WHY do ducks start laying in the winter?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by DoubletakeFarm, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. DoubletakeFarm

    DoubletakeFarm Songster

    Feb 23, 2013
    NE Ohio
    Does anyone know why waterfowl start laying their eggs in January? My call ducks started laying last week and when I had geese they layed in January too. It's all I can do to get the eggs in before they freeze, and I can't imagine they are even viable at these temps.

    Wild ducks don't do this do they? How could they possibly keep the eggs warm long enough to hatch not to mention trying to raise the babies in the winter.

  2. JJpuck

    JJpuck In the Brooder

    Jan 26, 2014
    My ducks lay during the winter too; although their egg production does decrease a little bit. At first I thought it was weird, but I don't think it's harming them at all, so I just go with it. Laying is usually induced by amount of daylight and temperature. Mine live in a garage, so they have more light than a wild duck would. The garage is also heated, so they must think it is still ok to lay.
    Where are your ducks sleeping? Maybe the light or temperature in their bed is what is causing it. If you want to decrease their egg production, limit the amount of daylight they're exposed to.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
  3. DoubletakeFarm

    DoubletakeFarm Songster

    Feb 23, 2013
    NE Ohio
    They're out in the barn, no supplemental light or heat. Maybe it's something that's been bred into them from years of domestication. If it is, they weren't domesticated in Ohio, lol
  4. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Songster

    Feb 9, 2014
    Mississippi Y'all
    is it warmer in the barn ? when i brought my call ducks inside they began laying and mateing again my guess is because its a lot warmer.
  5. Moolindafarms

    Moolindafarms Hatching

    Jul 27, 2013
    Pearcy, Arkansas
    My Pekins' night pen is outside and they've been laying too, since middle of Jan. I thought egg production was tied to day length.???

  6. DoubletakeFarm

    DoubletakeFarm Songster

    Feb 23, 2013
    NE Ohio
    Well the days did start getting longer since Dec. 21st, but it seems to me that an animal would know better than to try and have babies this time of year. It has to be something with domestication because I know the Canada Geese around here don't start until it's much warmer out.
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Domestic ducks are apt to lay any time of year - they have been bred and selected to do so. I have two eggs from my flock this morning, in fact. I am grateful. And they are in where it's relatively warm (40sF), with plenty of nutritious food.

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