Is it "egg laying" season yet?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Nebraskagirl, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Nebraskagirl

    Nebraskagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm being impatient I know, but I am reading some of you are already getting eggs. I have a Welsh Harlequin female who was born last spring and has yet to lay her first egg. We live in Nebraska so I know the days are just beginning to get longer, thus making more daylight hours. I just have her and a WH drake. I don't do artificial lighting but just curious as to when things might start happening. I am so darn excited for that first egg :)
     
  2. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    While i don't own that breed, i think it varies. My first ever Muscovy ducks laid at 4mths old but other ducks have followed up with later ages. Some of My main girls resumed laying back in Jan? crazy, i even have one who has decided to set a nest already.

    I know it's hard to wait but it'll happen spring is almost here and your right i am already seeing an increase in daylight.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  3. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm noticing variables of age, temperature, and daylight. Yesterday I had 4 eggs, the day previous just one. (from 7 female ducks). I think my youngest is doing the most laying. I plan to collect for the next 2 weeks or so, then we'll see who wants to go broody. But only if the Groundhog was right, and we can look ahead to an early Spring! :)
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Nebraskagirl,

    I know I am tempted to feel impatient - our runners and buffs stopped laying in October. Romy started laying, but soft-shelled eggs, and they made her quite uncomfortable. We are giving her Neocalglucon for extra calcium, and I am putting calcium gluconate in their drinking water.

    We now have one drake and twelve ducks. He's a buff, and there are three buff girls, and he seems only interested in them.

    Is it possible your drake is mating with your duck so much that she's stressed and not laying? Please bear with me - I have no way to see your ducks, so I'm tossing out ideas picked up from what I have seen here in the past.

    What is she being fed? Is she getting free choice oyster shell? I have a theory I plan to try out, which is that fresh greens help ducks' general health, so maybe they can help with laying indirectly. What is the temperature of their shelter? With my runners, temperature seems to matter more than light.

    She may be hiding eggs. I have a wicked cold and we had a blizzard here over the weekend, so the night shelter went two days without room service. Last night I was doing it literally by hand so as not to frighten ducks or stir up dust while they're inside, and lo and behold, there was an egg. Shell and all! But it was buried so well - in maybe three inches of bedding, that if I had used the tools I usually use to fluff the bedding, I could have smashed the egg.
     
  5. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    It does, it's also varying with my chickens... some days it's two, some four(I only have 4 chickens lol) on average i am getting 3 ducks eggs that is from 7 ducks BUT the 8th is on a nest and 3 are only 6mths old, there is also an 8mth old. I know for a fact Lilly is laying because she has a certain egg shape and i know frey is too but she's usually in with her drake so being the only duck makes it obvious, i am pretty sure Lilac is another but again i cannot confirm.

    Our weather is bouncy, nicer temps then wicked cold that for sure effects the eggs being laid.
     
  6. Nebraskagirl

    Nebraskagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't notice any damage to her (meaning cuts on her neck, wings, missing feathers) and she appears healthy and active. She is fed flock feeder mixed with corn and whatever she can scratch from the ground. I do give them fresh greens (collard greens, lettuce, cucumber peel, turnip greens, etc.) and some mealworms every now and then. No oyster shell. I do not heat the shelter and the temps have been in the 20s at night (F) and today it is 48 and supposed to be hanging around that range for a few days. She is not hiding eggs I know that. I fluff their shelter and go through it very well every morning and it not that big as we only have two ducks. They have a covered run outside they are in if I am not there supervising them free range.

    I guess time will tell. I just feel odd she is not laying yet, with her breed they are prolific layers and nothing yet. Hmmmm????
     
  7. Nebraskagirl

    Nebraskagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all who have replied by the way. I appreciate it!! It makes me feel better knowing all variables. I have SO MUCH yet to learn about these critters.
     
  8. catsbully

    catsbully Out Of The Brooder

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    ok I dont get this? my 5 indian runner girls still give me 4-5 eggs a day! throughout the winter and its been very cold at times here! Maybe my girls are a little too enthusiastic? not that I am complaining! since my egg sales usually leave me without any chicken eggs we still have the duck eggs for brekkie!
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I am wondering if she might be one of those ducks who needs a little more calcium and protein. Many feed added corn in winter for calories, and at the same time corn doesn't have a whole lot of other nutrients. My Romy needs extra calcium or she has trouble laying. If she were one of mine, I would figure a way to boost the protein a tad (or cut the corn back), and get some oyster shell or other calcium supplement in front of her.
     
  10. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've found that the ducks I've owned that hatch in spring tend to not lay until the following spring. Some variables but it seems like it is usually much longer with spring hatched. I would offer a calcium supplement (I never used to before moving) just in case. They won't eat it if they don't need it but better safe than sorry. I offer dried crushed egg shells and oyster shells in the same bowl. I've had the oyster shells (50 lbs) for 8 months and have hardly used it but the chickens and ducks prefer the egg shells. I think I paid about $8 for the oyster shell at TSC.
     

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