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Laying Season, what's the deal?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by KARy408, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. KARy408

    KARy408 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm new to poultry in general and my husband and I decided to start with Ducks instead of Chickens, as they seemed easier, friendlier and more useful overall. Our main purpose for keeping them is for the eggs, so we decided to start with 4 Pekin girls. We got them as hatchlings, and now finally, 24 weeks later we're starting to get eggs!

    In my research, the books & websites I've read and several posts I've seen here, I've often seen reference to the "Laying Season" when discussing duck keeping, feed, light requirements and what-not. However, I have not been able to find any literature describing when exactly that season is and/or how it applies to the different breed types. So my question is, what's the deal here? Is there really a laying season and how important is it to follow?

    I know Pekins are typically kept as meat birds, but we chose them for their temperament, flightlessness and prolific laying. But I haven't been able to find out if a Pekin will lay all year round (except during the molt). Do I need to give my girls a break? If there is a season, then I'm assuming we're nearing the end of it now, so am I doing my girls damage by promoting them to start laying this late? It seems a lot of others around here are just starting now as well. For the life of me, I can't figure out why there isn't more info on this topic. It seems important, but maybe I'm just overthinking things? Any insight would be appreciated!
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Southern New England
    It is not easy to predict, even knowing the breed, with laying, since many ducks these days - from what I read and see - are not carefully bred for their egg-laying.

    My runners laid daily for fourteen, maybe sixteen months straight once they started. They took a couple months off, then started again. Now, at four and a half years old, they started laying in April, slowed down in June, and now of the nine, we are getting two to three eggs a day. I am happy with that,

    Mallards and Muscovies, (and Black East Indies, I think) I am told, are more seasonal - they lay in the spring and summer at that is pretty much it. Other breeds will lay throughout the year, maybe. You have more likelihood of getting eggs year 'round with some breeds, like runners, khaki campbells, buffs.
     
  3. KARy408

    KARy408 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Huh, interesting, I hadn't thought about it that way. Hopefully that will change, as I believe duck eggs are going to start gaining in popularity in the coming years.

    Anyway, thanks for responding with your experience Amiga. It seems like most things Duck, we'll just have to figure it out as we go. Glad to know there's a reason my Storey's Guide was missing a Laying Season chart!

    Anyone out there who can speak to Pekin's specifically?
     
  4. KARy408

    KARy408 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh also, I was curious, how many of you out there do actually supplement light for optimum egg production? Everything I've read says to do so, but my husband thinks our books are geared more towards large scale production needs, rather than our own...
     
  5. willowbirdks

    willowbirdks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm curious about that second question, too. My friends who have a backyard chicken flock do have a light on a timer throughout the winter, and they have great eggs year round. I had read that I should do the same with my ducks, but when I posted about it on the Ancona thread, several folks said they had never done so.

    So I'm going to follow along and see what others have to say about putting a light in the coop during the shorter winter days.
     

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