do it until they are producing better shells and then I keep my eye on them to make sure they stay that way. That's really all there is to it. One pill should do it for your 2 girls but perhaps more. Miss Lydia will be on soon so she can tell you that part.
     
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  9. 3bird

    3bird Songster

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    Thank you! Our girls (and our drake) get soup 2x/day, and I'm wondering if we can mix it in with than....although maybe it would get too diluted.
     
  10. DuckyDonna

    DuckyDonna Free Ranging

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    I usually don't put it in a pan with water for just that reason. Normally when they get their daily "treat" basin I will put water in it but not when I do these pills. I'll chop up some tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe or something like that that I know they will devour quickly and sprinkle it on them. It will stick to the fruit so I know they are getting all of it.
     
    Miss Lydia and 3bird like this.

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