- Jul 21, 2011
We have different breeds of Mallards. Green head, Blue Swedish, Black Swedish, Cayuga, Welsh Harlequin, White Mallard, Pekin, are the ones I can bring to mind at the moment. We are in Southern Louisiana near Baton Rouge and they seem to have no problem laying eggs year-round although they do slow a bit after starting back after their September molt. They get to free range in fields and swamp during the day, then we give them feed to coax them into secure housing for the nights. They have 16 hours of light per day. Automatic timers turn lights on at 6 a.m. for a couple of hours, the door is normally opened about 6:30. Then the lights come on in the early evening and stay on til 10 p.m. Giving them 8 hours of night darkness. However I never have hatched during the winter months. After recently reading about how the male ducks penis falls off every fall and doesn't regrow til Spring, No I am not joking - look it up!, I am wondering about the probability of them getting their mating organ to regrow now. If the females can be coaxed into laying winter eggs by giving them a good mix of feed, light, warmth etc. then can the males also be coaxed into early breeding season? I really need to get some ducklings hatched this winter if at all possible so that they can be laying by summer of next year. Even when let out early in the a.m. they still seem to lay in their nice bed of straw in their private and cozy laying box. During they full blown breeding and laying frenzy of spring/early summer sometimes we keep them in til late morning so they don't just lay eggs all over the place. This isn't a problem in the early spring and late fall or winter. I think I've given all necessary info. Please let me know if any further details are needed. I think the only trick needed is to get the males to do their part. Any comments on feeding, lights, heat, environment, pens, anything helpful would be appreciated. Especially from anyone who has bred ducks during the winter months, even if you don't know what you did right maybe just your feed, barn, average temperature etc might be key... Thanks a million in advance...