Ducks have yet to lay an egg at 8 months old

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Rhetts, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. Rhetts

    Rhetts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have one KC and one Rouen duck hatched June of 2014. I have never gotten and egg from either of them.

    What can I be doing to encourage them to lay? Obviously I must be doing something wrong since neither of them has laid.

    What suggestions can you give me? I am new to poultry as a whole so perhaps I am overlooking something basic here. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Summer-hatched ducks regularly wait to lay till the following spring.

    Some questions - are both females? What temperature is their shelter? What and how much do they eat? Free range? What type of bedding?
     
  3. Rhetts

    Rhetts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes both females. They also have drakes in both breeds. The drakes have been mounting the females since last September. The ducks are free to roam about the yard during the day but really they don't venture far from their house during the winter. I lock them up at night for their safety. They have pine bedding. The house is not heated by anything. So far during the winter I have been giving them for feed an all flock or game feed but usually the all flock type. They also get corn. Summer time they ate very little feed as they free ranged. During the summer they were much more adventurous and went all over.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Okay, I can see some possibilities. They are cold - my ducks lay fewer eggs after a certain temperature point. For mine, it's low 40s F. Their first year, they stopped laying in November. I assumed it was the daylight change. Then they started showing signs of being too cold. It was between 25F and 35F. I moved them into a shelter that was in the mid 40s. Two days later, they were laying again. There was not more light, possibly less, in that warmer shelter.

    Drakes - they can overmate and either stop egg production, injure, or even kill a duck. Not all drakes, not all the time. One needs to watch and see what is going on.

    Calcium - if they are getting all flock or game feed, I don't know that there is enough calcium in there for eggs, maybe even their cardiovascular system and bones. If you don't have free choice oyster shell or some other way of boosting calcium, please get something for them. Some of my Runners need extra extra calcium. So I boost them, even when they are not laying. Based on their history, the higher risk, seems to me, is low calcium (all kinds of health issues) rather than too much.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
  5. Rhetts

    Rhetts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK. thanks. I will work on resolving those issues. I do not think they are being over mated. The female is instigating it and the drake mates and then that is it. I am outside often and the hens do not seem stressed by the mating part of things. But by no means am I an expert either.
    I didn't realize ducks needed oyster shell too. Should they be eating a layer feed instead of all flock? Is the oyster shell like chickens offer free choice or do I mix in feed?
    Do you keep your ducks housed all the time? Yes, it is cold here. No where near 40s. Perhaps if I correct the feed/calcium issues and give them better housing when the warmer weather starts I can follow up on any eggs or lack of eggs we get. Thank you for your advice!
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Duck egg shells are much thicker than chicken egg shells, so I feel they need more calcium.

    I feed a layer, and then on top of that, offer free choice oyster shell for my Buffs (who tend to not have shell issues), and add another 50 or more mg per duck per day of dissolved calcium citrate for my Runners.

    I let them run around outdoors according to their behavior. Generally, if it's above freezing and sunny - they are outdoors at least most of the daylight hours. But below that, I watch their behavior. If it is below 15F, they pretty much want to be indoors. Makes for some extra room service needed, but it makes for some healthy ducks.

    Right now, I have nearly half a dozen ducks in some stage of molt (oh, autocorrect, the ducks are not molding), egad![​IMG] So they really don't want to be outside lately, where the temperatures are ranging from 10F to 20F. So we go for walks a few times a day.

    I made their housing spacious for just this reason - they are not right on top of each other when they need to spend days on end mostly cooped up. I just set the max-min thermometer down there yesterday, and the low was 41F. Got an egg this morning. That's not much, considering we have 12 girls, but it is winter.

    Because of their behavior, their individual constitutions, I do some coddling of the ducks. Some flocks do not need quite as much warmth. But there is no one-size-fits-all prescription, and I try to make that point here on the forum. What I have done is watched, adjusted, watched again to find management that works for me.

    My ultimate aim is to get a passive solar heated shelter, perhaps a greenhouse, with a duck door to an outdoor run so that the hardier ducks (I have a few, really, I do) can hang out outside, the more tender ones, or the molting ones can remain in the shelter, and those in between can run in and out without needing the doorman (me).

    added - you are conscientious about your animals. That is wonderful!!!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015

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