Khakis - Laying? Where? Nest boxes? Help!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by HomeGrownGudLif, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. HI all.
    I am a little frantic right now.. [​IMG] I have 4 gals (Khaki Campbells), they are 22 weeks old, and I have yet to see an egg! Its basically spring here according to my chickens, who are a week older (23 wks) and within the past 3 weeks have started laying nearly an egg a day. The ducks get more daylight than the chickens do just by the way their shelter is set up. So shouldn't I be seeing some sign of eggs? My gals are free-range but generally stay in the same small area of our yard, it has a few trees and shrubs and then open grass/dirt... Any egg hunting tips? Also, does anyone know a good way to get them "trained" to lay in nest boxes or such? Thanks for your time and help! Gah!

    Just some pics of our Gals. : ) Never hurts to have pics in a post!
  2. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    I wouldn't worry too much about it yet. My chickens have already ramped up production, but my ducks are just starting. Usually ducks will first lay where they sleep. They start getting sneaky if they have a broody tendency and you keep taking their eggs.

    If by chance they are laying elsewhere, you can nip that in the bud by letting them out later. I've found that most of my ducks lay before 9am, there are a few exceptions.
  3. Thanks very much for your help!

    Also, to anyone, about how many nest boxes per duck? Thanks!
  4. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    I have 3 nest boxes in one of the duck houses. Sometimes they use it, most of the time they don't. Recently the geese went into the duck house and moved the nest boxes away from the walls. Some of ducks have started laying behind them regularly. I find this to be just as nice as if they used the boxes.

    In another duck house I only have one, and it's always filled with eggs.

    The house with three nest boxes is in the orchard. There are some new apple trees that were planted a few years ago and many of them prefer to lay around the base of them if I don't let the cows in to mow the grass. Those are the ducks that tend to try to go broody on me.

    I'm not sure what the recommended rate of nest box to duck is.
  5. RavenStorm

    RavenStorm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2008
    Southern CA
    My first Khaki didn't start laying until she was 7 months old, but now she's the star egg layer. Her offspring started laying at exactly 20 weeks. I've also had Muscovies start to lay at just under 4 months. It all just depends on your bird's breeding and genetic potential at this point, because it seems like they get enough sun and great nibbles in the yard so nutrition isn't an issue.

    All of my ducks seem to lay around dawn while they are still cooped up for the night, so I don't have to go searching for the eggs so I can't help you with hunting tips but ... I have heard of new layers not knowing what to do and "laying" their eggs in a pond while swimming. Any chance there's a pile of eggs at the bottom of their water if they have a pond?
  6. Good info. Thanks, I've found this all helpful. I think that you are both right - they are just not quite at that point yet..
    On the other hand I feel a more suitable coop/run combo is in order... ; ) Any excuse to build with reused materials makes me happy! Thanks RainPlace and RavenStorm.
    Haha, our "pond" just broke this past winter, so I don't think we will be finding any eggs there... ;)

    Take care! Happy healthy critters!
  7. BallardDuck

    BallardDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Ballard in Seattle
    My girls started laying at 22 weeks. Took me by surprise since I was pretty much not expecting anything till 26 weeks mark. They have been putting out an egg each most every day since.
    I never tried the egg box after reading so many responses on here that ducks don't reliably use them. They are funny, sometimes the eggs are buried with the shavings all smoothed down, some times they make a big dish-like nest and lay them in the center just like a picture of a nest! They usually lay them close together, but occasionally they are in all separate corners of the coop, like they were arguing!
    I let mine out of their coop around 7:30 AM and have only had one yard egg in the past 4 months. You said yours were free that all the time? If so, they could be hiding a clutch of eggs from you. From what I've read on here they can be pretty sneaky!

  8. BallardDuck - Thanks so much for your reply.

    That is an awesome picture! haha. I love it. My ducks were free range all the time, and we searched and searched for hidden clutches or random eggs but didn't ever find any. We moved them into our large coop 3 or so days ago (say that ten times fast! hah) and the first morning I went in there AH! there was a duck egg on the ground! (excited me thinks yes!) I am hoping that my wishful thinking ("they won't lay till we get them settled in their new house" - repeated over and over) actually worked as we are still yet to find any hidden eggs... Also, I was thinking about trying a nesting box for them but they are so feisty and finicky I doubt that they will use it..

    Thanks again for your input/advice and I wish you the best with your small ones!


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