Abraeri

Songster
Apr 12, 2017
493
796
207
Atlanta, GA
My Coop
My Coop
I have got some egg questions. I have 9 ducks (2 drakes, 7 hens), White Layers and Golden 300's who are prolific layers. They turned 1 last August (2017). They started laying in January 2017, (back when we had 8 hens) and once they all started laying, I was consistently getting 8 eggs a day until the days got significantly shorter (October - Novemberish). We lost a duck in September. Throughout winter they have been laying 4 to 5 eggs. Mid-February they started laying 6 eggs most days and continued doing so until about a week or so ago. It has been very inconsistent - 6 eggs one week, then 3 eggs, 2 eggs (lowest we've ever gotten), 6 eggs, 5 eggs, 4 eggs, etc. Also, we got quite a lot of soft shells. We gave them crushed up egg shell (had to mix it in their feed because the wouldn't eat it otherwise) but I stopped once I saw bits of egg shell in their poop.

Is it more likely that one is consistently not laying (getting 6 instead of 7 eggs) or that all the ducks are taking turns not laying?

What could be the cause of all the soft shells?

How can I know who is laying and who is not?

One duck has suddenly become almost completely immobile due to swelling in her foot, which has happened to her almost twice before, she is being treated so I wouldn't be surprised if she wasn't laying, but it only showed up a few days ago. Everyone else is acting perfectly normal, they have been getting same diet, and there aren't any obvious reasons for stress - it's Spring and our drakes (one especially) have been chasing them around, but nothing new. (Although one is repeatedly targeted).

Sorry for the long post.
 

BullChick

Wrangler
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Apr 17, 2012
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Extra calcium is free choice only. Don’t put it in their feed.
The ducks aren’t going to lay every single day. The more they lay, the younger they will stop laying. Expect super layers to rarely lay around 2-3 yrs. Others will be about five.
If you really want to know who is laying, get several shades of lipstick. No, not kidding. You’re going to put lipstick on their vents. The eggs will get marked as they come out. :D Have fun with that! :lol:
 

Abraeri

Songster
Apr 12, 2017
493
796
207
Atlanta, GA
My Coop
My Coop
Extra calcium is free choice only. Don’t put it in their feed.
The ducks aren’t going to lay every single day. The more they lay, the younger they will stop laying. Expect super layers to rarely lay around 2-3 yrs. Others will be about five.
If you really want to know who is laying, get several shades of lipstick. No, not kidding. You’re going to put lipstick on their vents. The eggs will get marked as they come out. :D Have fun with that! :lol:

Thanks for the information. :) I was just wondering why their production would be less this year if they were laying consistently last year. Also I've seen that the "more they lay the less they lay" was just a myth? I wish I could try out the lipstick thing, but I don't have any lol :D
 

Timothy Menezes

Songster
Nov 27, 2017
548
677
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Monterey, California
Did your ducks resolve their issues and start laying properly?

Oh and if I were to guess it would probably have been a molt. But I did have an issue awhile back with a few birds that refused to eat calcium as a supplement. I fixed it by switching to chicken layer that had the calcium in it, and supplemented some high ptoprot snacks.
 
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Abraeri

Songster
Apr 12, 2017
493
796
207
Atlanta, GA
My Coop
My Coop
Yes, ducklings I hatched in March also started laying, so we average about 8-10 eggs from 11 females - which I would say is really good considering the ducks are 2 years old. (Still waiting for that elusive 11th egg though lol). They have stopped laying soft shells as consistently as well.

I'm hoping the ones that didn't molt last winter will molt this year because their feathers are very worn. We'll see how their production does through that.

Thanks for asking!
 

Abraeri

Songster
Apr 12, 2017
493
796
207
Atlanta, GA
My Coop
My Coop
I don't think it was molt because the ones that did molt were done (lost their flight feathers and all) by the end of October. I had no clue they would do that either, so I was pretty stunned when some of my ducks were missing half their wings!

Oct 1 .JPG
 

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