1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Duck Eggs

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by slpaden, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. slpaden

    slpaden Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Oct 14, 2012
    I heard duck eggs are phenomenal for baking. My question is do ducks lay year around like most hens or are they seasonal? Where would you suggest I purchase a baby duck from? How old before you can tell their sex and how old before they start laying? Thanks for any help shared!
     
  2. ppimf

    ppimf Chillin' With My Peeps

    397
    9
    96
    Nov 15, 2012
    ellis kansas
    well i got my first set from orschlyen's, and then my next from http://www.cacklehatchery.com/ they were the closest to me lol very good birds and good prices, my girls started about 20 wks old but now they have stopped since is so cold and loss of light. depending on type of birds u get about sex, mine were about 10 wks, if u just want eggs u don't need male so ust buy females for an extra $1, but my girls are happy to have a male around :)
     
  3. sherrybintally

    sherrybintally Out Of The Brooder

    44
    0
    32
    Jul 25, 2011
    Khaki Campbells are known to lay 300+ eggs a year. Their eggs are about the size of an extra large chicken egg. I have 3 Khaki Campbells and they started laying when they were about 5 months old. They rarely miss a day laying eggs now for almost 17 months straight with the only exception being for when they molted. I let mine molt naturally, which I guess must take longer but has no risk to them dying. With 3 ducks, they didn't all molt at the same time, so I was never without eggs. I had heard they were great for baking too, but I've found them to be excellent for anything requiring eggs. Baking is certainly great. I have been able to make things requiring eggs that didn't turn out very good for me before I had duck eggs. Another type of duck that is suppose to be good egg producers is the Welsh Harlequin. I don't know anything first hand about them, but they are very pretty. For me, I'd skip getting a drake too!

    One word of caution though, ducks a messy, messy birds. But they are incredibly entertaining.
     
  4. flockman

    flockman Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,185
    41
    163
    Nov 6, 2010
    Northern Indiana
    I currently have pekins from Metzer's Farms. I have 5 females and I get about 4-5 eggs a day from them. They are more productive than my chickens. I have hatchery stock white rocks. I have heard good things about Welsh Harlequin and Khaki Campbell. I have also heard good things about the hybrid layers that Metzer sells. Choice is all up to you.
     
  5. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Chillin' With My Peeps

    295
    8
    113
    Jun 29, 2010
    Greene County, PA
    I have Pekins (7 female) and get 5-6 eggs every day. Last winter they slowed up a bit, but have not slowed down yet this year.
    My wife uses them for baking and I just love them hard boiled with a cold beer!:lol:
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  6. Mum

    Mum Chillin' With My Peeps

    872
    19
    128
    Dec 23, 2011
    UK
    Frequency of Laying: that is dependent on the breed. I have Campbells and they are very good layers, but then I did buy/hatch them for that reason :) Indian Runners are also good layers.

    Buying: I'm in England so I cannot recommend anywhere for you.

    Sexing: By six weeks you will know by the sounds they make; a female duck quacks - a male sounds like he has a sore throat. Some people are able to "sex" ducklings at one day old, but that takes a bit of experience and it is not something I have enough experience of.

    Coming into Lay: The "average" is 20 weeks, but one of mine laid her first egg at 15 weeks and another waited until around the 25 week mark. Keep 20 weeks in your mind, but don't be surprised if you have to wait longer :)

    Baking: yes, they are great for baking; but they can be substituted for *any* recipe that you would use a chicken egg for.

    Drakes: I keep drakes for a number of reasons: 1) they take care of the girls; 2) they are quieter than girls, so why not; 3) my eggs are fertilised so, I can replenish my "stock" naturally. Accidents happen and ducks die, so, for me, I like that I can hatch a couple of eggs if I want to :) But, that is very much a personal point of view and one not everyone shares.

    Generally:
    We have enormous fun with the ducks in the Spring/Summer and are less "trouble" than my chooks.

    However, we have had rain almost contantly since October and now it is another ball game!!! Despite having a large area to "play" in, if it is not waterlogged (which the quackers love!) then it is one big mud pitch. This isn't a problem, but, it does make the daily chores a bit more of a "chore" and any mud they walk/sit in is quickly absorbed in their bedding which needs changing pretty much daily in this weather!! So, Autumn/Winter, chooks are less "trouble" than the quackers.

    I wouldn't be without either though [​IMG]
     
  7. new2ducks

    new2ducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    257
    7
    91
    Jun 20, 2012
    Colorado
    Made a pumpkin pie with my duck egg!!!!! YUM!!!!!
    (notice I said EGG....called for 2 but you only have to use one)
     
  8. slpaden

    slpaden Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Oct 14, 2012
    You are all great! Thank you so much for the information!
     
  9. Carcajou

    Carcajou Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,115
    64
    158
    Jul 3, 2012
    Delhi, New York
    I currently have five Khaki ducks (new this spring) that started laying at 20 weeks. I started with Khakis from the information I gathered regarding their prolific egg laying, foraging, and slug/snail/insect control abilities. Plus, like most ducks I read about, they are a source of joy and entertainment. I have a large enough property that the messes you might read about are not really an issue as they can roam free during the day. Must keep them locked up at night so as not to lose them to predators. Though they do poop in their coop there are some innovative ways to manage that. I use the deep litter method.

    They just started slowing down due to cold and day length. The lone female I had last year (she got taken by a fox last January) took about a month off this time of the year and started laying again in mid-January. Up until a couple of weeks ago I was getting 4 to 5 eggs per day from my five girls. I use duck eggs for everything, especially baking. They are wonderful to cook with.

    There is a list of duck hatcheries in the "sticky" section. I would suggest checking that out. You can also find out information regarding breed information, feeding, housing and a host of other things on raising your ducklings as well as searching the wide and varied posts on this great forum. You might also consider paying the extra $1 to have your ducklings sexed to ensure you get the number of females you desire. For my first go at raising ducks (2011) I ordered ten straight run ducklings from the local feed store and ended up with eight males and one female that reached maturity. If you want to keep any drakes make sure that you have at least 3 ducks per drake as they will fight and over breed the ducks.

    You sound enthusiastic and I wish you the best of luck in buying and raising your ducklings.

    Here is a photo of my beloveds during a snow storm last week:
    [​IMG]
     
  10. PtJudeRI

    PtJudeRI Out Of The Brooder

    15
    1
    24
    Aug 22, 2012
    I have 5 Harlequin females, and so far, they havent been slowing down the production too much. I also have been averaging 4-5 eggs a day. I dont use any artificial light in the winter, so I would expect more of a slow down in the coming weeks, but so far so good! And yes, the eggs are awesome for everything. My quiches have been excellent lately. Very fluffy and light.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by