When do runner ducks start laying?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by bellah1, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. bellah1

    bellah1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    446
    2
    103
    May 14, 2012
    Western Washington
    I have a female free range runner and she seems to still not be laying yet. She is about 4 months old but my Rouen hasn't started laying til she was over 5 months. Also I've heard they will just lay where ever unlike other ducks who usually lay in their pen or nesting box. So if runners lay everywhere then how do they make their nest and set on their eggs? Any info would awesome!
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    43,519
    482
    486
    Dec 22, 2009
    Many runners will never go broody. That trait appears to have been bred out of many of them. If they are free ranging there's a good chance they'll end up laying eggs that you'll just never find. Do they go into a coop at night?
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    23,064
    2,096
    491
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    My earliest layer produced her first egg (I was so proud of her!) at 16 weeks, four days. The rest of the flock got on board over the next two months, so that's four to six months.

    Three of my runners show broody tendencies, one is a sure-fire broody (Fünf). Romy my buff got broody last year. I don't know how Carmella and Hazel are, we just got them last fall.

    I keep a close eye on the ducks, so there are not many places they can hide eggs. But if ducks free range, that is a down side to that way of managing them, as they can drop the eggs all over the place, or even hide a nest.

    For their safety, I hope you can keep track of them because if they do go broody outside the safety of a predator-proof pen, they are likely to be attacked.
     
  4. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,215
    143
    243
    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    If they are truly free range then eggs may be everywhere. Many ducks that just start laying will lay all over. You can prevent this by making a nest in a nice safe, darkened, spot. Place a fake egg like object (golf ball) in there. This will likely only work if they are penned at night. Make the nest in the pen they will likely start using it. They will probably not start until spring.

    My muscovy hens will return to their coop to lay even when they are out so it is something they can learn.

    For the record, I started with Runners and did have one make a hidden nest and one go broody. She was a very good and protective mom. She stayed on the nest for 4 days to hatch them (the other ducks were laying in there after she went broody). This is not common though. They were bred to lay, not to brood but it is possible.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by