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Discussion in 'Ducks' started by beeman1989, Jun 28, 2016.
My khakies are 4 months old. When should they start laying? And what will they do before they start?
Any time now. Are they playing hop on top?
If so, it's time to set out the free choice oyster shell.
If you have both genders look for mating rituals.. Or just.. Mating.
They usually start going through the motions before they start laying.
This may still apply with an all female flock, I'm not sure. I've only had all females for a brief time a few years back, but even then they were doing the deed (or as best they could approximate) in the pool.
My Runners are all girls, and they were hopping on each other right and left.
Yeah I kinda figured that was going to be the case. Having only ever seen my gals do it, I didn't want to assume that it was common.
My first all girl flock were playing hop on top to the extreme for four months before they started laying. I had girls that had bald spots on necks and backs from their activities. I frequently caught them in double and triple decker hop on top. Ocassionally I'd find all four assuming the coquette pose in their individual bathing pans and calling to the others to hop on top. Eventually someone would "break" and run over to hop on top. Then the rest would around like fools until she "finished".
Celebratory wing pumping and happy dancing the whole bit.
Every day I thought it surely it can't get any more extreme. But it did. I was looking for eggs daily for months before they actually started laying.
Maybe my experience was due to my girls hatching very late in the season.
I received a thorough education in mating behaviors. I believe my girls were practicing behaviors to the extreme on each other. If I'd had a drake they may not have been so extreme.
My current batch are just starting the mating pose. Some mornings I have to fake "cover" one or more to get them to start walking again so I can put them away before I go to work.
This is amazing! I mean it sounds awful for you but it's amazing.. Thanks for sharing!
WOW! That is fascinating! Thanks for sharing
I can look back at it now and laugh but I went through so much anxiety when they were figuring themselves out. On the one hand I knew that all of them quacked.. but on the other hand their behaviors looked just like drakes. Then I read a post on BYC about some drakes never growing a curly feather and another post about hens changing sex. I had to make myself stop watching youtube videos about sexing ducks/ drake noises etc. I was driving myself crazy.
About a month before they actually started laying they started getting a pretty rosy pink to yellow gradient blush on their cheeks that hasn't been there before. It looked like 1980s video glam rock makeup.
About a week before they actually started laying I had one particularly difficult night getting them back in the pen for bed. Everyone was obstinate and quack-sassing me and refused to walk back in to bed even though it was pitch black outside. I had to carry all four them back inside the pen.
I'd already stopped checking (digging through bedding looking) for eggs at this point. I was just poking head in the nest area and seeing if anything was on top of the straw.
It was mid December at this point. Then right before Christmas Eve morning I peeked in the doghouse and bam! there was a black egg laying there so nicely in the nest. I moved them from the pen to their winter daytime foraging area and she laid a second egg in the pen while I was mucking out/watering/etc. Over the next couple of weeks everyone started laying in size order smallest to biggest.
I still haven't figured out if it was time for them to lay (7 months old) or if it was due to our unseasonable 60 degree daily high temps that we were having in December. They don't have any supplemental light at all. I didn't change their feed at all yet because it wasn't cold enough to increase their calories.
You say their cheeks developed a gradient blush on their cheeks before they started laying? I have not noticed that on my Khaki girls yet, but they are coming up on 7/8 months now so perhaps it will develop soon....... And yours laid a black (dark) egg?!? That would be awesome if my girls laid dark ones, as I've been led to believe they lay slightly tinged white ones. Which I am already getting from my Aylesbury girls. Theirs are white with a green tint to them. I am getting four eggs each morning though from from 7 girls (2 of which are very new to the group) so I was of the opinion my Khakies were already laying...... interesting days ahead for me then, discovering who is and isn't actually laying