Should my ducks be laying? (Anconas, almost 7 months)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by wordgirl, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. wordgirl

    wordgirl One of the Shire-folk

    Apr 14, 2009
    I have two Ancona duck hens that I hatched this spring and I haven't gotten an egg yet. We live in MN, so it's quite cold right now and I haven't been extending light for them, so the days are pretty short (9 hours, about). I'm guessing it might be because I haven't given them extra light? Would the short days normally just slow them down, or since they hadn't started before the winter began, will they not lay at all until spring?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    If they haven't laid by now then they most likely will not start laying until Spring. I've had a few ducks that were late bloomers and did not start laying until the following spring.
     
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree with Kevin - the cold shuts them down so it may have to be Spring before you enjoy your first ancona duck egg!
     
  4. Valntyn

    Valntyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My one laying Ancona has taken the last few days off, so I'm thinking she's started her Winter break. (It'd be perfect if any of my other girls would start-up and take-over adding to my dwindling supply of eggs! *laugh*)
     
  5. buggymuffin

    buggymuffin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know about anconas, but our khakis are the same age, and we just started getting eggs this week. I'm not sure if it is one duck or all three, but we have gotten 5 eggs in the last 7 days. Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky!
     
  6. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah my 2 female IRs are the same age and they haven't started. They are exhibiting all the right behaviors of having reached maturity (including trying to mate each other? [​IMG] This is normal right?) So I suppose they are waiting until Spring....[​IMG]I'm anxious for duck eggs!!
     
  7. Coyote Night

    Coyote Night Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you start artificial lighting they should start giving you eggs. I have 6 month almost 7 month old Anconas starting to lay but I have lights on them and sometimes you have to get out really early to get to them before they freeze. It's not really a cold thing although nasty weather can effect it somewhat by slowing production down but daylight hours play a bigger role in causing them to just shut off production all together. If they don't get the light it could be early spring before you start seeing eggs.
     
  8. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, light does help...but I feel I must warn you about the adverse side effects too...lighting throughout the winter is very stressful on the birds, this is the time they naturally take off to rest and molt and many people (including myself) preffer not to interrupt mother nature. Lighting them so they continue to lay will burn them out quicker as well. Poultry, like humans, only posess a certain number of eggs. This is my first year with chickens and ducks and I got the chickens in March. They have continued to lay throughout the winter despite the reduced day light. The ducks I got in July and I think they were just coming of age around the time the days started to shorten which is why I think they are holding out....to each his own, but it's good to know both sides.

    I have a question of my own...everyone talks about "getting the eggs before they freeze", yet all I hear is that you can actually freeze eggs in the freezer and when you go to unthaw them and use them, they come out about the same consistency they were before freezing. You can actually store surplus eggs in the freezer for a very long time. Ergo, freezing doesn't ruin the egg....right?
     
  9. Coyote Night

    Coyote Night Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually even ducks with artificial lighting take off a few months to molt out and rest. By providing more light they get back to business quicker though. I don't really want to get in to any kind of argument about respecting mother nature or anything so I'll just leave it at that.

    Why we don't want eggs to freeze is simply because we hatch the eggs from our flocks and freezing temps can kill an embryo very fast. If not hatching them if eggs freeze they can bust open and I personally would not eat an egg that was busted open out in the duck house or chicken coop. I think for food consumption you want to get them fresh and in tact then crack them open into a freezer storage container to freeze. Read up on the freezer storage first though because there are certain ways to prepare the egg before freezing to make sure it will thaw out correctly. Eggs last a good while if you don't wash the bloom off of them just in the fridge.
     
  10. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh yeah if you hatch you wouldn't want them to freeze loll.....I'm not telling anyone off about lighting I just like to give info from both sides.its to each his own....I know people on here that get into huge rows about chicken keeping preferences though......it's so dumb....
     

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