Extend daylighting in morning or evening for ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Just Ducky, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Hi All!

    We have 2 kahki Campbells (1 drake, 1 hen) and a hen domesticated mallard. 23 weeks, no eggs yet, but I just heard that the Kahkis in our area (Nova Scotia) have been bred for looks not so much for egg laying (should have asked... ). They are lovely friendly birds, though, and I am so enjoying them. And... drake-on-duck action is around the corner. The drake has had little fits of chasing attention for the female Kahki for the past few days.

    I've extended the light hours at 1 watt per sq ft in their little coop to 15 hours now, and will go to 16 by next week. I've got the timer to come on at dusk. Should I change it to come on before dawn? And will it change the 8 to 9 am egg laying (when it starts)?

    Thanks everybody!!!!

    Mercedes
     
  2. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    Personally I don't like forced laying. They only have so many eggs to lay in one life time. They need periods of rest from laying for body weight gain, feather growth ect.
     
  3. destinduck

    destinduck obsessed with "ducks"

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    It doesnt matter if it comes on in the morning or the evening.
     
  4. cutechick2010

    cutechick2010 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Personally, I would not be trying to force laying. Especially since they haven't started laying yet, their bodies may still need some time to mature. You will have plenty of eggs come spring time. :)
     
  5. How cool is that? This is where this forum is better than all the books I've read from the library. They never mentioned that the light is hard on the ducks and I never thought it through. I'll take the light out of the coop. Thanks!

    Mercedes


    The electricity will be handy to keep the water unfrozen once winter comes. I'm planning to put a bulb in a cookie tin, caulk it well, and put their 1 gal bucket on top of the warmth. Better ideas?
     
  6. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Would the ducks be able to get to the bulb? If you already have electricity running to the coop I personally would just invest in a poultry water heater. Most of the feed stores here carry them readily.
     
  7. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, a small heated bucket.. i'll find a picture to show you what i use. It's heater is fully enclosed and the cording bite proof(not that duck bite, just that is very durable)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  8. Keeping water flowing in winter is a problem not addressed in the books and handled so well here... Thank you again! I'm heading out to our feed store tomorrow anyway and will ask for it.
     
  9. Marty1876

    Marty1876 Hi Everyone!

    I do use additonal light for my egg laying flock. Their job is to lay eggs, and they only have so long of a useful life to do it in. I would give them until 7 monthes of age to bring in the light for them. Not all of mine lay before month 7. Then, if your primary interest and reason for keeping and feeding ducks is for eggs, give them a low wattage light in an enclosed space with food and water nightly. Make them a nice straw nest in a corner or two for eggs (and insulation from the ground). If its cold nights at your home, gather eggs early, as soon as your up, to prevent egg freezing.

    I would not force eggs for setting purposes, you want the best eggs possible for that, and so go with nature then. That said, I've been known to leave the ducks (in a fully enclosed space) light on, a 25 or 40 watt usually, from November thru mid April. I do it for a dual purpose, to encourage egg laying, and also to keep my eggs from freezing, as it freezes almost nightly Dec - Mar here. I find lights to be the cheapest, safest, most portable heal/light situation. I don't think birds that only lay seasonally will respons well to attempted egg forcing, but genetic egg layers will lay, and that, IMO is what they want to do as well.
     
  10. Thanks! I'll ask the source of the eggs for their opinion (the people, not the ducks). Are these super egg-layers or seasonal layers? At the very least, I'll wait until 7 months to light the night, introducing the light gradually.

    Here in Nova Scotia we have the moderating effect of the ocean. It's not too hot and not too cold, with only a few nights a winter going below -10 C (14 F). Like everything else, I'll figure this out as we go along.

    The torrential rains of Sandy didn't wash away the duck yard. Our soil is clay, but the yard is on a slope (yes, I have mountain ducks), and the yard litter of straw and leaves is still fluffy and makes the ducks happy as they beak their way through. Bags of leaves waiting for winter top-ups
     

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