My ducks won’t lay | Tips for getting ducks to lay?

Crazy4Fowl

Songster
6 Years
Nov 20, 2014
618
84
166
My duck coop
I have 17 female ducks. 11 are khaki Campbell and the other 6 are runners. 2 of the Campbell’s are two months older and they have been laying since September. The rest have not started laying yet. Some days I do get 3 eggs so I’m guessing one of the younger ones has started but still they are almost 7 months old I can’t afford to keep feeding 20 birds (drakes too) and only getting 2 eggs a day. I’ve read online it takes 4-7 months for them to start laying. Are they all really just going to wait until the last day to start laying?

Any tips on how to get them to lay or reasons on why they won’t lay?

thanks
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Nov 23, 2010
33,441
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St. Louis, MO
The body cycles of all animals is dictated by daily light and dark cycles.
Decreasing light vs. dark is a signal to halt reproduction. Increasing light period vis a vis dark is a signal to begin/resume production.
You could try boosting day length with some artificial light or just wait a few more weeks when you have more eggs than you can handle.
This is all dependent that they are getting the best nutrition for their species and age.
At my latitude, days are only about 2.5 minutes longer than at winter solstice so maybe not noticeably to the birds yet. A month from now, days will be 40 minutes longer than solstice and increasing by about 2 minutes a day.
Where are you located?
 
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Crazy4Fowl

Songster
6 Years
Nov 20, 2014
618
84
166
My duck coop
The body cycles of all animals is dictated by daily light and dark cycles.
Decreasing light vs. dark is a signal to halt reproduction. Increasing light period vis a vis dark is a signal to begin/resume production.
You could try boosting day length with some artificial light or just wait a few more weeks when you have more eggs than you can handle.
This is all dependent that they are getting the best nutrition for their species and age.
At my latitude, days are only about 2.5 minutes longer than at winter solstice so maybe not noticeably to the birds yet. A month from now, days will be 40 minutes longer than solstice and increasing by about 2 minutes a day.
Where are you located?
New England. I was told ducks don’t need as much daylight like chickens do but I guess that’s not true?
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Nov 23, 2010
33,441
28,538
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St. Louis, MO
New England. I was told ducks don’t need as much daylight like chickens do but I guess that’s not true?
They don't need as much but the timing is everything. If they are at point of lay on the darkest days of the year, it will impact them. I think if they were a bit older when solstice came, they would be laying right through.
In New England, your days are even shorter than mine but as days get longer, your days will get longer faster than mine.
 

Crazy4Fowl

Songster
6 Years
Nov 20, 2014
618
84
166
My duck coop
They don't need as much but the timing is everything. If they are at point of lay on the darkest days of the year, it will impact them. I think if they were a bit older when solstice came, they would be laying right through.
In New England, your days are even shorter than mine but as days get longer, your days will get longer faster than mine.
It must just have to do with the timing of them supposed to have start laying and the winter daylight. Hopefully production will ramp up soon. They are fed purina duck food
 

KaleIAm

Free Ranging
6 Years
Jul 13, 2015
3,220
9,410
701
Carnation, Wa
Darker days mean winter and winter isn't a good time to have babies (eggs).

You can be patient or provide artificial light. I prefer patience because I feel it is better for their health in the long term. But if you can't feed them for nothing in return artificial light is an option.
 

BigLar368

Songster
Jun 12, 2020
175
306
111
Southeast Texas
Our ducks (4 WH's) did not lay until last week which was their 29th week. About 3 weeks ago I started feeding the whole flock chickens (also 29 weeks with 4 of them at 25 weeks) and all about 2 cups of cheap cat food at night when I put them up. I also added a small 3 foot LED light in the run. I turn it on 45 mins to one hour before daylight and after dusk. Now the ducks are laying at least 3 a day sometimes 4 and all but 4 chickens are laying. We can't give the eggs away fast enough. Also I should note we live in a pretty mild climate compared to some with it rarely getting below freezing. Next year I will not add extra light. I just did it this year because they were all so young I figured it would not be too stressful. They all free range the back half of our yard all day. I just wanted to get them started as it seemed an extra long time before some of the birds started to lay. Good luck to the OP.
 

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