Re: Breeding ducks during the Winter. Any helpful comments on this subject will help. I hope this be

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Lizard Creek Farms, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. Lizard Creek Farms

    Lizard Creek Farms New Egg

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    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...
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Did it happen to list what species are affected by this? I've never heard of this in Mallard derived breeds. Especially since I've had fertile eggs year round before. This could be linked to wild species.
     
  3. Lizard Creek Farms

    Lizard Creek Farms New Egg

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    Jul 21, 2011
    All of the articles that had pictures were of mallards. But the breeds of duck affected or studied were not listed. Also I'm not sure if 'it' falls off completely or if it just suffers from severe shrikage due to lack of use. Some articles suggest the latter. It may be that being in a farmed and cared for environment domesticated ducks don't seem to suffer from this as much, or the process happens much more quickly. This could be due to the abundance of nutrition and care as well as the lack of having to migrate, care for young in the wild, and such.
    So you've had fertile eggs throughout winter? Where are you located? Did you hatch them? Do you remember if perhaps the fertility rate was a little lower, due to the possibility of having numerous drakes going through this process not all at that exact same time? I notice some people up in the northern U.S. are still selling eggs for hatching in late October claiming high fertlilty rates. Is it common for duck farmers to be able to breed ducks through the winter?
     
  4. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Yes at one point I did. I'm in central texas so warm winters aren't surprising. Fertility was quite reduced though. I think breeding can happen fairly easily for Southern states with warm winters.
     
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  5. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    Florida - Space Coast
    Well there is a difference between Mallards (captive bred) and mallards wild and Mallard derived breeds that are domestic ducks created for egg and meat production. Domestic breeds dont tend to have breeding seasons like ornamental and migratory breeds do.

    We are hatching again with no problems at all. Silver Appleyards, French White Muscovy, KKaki Campbell and Ancona. They all have their own nighttime stalls, daytime yards to keep them separated into breeding flocks. We do have boxes in the yards for those who are late morning or middle of the day layers.
     
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