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!

Egg questions!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by danideer, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. danideer

    danideer Out Of The Brooder

    26
    0
    22
    Mar 26, 2013
    West Michigan
    Hi all! In March I acquired my first ducks. I'm now the proud owner of4 Pekins, 1 sweet male and 3 sassy females. I also have 2 adorable little female cresteds. When the male began to breed with the females, I switched them onto a layer feed. Two days ago I found their first egg! Unfortunately it was cracked and the shell was very thin and felt gritty. Today however, my mom found a whole egg. It was perfect and had a nice thick shell, but mom was uncomfortable with us eating or baking it due to the mottled appearance of the shell and the fact that she found it laying in duck poo. I have a couple questions about all this egg business!

    - My ducks are penned up at night in a chain link dog kennel that has chicken wire over the top to protect them from owls. When the grass starts turning to mud and poo mush, we just wheel it to another part of the yard. Because it's not a coop, the eggs are exposed to the elements. We let the ducks out in the morning so eggs are never in the sun long, but what about rain?

    - If I were to rig up some nest boxes to place in the pen, would my ducks use them? Or would they just continue to lay on the ground in the poop and mud?

    - My ducks eat Dumor layer pellets, and there's also now a dish of oyster shells for added protein if they so desire it. Do I feed them later feed forever now, or just in the laying season (presumably spring/summer)?

    - And perhaps my biggest question! How do I prepare the duck eggs for eating and baking?!
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  2. Buckas

    Buckas Out Of The Brooder

    56
    1
    31
    Jul 22, 2013
    Yes make them nesting boxes on the ground and just put some straw in them, they may or may not use them. Even if the eggs touch the poop or get rained on they are fine. I don't wash my eggs until I use them, that seems to extend their shelve life. I refrigerate mine but not everyone does that. I'm with your mom about being sketchy on using the eggs especially if this is the first time you have ever ate your ducks eggs, so if your not sure the best way to check the egg is to crack it into something before adding it to the mix. The duck eggs are thicker (their shell and its contents) and smell stronger than store bought chicken eggs, so I avoid smelling them! I use my duck eggs to bake with and I don't treat them any different than a chicken egg. I have tried them every way you can and I am not a fan of hard boiled duck eggs. I feed my ducks all year long a scratch mix and they are free range during the day. I don't supplement with any oyster shell because I have males in the flock and they can't have it. I hope this helps a little. Let me know what you think of hard boiled duck eggs.
    By the way since you have males, you will notice a little white speck in the yolk, nothing to worry about!
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,341
    5,101
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    I will say this to add I put out oyster shell in separate container and my drakes, roos nor gander eat it. if you decide to put out nest boxes better roof them because once bedding gets soaked I don't think they will use them.
     
  4. Buckas

    Buckas Out Of The Brooder

    56
    1
    31
    Jul 22, 2013
    Ok the drakes can have it, but I don't give mine any extra calcium, good call ML!
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,341
    5,101
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    No the drakes don't eat it lol. They just don't pay it any attention at all I keep it separate from their feed dishes but the girls all know where it is. My flock of girls probably wouldn't need it either since they do a lot of foraging but I have always sat some out and I do see them eating it on occasion so I think it is something they use when needed.
     
  6. danideer

    danideer Out Of The Brooder

    26
    0
    22
    Mar 26, 2013
    West Michigan
    Thanks all! My remaining question just regards feed. Should I keep them on the layer pellets year round now?
     
  7. duckins

    duckins Chillin' With My Peeps

    378
    27
    113
    Dec 29, 2012
    Gladys, Va
    Lol Miss Lydia my 3 guys are not housed with girls but they love to snoop in girls runs they tear down on ladies feed but seem to turn beaks up to oyster shell. My daughter calls their os a side dish condiment to their reg feed. Danideer this my first year with layers my plan was to keep them on layer pellets until laying seasons over than switch to a flock or all stock raiser for off season. Hope it will be cheaper feed bills been high with these little piggies but they work hard producing. I've heard they should be allowed a break from laying as well.
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,341
    5,101
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    I would think during off laying season using an All flock or reg feed would be fine, Since I don't use layer. I'd give the girls a couple weeks after last egg before taking layer away so they build up their calcium reserves. Only if you aren't leaving out OS. side dish condiment is a good choice of words duckins. [​IMG]
     
  9. danideer

    danideer Out Of The Brooder

    26
    0
    22
    Mar 26, 2013
    West Michigan
    Thanks for the answers! Another couple of egg question for you all. For some reason one of the girls decided to plop down on the patio and lay an egg there! There's a teeny crack in it where the shell gave way to the concrete. I said it was probably best to either throw it out or cook it for the girls but she insisted I ask if it was usable. I think she wants to make a back to school dessert using duck eggs or something. xD

    So far with 5 girls we're only finding 1 egg per day. Does this just mean that only 1 duck is laying regularly? Should we be getting more eggs?
     
  10. Buckas

    Buckas Out Of The Brooder

    56
    1
    31
    Jul 22, 2013
    If you used it yesterday it was probably fine (the egg) otherwise I think cooking it up for the ducks is great idea and if you just mash it all up shell and all, that too is added calcium for the girls. As for the duck laying an egg on the patio, you'll have that. My guess is the reason you aren't finding more than one egg is because they are either laying in random places in the yard (mine do that, almost like a sudden urge) or they just haven't started laying yet. I really wouldn't worry too much about it, who knows those girls may even hold off till next spring to start (doubt it) but it could happen!
    So to give OS or not to give OS that is the question! [​IMG] lol
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by