Help/Advise needed from a Pekin Laying Expert

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by KARy408, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. KARy408

    KARy408 Chirping

    122
    4
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    Aug 18, 2014
    Livermore, CA
    Hi there, I'm hoping someone with a good amount of Pekin laying experience can help me out with a few questions. My four girls are six months old and just working up to a regular laying routine. I want to make sure they have everything they need and are as happy and healthy as possible, so naturally a few questions keep popping up in my head:

    1.) How do you know if your Pekin is overweight? My girls are all huge, but 2 in particular seem monstrously large. And I've posted pics in other threads, and had other duck owners tell me how big my girls look. They are all active tho; they swim regularly, do a fair amount of foraging and love to go up and down the ramps around their run. I've read their bodies change a bit as they go into the laying season, so maybe that's just what I'm seeing? Again, just want to be sure they're all healthy and happy.

    2.) What is the normal laying season for a Pekin and how important is it to follow? Right now we are not supplementing the light at all, but we do have the girls on layers rations. At what point should I give them a break? Do you just follow their lead or is there more of a seasonal calandar I should follow?

    3.) Following up the previous question, how important is it to supplement light with Pekins? All my books say light is a huge contributor to egg production, but my husband says, "we're not a commercial operation, so the light thing doesn't really apply to us." For what I've read around this forum, it seems temperature is a higher contributing factor. Is this generally your experience with Pekins as well? I don't really want to push my girls, but eggs are our main reason for keeping ducks.

    4.) Do Pekins get broody at all? So far it seems to me that trait is completly bred out of them. We don't have a drake so it doesn't really matter much, but I'm wondering if my girls will ever get this egg thing figured out. So far only one of them seems to be laying in a nest, and if I don't get to the eggs in time, the girls will clobber all over them, breaking the shells and eating as they go. Is that just the norm with Pekins?

    I thinks those are all my questions for now. I'd love to hear from an expert! It seems there are a few people around here with Pekins who just started laying, so I'm sure others will benefit from this thread as well; feel free to add questions if you have them!
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  2. lilearthquake

    lilearthquake In the Brooder

    Hi KARy408

    Well I'm far from an expert but I have 2 cents to share about your 4th question regarding Pekins going broody. Many assured me Pekins wouldn't go broody "it's been bred out of them" they said. This delighted me since I'm not interested in growing my flock. I now have 7 NEW ducks, ha ha.

    My first Pekin was a rescue hatchling who was not interested in nesting. My second Pekin female came from a farm and was raised alongside chickens. I think that made the difference because as soon as she came she went broody and my other female picked up on it and started to mimick. I thought they would get bored of sitting and abandon their nests to go play. Well I was wrong again, they did not and by that time, I could not bring myself to remove "kill" the eggs.

    Wish I knew more to tell you. Good luck.
     
  3. KARy408

    KARy408 Chirping

    122
    4
    61
    Aug 18, 2014
    Livermore, CA
    Thanks for the info Lilearthquake! I appreciate any first-hand knowledge I can get right now.
    Interesting about the 2nd pekin mimicking the chickens and so on, I hadn't thought about it that way. We don't have any other poultry so I'm sure my girls are just figuring it out. One of them is definitely smarter than the others, so I thought she'd be the only one to develop any good nest habits at all. Hopefully soon the others will start to copy.
     

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