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What the heck is wrong with my bleeping ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by iamcuriositycat, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I have six hens. Three Indian Runners, three magpies. The magpies are Holderread. Last fall and early this season, they were laying LIKE CRAZY.

    But now it's been weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks and the most I've had is a single egg a day, and usually not even that much. I've had to resort to BUYING eggs, for crying out loud.

    They were molting for a bit, but they're done with that now and have been for a couple weeks. I know they are not hiding the eggs, because their pen is only 8 x 12 and I dig around in the hay every morning looking for hidden nests. They do free range during the day, but I've tried penning them up all day to see if anyone lays. I changed their pen around a few weeks ago because I thought they were laying in the one corner of the duck house that I can't reach, so I simply shut off access and gave them a doghouse to use instead. No change, and again, it's been several weeks since I did that.

    My friend, who has Indian runners from the same hatchery my Runners's parents came from, is getting a half dozen eggs a day from her seven hens.

    The only thing I can think of that might be causing this is the heat. We've been having an unrelenting heat wave here, temps in excess of 100 degrees most days and very little rain. It did FINALLY rain and cool down today, but obviously I won't know if that changes anything for a while. They have not, however, been appearing to be stressed by the heat. Most of the yard is shaded most of the day, and they have two kiddie pools with fresh water daily. They use the pools, and dry off in the sun, then sit and forage in the shade most of the day. I haven't even seen them panting. And my friend with the half dozen eggs a day lives 20 minutes from here, so it's not like her ducks aren't experiencing the same thing.

    But could it be the heat? Or is something else wrong? It's driving me crazy. They need to pay their rent! They don't lay in the winter, which I am happy to give them as vacation, but I DO expect them to lay most of the summer, and I'm pretty well fed up. Thoughts?
     
  2. tdgill

    tdgill Chillin' With My Peeps

    wish I could help you. I am new to ducks and mine seem to be eating me out of house and home! lol
     
  3. Ducker123

    Ducker123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2011
    GB
    i seem to be having the same problem although mine is most definatly not due to the heat as i am in England, and its raining, but they molted a few weeks back and dont seem to have got back into the routine of laying [​IMG]
     
  4. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    Has someone become an egg eater?
     
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I don't think they're eating them. I've never seen debris lying around, and on those occasions (like this morning--yipee) when there is a single egg in the pen, it appears to be unmolested. They just ignore it. Whoever has been laying the one egg mostly buries it in one of the corner nests, but today it was just lying in the open by the pool. May be a different hen, or maybe she gave up on hiding it.

    Dunno. It's weird. Glad I'm not the only one, but it's frustrating nonetheless. At least I have an egg for tomorrow's breakfast.
     
  6. destinduck

    destinduck obsessed with "ducks"

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    n.w.FLORIDA
    Cat Its probably the heat and of course the molt will always slow em down or stop it altogether . I would try changing their food a little if you can. That might speed things up a bit.
     
  7. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Ducks were always seasonable layers until domesticated by men. Your magpie probally still are once they moult they are often done until the days start to get longer towards the end of December. Runners have been bred longer and tend to lay more eggs. odds are about even that they will start laying after a moult but before the days start to get longer. Good Luck!
     
  8. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    You may be right, but according to Dave Holderread (from whom I purchased the magpies), magpies are supposed to lay close to as many eggs per year as Indian Runners. I'm hoping it's just the heat and now that's it's broken again they will pick up again. If the mags turn out to be crummy layers, I'm going to go back to Runners again. They're pretty, but I can't afford to feed them if I'm only going to get two dozen eggs a piece from them each year.
     
  9. TrystInn

    TrystInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    Boost their protein for a bit - catfood works pretty good to do this. It should help knock their systems back into lay. Good luck!
     
  10. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I'll try that! Thank you. Shall I just mix the cat food in with their pellets at night?
     

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