Assuming you provide proper care for your ducks, some breeds will mature sexually at 17 to 24 weeks of age. On the other hand, for heavier duo-purpose breeds, you may have to wait 20 and 30 weeks. However, if the birds reach maturity during cold months, they may delay laying until it becomes warmer during the spring.
Egg production from egg-laying breeds tends to be high when the groups are small. If you raise the birds commercially, production will fall significantly due to the bird’s nervous tendencies. Generally, Muscovies are the only ducks that go broody. Usually, they lay their eggs in batches of about 20.
The first few eggs of the first batch are small and are ideal for incubation. Once they have reached maturity, they usually lay at a rate of about 90% within the first five weeks. Most English breeds maintain over 50% egg production for about five months. Egg production is highest when the breeding ducks are housed together in groups not exceeding 250 birds.
Maintaining the right number of males and females is critical for achieving high fertility levels and hatchability. Experts recommend keeping one male for a maximum of six females. You can increase the number of males in the event of mortality.
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Hatchability and fertility tend to go up with an increase in egg production. Generally, fertility will increase rapidly but decline towards the end of the egg production cycle.
Why Aren’t My Birds Laying Eggs?
Your ducks may stop laying at some point. Here are some of the possible reasons:
She’s too Old
If you buy adult ducks from someone else who didn’t reveal their age, they may be too old to lay. Or if you raise your own ducks, you will notice a decline in egg production as they get older. Most breeds tend to lay the most during the first year, and the rate declines gradually just as it does for chickens. By the time they reach five years, you may notice a significant drop.
Your ducks may stop laying completely after the seventh year. However, note that the rates may differ significantly from one breed and bird to another. Like other birds, a duck can only lay the number of eggs already insider her. Therefore, technically, there’s no way of making them lay more. You can only make them empty the eggs at a faster rate.
The Days May Be too Short
This is one of the most common culprits. Only a few breeds lay all year round, and they may also not lay if they lack adequate light. Ideally, the birds require up to 16 hours of light daily for maximum egg production. One of the common solutions for this problem is providing artificial light for them.
In areas where the days are too short, your ducks may start laying during their first spring after maturity. Usually, this happens when all the snow has melted. Some birds, especially meat breeds, are seasonal layers and only lay during the spring irrespective of the length of a day. If the coop is too dark, your ducks will not know when the sun rises, and the day will seem shorter. As a result, they are unlikely to lay.
Extreme Weather Conditions
Note that extreme temperatures will also prevent a duck from laying. If you keep your flock in hot climates, their egg production will reduce significantly. Cold also affects your ducks’ laying. Some of them, especially Muscovies, are sensitive to low temperatures.
As a result, their production will go down if there’s snow on the ground. Even normal climatic changes can affect your ducks’ laying cycles. For instance, you will notice fewer eggs when it’s rainy or cloudy.
When Do Pekin Ducks Start Laying Eggs?
If you have Pekin ducks, they will mature after reaching four to seven months. Most of them will start laying eggs at the age of five months. They originated in China and are some of the most popular dual-purpose breeds.
When Do Khaki Campbell Ducks Start Laying Eggs?
The ducks usually start laying at 17 to 18 weeks of age. Khaki Campbell ducks are highly productive and ideal for both meat and egg production. Generally, you can expect 280 to 300 eggs annually from the birds.
When Do Muscovy Ducks Start Laying Eggs?
Female Muscovy ducks mature at 28 weeks and can produce up to 120 eggs annually. The mating season for this breed usually lasts between August and May. This largely depends on the climate. Depending on the diet you provide, they may have up to four broods annually.
When Do Cayuga Ducks Start Laying Eggs?
The birds usually start laying at about five months of age. Most Cayuga ducks produce about 150 eggs annually. Like most breeds, the ducks’ egg production will depend on their health and how well you take care of them.
When Do Mallard Ducks Start Laying Eggs?
The breeding season for Mallard ducks is between early spring and autumn. Most of them start laying at 18 weeks of age. They usually lay up to 12 eggs and only incubate them once all of them have been laid.
When Do Wood Ducks Start Laying Eggs?
Like most lightweight breeds, wood ducks start laying eggs at 17 to 24 weeks of age. Their nest may have about 15 eggs lined with feathers from female birds. In some cases, the eggs may be as many as 40.
When Do Runner Ducks Start Laying Eggs?
The Indian Runner ducks are considered one of the best layer breeds and start laying when aged about four and a half months. Their annual production capacity is about 300 eggs. Despite their excellent egg-laying abilities, they can stop laying at some point.
Some of the most common causes of the problem in runner ducks are health and reproductive disorders. Like other breeds, the number of eggs they will lay will reduce gradually as they get older.
When Do White Crested Ducks Start Laying Eggs?
Your birds will start laying at around six months. Like most birds, their egg production tends to go up during the first year and decline gradually.
When Do Rouen Ducks Start Laying Eggs?
Rouen ducks are mainly kept for meat purposes and start producing eggs at about six months of age. It can produce up to 180 eggs annually. Some of the birds lay bluish eggs.
When Do Welcharlequin Ducks Start Laying Eggs?
Your birds will start producing eggs when aged 16 to 28 weeks. Most of them will lay about 200 eggs annually. As they get older, their egg production declines gradually. Many people prefer keeping them because of their personality.
What Time of the Year Do Ducks Lay Eggs?
Normally, the egg-laying season for ducks is between Mid-March and early July. Most breeds lay about 12 eggs per clutch. To achieve this, the birds lay one to two eggs daily.
Do Ducks Lay All Year Round?
The birds are known as excellent layers and can lay all year round, and providing more light during the winter may be unnecessary. Some of the factors that affect egg production among ducks include nutrition and age.
How to Care for Your Laying Ducks
Proper maintenance is necessary to boost egg production for your flock. The recommended maintenance tips are similar for both backyard and large scale duck rearing. Here are some of the things you need to consider:
The feeding habits of your birds will affect their overall health and their egg-laying abilities. Proper feeding will also lead to high-quality eggs. Therefore, make sure you provide a balanced diet for your ducks.
Experts recommend giving feeds with about 18% proteins to egg-laying females. The exact amount and content for the birds will vary depending on the breed. Most adult females consume about eight ounces of feed daily.
Comfortable housing is also critical when it comes to rearing egg-laying ducks. Therefore, avoid overcrowding. Ensure you have installed adequate ventilation systems in your coop. Experts recommend maintaining a minimum floor space of about three square feet per adult female.
Also, ensure you provide enough and properly-sized nesting boxes for your birds. The ideal number is one box for about three birds. The coop should also be secure to prevent attacks from predators.
Providing enough lighting is one of the simplest ways of boosting egg production in ducks. The amount of light available during the day will affect their egg-laying abilities. Generally, the amount of sunlight decreases from July to December. If that happens, you need to provide artificial lighting for your flock to continue producing eggs.
Egg production is highest when ducks get about 14 hours of light daily. When the sun shines for many hours, you should also decrease the amount of light you provide for your egg-laying ducks. Other than boosting egg production, adequate lighting will warm your birds during the cold months.
Other Measures for Taking Care of Your Ducks
The number of eggs that your flock will produce will also increase if the females are less stressed. You can reduce their stress levels by sticking to a routine. For example, feeding and egg collection should be done by the same person. Additionally, check their beddings daily and ensure they are clean at all times.