Ducks reduce hen's laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by hennyjenn, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. hennyjenn

    hennyjenn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    This Spring, we got some ducklings along with our chicks. They were raised alongside eachother (brooders side by side, outdoor runs separated by a fence). The ducks always tried to stay close to the chicks. We went away on vacation when everyone was about 3 months old. By this time, the pullets were in with our hens and the duck run alongside the chicken run still. To make things easier for our house sitter, a week before we left, I moved the duck house into the chicken yarn and started letting them all mingle together during the day. While we were gone, the house sitter said the ducks wanted to sleep in the coop so she let them. When we left, we were getting about 4+ dozen eggs/week. When we got back, we were getting two, three if we were lucky. Last week, we decided to rehome the ducks and the next day, 13 or our 15 hens laid. Day after that, 12. And the numbers have been up ever since. What could the ducks have been doing to discourage the hens from laying? They stayed out of the coop all day. They usually spent about half of the day out of the chicken yard so they could go down to the creek. We'd never seen the drake mount the hens, though we had seen him on the duck. Sometimes he seemed to be pecking at their backs, but upon closer observation, he was gently cleaning them, I think. Any ideas?
  2. Jessica1228

    Jessica1228 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 1, 2009
    We had the same problem. The spring chicks were shipped (never do that again) in the same box. So they lived together. One hen actually “married” the one boy duck. They are inseparable! Our coop is a converted horse stall so everyone slept together. The older chickens wouldn’t have it. We got two eggs between March and July. Finally we moved the ducks… and the lord said let there be eggs! They were fine with the new chickens but not the ducks. I moved the ducks back in just to be sure on 7/4. Not one egg until 7/12. Despite our interracial chicken/duck marriage we apparently also have some anti-duck racist hens too!

    I have no clue why ours stopped. Our Farm-vet lady said it depends on the age of the hens. Older hens are more likly to beput off by new birds... but I'm not convinced that's the case.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010

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