How to Market My Duck Eggs?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by reeds16, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. reeds16

    reeds16 Out Of The Brooder

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    I've been raising free-range laying chickens for many years and I've always been disappointed with their productivity. I've tried just about everything to make them lay well. They live a stress free life with access to a large amount of pasture during the day. I feed them gmo-free, locally grown feed and during the winter I give them supplemented light. They aren't overcrowded, they have access to grit, dust baths and I treat them monthly for mites, lice and worms. I use ISA browns, which are the one of the most productive breeds, but still I don't get nearly enough eggs. I have 100 birds now and I'm only getting 10-18 eggs a day! There production is on and off all year. Some weeks they'll lay 50 eggs a day and others they'll 5. This really doesn't work well for me because I have multiple restaurants, a bakery, a co-op, and dedicated customers counting on an exact number of eggs each week. They're starting to get frustrated and I'm afraid I'll lose their business if my chickens don't become more reliable. I've contacted Cornell Extension and even their experts had no idea why my chickens aren't laying well. This isn't the first bad batch either. The three flocks before this one were just as bad and over the years I've tried barred rocks, sex links, Austrolorps and speckled sussex from different hatcheries. Nothing seams to work well. Please let me know if you have any solutions.

    On the upside, I have a smaller flock of laying ducks which I'm really happy with. About 75% of them lay a large egg every day. They're much easier to raise, they have many less health issues, they eat much less feed, they get along better, their eggs are bigger, they forage more and I enjoy watching them waddling around the pasture. Most of my duck egg customers don't taste a difference between them and chicken eggs, they're better for baking and I've read that they have more nutritional value. I'd be happy to only raise ducks, but I feel like my chicken egg customers wouldn't be into the idea. If you have experience selling duck eggs, let me know how people reacted and how you market them. Thanks!
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I cannot answer your question, but I wanted to thank you for this helpful post about your experiences.

    While I don't sell, them, I have given them to friends and family, and most people are willing to try them. Once they do, they are very impressed. But I run into a few people who cannot bring themselves to eat duck eggs, for purely emotional reasons. Only one in about 40 people complained that they thought the eggs were rubbery when cooked. I am thinking they just way overcooked the egg.

    I tell people how much more B12 duck eggs have than chicken eggs.
     
  3. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    How strange with your chickens, i only have the Ameraucana here that lay and they do so well, despite our temps and short days now.

    Duck egg wise, i used a free classified to advertise mine. You could also try a sign at your farm gate, i have not tried this route but it's immensely popular around here to do so for chicken eggs, the same principle can easily be switched to duck.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  4. maruadventurer

    maruadventurer Out Of The Brooder

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    Lets assume that your husbandry of the chickens is impeccable. Have you considered external factors? Even if you have not lost any birds to predators does not mean that they are not present and the birds are aware of the presence. Borrow a game camera and see what goes bump in the night around your birds.

    .
     
  5. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    How old are your hens? Have you wormed them recently?
     
  6. kristen2678

    kristen2678 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are they free ranging or penned in a large area? Your chickens could be laying somewhere other than the coop for sure. Monthly worming and lice treatments? That seems like an awful lot. What about the age of your birds?

    I've had luck selling my duck eggs on Craigslist and by giving a half dozen away along with chicken eggs.
     
  7. reeds16

    reeds16 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 27, 2013
    my hens are a year and a half old and I actually havn't wormed them in a few months but they show no signs of worms.
     
  8. reeds16

    reeds16 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 27, 2013
    They free-range in a large fenced in pasture but I've checked every spot where they could be laying eggs. I find an occasional one or two under the coop, but for the most part they stick to the boxes. My hens are a 1 1/2 years old and 1 year old.
     
  9. reeds16

    reeds16 Out Of The Brooder

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    That does seam like a good idea to use a classified ad. I have a sign by the road which doesn't seam to work very well. I have about 35 Ameraucanas because my customers love the blue eggs, but they don't lay well either. I'm getting about 2 eggs a day from all 35 and they're a year old.
     
  10. houseofknauss

    houseofknauss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hmmmm. I guess I am not that diligent with my crew. they get DE in their coop and their dust baths. they get blue seal layer pellets and whole corn. they also get all the kitchen scraps I can give them......from left over cooked meat to left over waffles. I have only 10 layers and get 7 to 9 eggs daily. the weather is turning cold so I expect the production to go down some. my crew consists of rir, Sussex and leghorn mixes and a very nice rooster. do you have a rooster on premises???? they might feel safer with a couple around.
     

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