Protein % vs. egg laying


Officially Quacked
12 Years
Oct 15, 2007
Elyria, OH
Our ducks started laying roughly a month ago. When we were feeding the ducks the 16% layer feed, we were getting 3 eggs a day (one from each duck) but since we started feeding the 18% pellets, we have only gotten 1 a day since. Is the 18% too much protein for laying eggs? (Feeding Buckeye 18% layer/breeder pellets.) And are the yolks collecting in the ducks like they do in the chickens before it kills them?
no they probably are lacking calcium a key thing in egg laying i just had to switch my flock from 20% grower to a 16% layer it helps the eggshell thinkness and quality! but i bet they are lacking in calcium but if you want them to have protein mix some grower or un-medicated starter in w/ the layer

and i dont have an answer to that last question but my chickens lay very speraticly when they are young and they might not be producing the egg making componets every cycle.....
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I think I read somewhere, but can't remember where, that changing food can stop egg laying for a while. I don't remember if I read that from a reputable source or not.
I really don't think it's a calcium thing. Maybe since they are just getting started they are unpredictable
Below is the info for the pelleted feed they are getting. In addition, we are adding cracked corn, red wheat, greens, and oyster shell. I had also read on here somewhere that too much corn makes chickens stop laying? Maybe it works the same with ducks. We're too new at it to know.

Buckeye 18% Layer-Breeder (10550)
TYPE OF FEED: complete
FORM OF FEED: pellets
PACKAGING: 4 ton bulk minimum/50 lb paper bags
SPECIES: poultry
AGES: laying hens and breeders


Pelleted for improved performance and intake
Reduces wastage and improves cleanliness
Additional Vitamin E added to improve egg hatchability in breeding birds
Contains high quality porcine meat and bone meal as a natural source of calcium and phosphorus
Contains corn gluten meal as a source of betacarotene, a natural pigmentation for improved egg yolk color
Contains added fat as an energy source

Crude Protein, Minimum 18.00%
Lysine, Minimum 0.89%
Methionine, Minimum 0.37%
Crude Fat, Minimum 3.50%
Crude Fiber, Maximum 4.50%
Calcium (Ca), Minimum 3.00%
Calcium (Ca), Maximum 4.00%
Phosphorus (P), Minimum 0.55%
Salt (NaCl), Minimum 0.10%
Salt (NaCl), Maximum 0.60%

INGREDIENTS: Ground Corn, Soybean Meal, Porcine Meat and Bone Meal, Wheat Middlings, Corn Gluten Meal, Alfalfa Meal, Animal Fat (preserved with BHA), DL-Methionine, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Calcium Phosphate, Manganous Oxide Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Menadione Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite (source of Vitamin K Activity), Riboflavin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Choline Chloride, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Biotin.

FEEDING DIRECTIONS: Feed as the sole diet to laying hens and breeders for maximum production and for improved hatchability. Hens may also be fed 5 pounds of Buckeye Layer-Breeder Pellets per 100 birds daily along with their regular ration to encourage additional daily feed intake for increased production. Maintain a clean,fresh supply of water and oyster shells available to the birds at all times. For top production, maintain light on the birds between 14 and 16 hours per day. Do not feed Buckeye Layer Breeder Pellets to poultry which are not in production because of the high calcium levels in the diet. This is particularly true of young growing birds.
like i said new layers are sooo unpredicatble but to give you some reasurence my older ducks lay very reliably just pull through it and be sure they have plenty of calcium even though it may not be a problem now but you dont want it to be a problem later ive read that chickens lay eggs w/o shells you dont want that.....just watch them if they start having problems then be concerned if you are feeding them layer and adding oyster shell which ive heard isnt great for ducks but if its not causing any issues then keep with it and stick it out and hold on b/c soon you'll have more eggs than you know what to do with. just watch them and watch for irregular shells and odd eggs other than that it sounds like nothing major is wrong.....good luck and hope you have many eggs in the future!!!
Never thought about the switching feed thing...thanks for the info!

We've had chickens lay eggs without shells and lost a few to that internal layer thing. Afraid of going through that with the ducks too which is why the concern. Didn't know oyster shell could be bad for ducks. We read it's ok to use it in place of grit. Now I'm confused. They seem perfectly fine otherwise - guess we'll be patient until they get the plumbing kinks worked out!
just watch the shells if they are blotchy then its the oyster shells its not going to kill them it causes blotchy shells a undesirable thing so just watch them and if they get blotchy then cut back on the oyster shell

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