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DUCKS STOPPED LAYING

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Molnut, Nov 26, 2016.

  1. Molnut

    Molnut Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm new to ducks and need some advice.
    I have taken over the care of 22 ducks, still figuring how many males and females.
    They have the run of a huge garden and are closed in at night in a barn, where they lay their eggs as well (or so I think).
    Before I took over, the eggs were not picked up and were piling up in two corners of the barn.
    The barn has been since then cleaned up with new straw.
    Every day I fluff/turn up the straw and clean their drinking water (in the barn). They eat in the barn before going to bed.
    It has been a week and so far, and have only had 6 eggs.
    They are fed gamebird crumbles at 27% protein and have oyster shells on demand.
    What am I doing wrong?
    Thanks
     
  2. Bills vs Beaks

    Bills vs Beaks Overrun With Chickens

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    Is it just me, or is that waaaaaaaaaaay to much protein? I give my birds 16% layer feed and they give me about an egg a day.
    Are they all old enough to lay? How many girls are there? Boys obviously dont lay eggs...What breed are they? Breed has a say in how many eggs you actually get. How much light do they get? Birds will stop laying in winter because they are getting less light, which they correctly interpret as too cold weather for laying and hatching ducklings( they cant figure out that we are takin the eggs away-_-) and their reproductive system shuts down
     
  3. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    Female ducks quack loudly, the drakes have a quieter raspy quack the sounds more like whaaap-whaaap-whaaap... pics might help us to identify ducks from drakes as well...

    They might be hiding their eggs or could be from shorter daylight hours... and age...

    And I agree, 27% protein is a bit high... highest I feed is 20%, Purina Flock Raiser...
     
  4. DancingWthDucks

    DancingWthDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try switching their feed over to layers pellets or if you can find it, duck breeder pellets. It sounds like they could be slowing down laying for winter.
     
  5. Molnut

    Molnut Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 1, 2015
    Port Angeles, WA
    Thanks for the responses. I have chickens, but I'm new to ducks.

    They are runners, Rouens and kakkis ducks and some mixed offsprings.

    I did think the protein level was rather high, but again I'm new....The ducks' owner has been feeding them this gamebird diet for a while. Could too much protein affect the laying?

    I figured a 50/50 ratio males/females would be a fair start. Based on that, I should get at least one egg/day for 11 females. Now that I have that tip to sex them, I will try to identify the females to get a better idea.

    I expected light would have an effect on them, but not to such extent.

    I know chickens don't like change which can trigger a temporary drop in production (not fluffing up their litter though, since they naturally will scratch and upturn it themselves). Could my turning the straw now daily upset them and make them feel less safe?

    What else should I know about ducks' behavior that differ from chickens?

    Thanks
     
  6. Bills vs Beaks

    Bills vs Beaks Overrun With Chickens

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    I doubt the litter stirring is affecting them. That said, Rouens aren't know for high egg production, maybe every three day(so I've read)
    Khakis(from experience) are terrific layers, as I said, about an egg a day
    I've also read runners are good layers too
    So if all the ducks are equal numbers, 7 a week from Rouen, 25 from kcs , and 25 from runners, that's a lot!
    Now account for mixes and we can estimate about 40-50 eggs a week( I'm just thinking out loud....I mean, on type. But wow...50 eggs!!)
    Now the feed affects that, light affects that, and stress affects that. make sure you actually have 11 girls too[​IMG]
    Now if you have 50/50 you probably will want to get rid of half the males at least, or there will be fighting and hence, stress. Good ratio is 3 girls to 1 drake
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    My Runners laid daily for 14 months straight their first year. They did slow down when their night shelter temperature dropped below freezing, before I moved them to a different shelter that stays above 40F.

    If there were two piles, someone may have been going broody, and that will stop egg production (of the broody duck). Disturbances can alter egg laying. It could simply be that having a different person caring for them has changed the dynamic.

    I found that light has much less to do with my ducks laying than anything, the exception being if I keep a duck in very very dark conditions she won't lay as much. But leaving eggs out for her to sit on will also stop her from laying.
     
  8. Molnut

    Molnut Out Of The Brooder

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    Port Angeles, WA
    Thanks for the production info. At least I have hope.
    The owner will change the diet, so we'll see. I still have to do a close up to identify males and females.
    Hopefully, they'll get to know me. I'm thinking about bringing some kind of treat. They have unlimited access to fruits and vegetables. What is a good treat for ducks?
     
  9. DancingWthDucks

    DancingWthDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mealworms and peas always seem a favourite.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Bills vs Beaks

    Bills vs Beaks Overrun With Chickens

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    And I will add: grubs, slugs, worms, and bugs are the way to a duckies heart
     

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