Pekin ducks and laying

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Ariel301, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    I took in a group of older Pekin ducks a few months ago. I have one drake and five females. The ducks are 7 years old, according to the man who gave them to me. He didn't really say anything about them, just brought them to me and dumped them in a pen then left. I am not sure he spoke a lot of English.

    Since I have gotten them, I have not seen the male showing any interest in mating, while my chickens are constantly doing so...is this unusual, or is it normal for me to not catch them in the act? I've never had ducks before.

    Also, I have only gotten one egg, it was not in the nesting area but in the mud near their pool, and looked as though it had been rolled around a lot in the puddles, it was so covered in mud and poop it took me a while to realize it was an egg and not just a ball of mud. Since then, no more eggs, and no apparent signs of interest in laying or getting in the nesting area.

    Are these ducks just old and done laying? Or are they a seasonal layer, only a certain time of year? If they are not going to lay eggs anymore, we're going to butcher them, we've just been waiting to see if we can get eggs from them to hatch another generation of ducks. Is it possible that the problem is just the heat? It's been 80-110 degrees just about every day since we got them...but if they won't lay when it is over 80, then ducks aren't really a good choice in Arizona--by the time it cools off, the days will be so short they won't want to lay because they don't get enough light!
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I would not be quick to cull them. Here are some ideas.

    They are past their laying prime, but if they are in good health, they may be able to lay. Hard to say.

    But what I did read from you is that it's really hot and they have just been moved to a new place. Stressors like that can affect their breeding and laying behavior.

    We have had temps in the 90's and 80's here quite a bit the last couple of months and my runners are laying fine. They have shade all the time, when it is near 90 I change their water (it is not deep at all - just 5 inches or so) twice a day so they have a place to cool down, I also change their steel water bowls twice a day. I set up a shade cloth over their pen and over their house. There is very good ventilation in their housing. I give them peas just thawed, so they are very chilly. I make feed available to them about 16 hours a day. I visit with them. I wet down their shade cloth sometimes, to cool it down and give them something gently dripping on them. Once, when it was near 100 degrees, I put an ice block in their water bowl.

    Some people freeze lettuce and other vegetables they like into an ice block and float that in their swimming water.

    If you did not communicate with their former owner, you cannot replicate anything familiar to them. Just try to keep their environment calm and safe and see how it goes.

    Their behavior may give you some clues about what they are used to.

    I like giving vitamins during times of stress.
     
  3. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    As far as heat, since they have been living in this neighborhood for seven years, they're used to the heat, that is nothing new. I just wonder if Pekin ducks particularly won't lay when it is hot? Which means they won't lay at all here lol. My neighbor's magpie ducks lay fine, but they are younger.

    Their entire pen/coop is in the shade, and they get fresh cold water multiple times a day (as much as I can do without a ridiculous water bill, these birds are wasteful of the water!) Yes, they were moved, but I wouldn't say "just"....it's been 3+ months. Are ducks stressed over a move longer than chickens? They don't seem stressed. Adult hens I have brought home, even some very old ones I got with these ducks, start laying within a couple weeks. Maybe ducks are different?
     
  4. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 6, 2009
    Tampa Bay
    I used to own 2 Peking female ducks raised from babies with bunch of chickens and some Muscovey ducks, Pekins were laying machines, hardly ever missed a day laying huge eggs through Florida scorching summer.

    I switched to Campbells only cause Pekins were noisy , feed hogs and slobs, they made me change the water for the whole flock several times a day. I just keep a few ducks for baking eggs. I like Campbells so far much better than Pekins, but they are young, not laying yet.

    Your ducks are 7 eyars old.... perhaps more who knows?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  5. PlumTuckered

    PlumTuckered Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2007
    Arkansas
    I have 2 Pekin Hens, a Jumbo and a Regular. They are 17 months old and 11 months old and lay every single day, lately we've hit temps of 110 and they still layed. I'm inclined to think the stress of the move is keeping them from laying. I'm also assuming that 7 yr old Ducks still lay... I could be very wrong. Maybe give them some treats and sweet talk them, once you win them over it could be a whole other story.

    Michelle
     

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