Whether it’s Easter or any other time of year, fluffy, tiny ducklings just look adorable. Not only are they adorable as ducklings and as adults, but they also provide hours of entertainment, beauty in the backyard, and yummy eggs to fry up for Sunday breakfast or any time of the day, really.
If you’ve been raising ducks for any amount of time, you probably already know how to tell the males from the females. However, what’s not so easy to tell is just when those female ducks are going to start laying eggs or even how often ducks lay eggs.
In reality, this question can’t be answered with just a statistic and an age. The conditions must be right for a duck to begin laying and to continue laying as well. In this article, we’ll cover everything from when a duck starts laying eggs to how often and even what conditions you need to have to ensure all the above happens in a timely manner. That way, you have those duck eggs on the breakfast table in no time at all.
When Do Ducks Start Laying Eggs?
There are a few common questions that we are asked concerning when a duck starts laying eggs. The age is usually between 4 and 7 months, which is standard among most of the breeds.
The second question is about what time of year most ducks lay their eggs. The answer is that most eggs are produced in the spring. However, if your duck was maturing during the fall and winter months, egg-laying might not happen in the springtime unless you give them more sunlight.
However, some breeds, such as the Khaki Campbell, lay eggs all year long, no matter what time of year it is.
The third question we get most often is about how long the egg-laying actually takes. While that’s hard to be exact on, it’s usually a fast process. Ducks typically lay their eggs in the mornings, so if you’re still asleep, you might very well miss it. If you see that your duck isn’t laying quickly or has problems, it’s best to call in a vet to see what the problem might be and recommend treatment.
How Long After They Mate Do Ducks Lay Their Eggs?
Many times, when duck keepers see their young ducks starting to mate, they think that they’ll start laying eggs right away. That’s not exactly true.
In reality, mating has nothing to do with laying eggs. Ducks lay eggs regardless of whether there’s a drake in the vicinity or not. In most cases, mating starts with ducks weeks before the ducks start to lay eggs.
What Do Ducks Need to Lay Eggs?
If you want the ducks you keep to lay eggs, then the conditions need to be suitable for them to do so. Just as with any other animal out there, if certain conditions aren’t met, then you’ll have a very slim chance of getting what you want from that animal. So, in this section, we’ll tell you the best conditions to give your duck to ensure they lay the duck eggs you want them to produce for you.
A High-Quality Feed
The first thing you want to do is ensure the feed your ducks eat is of a high quality. There should be no mold or insect damage present in the feed. It should have the right amount of nutrients and be as fresh as possible.
The Right Lighting
The right amount of daily light is essential for a duck to lay properly. The lack of daily light is often why ducks who mature in the fall and winter don’t lay during the spring of that year. Ducks need at minimum 14 hours a day of light to lay properly.
If you must, you can purchase artificial lighting sources to ensure your ducks are getting the daily lighting they need to produce the eggs you want.
Opt for a Balanced Diet
While high-quality feed is essential, the diet you feed your ducks needs to be balanced as well. A well-rounded, healthy diet will help their egg-laying abilities immensely. For example, try feeding your ducks pellets that are high in nutrients, minerals, niacin, and vitamins for the best results.
Create the Right Environment
The environment you keep your ducks in is also something to consider. They need the ability to forage and exercise at will, so a yard that is fenced in and allows them the ability to do both is essential. Also, make sure that you give them plenty of room to roam and fly for the best results.
While most ducks could care less about the state of the water they drink, stinky water is fine with them. But it could affect their egg-laying ability. Therefore, freshwater is imperative for egg-laying.
This isn’t just for drinking, however. Your ducks need fresh water to swim in as well. Though many say that dirty water doesn’t affect the egg-laying, others do. So, it’s best to just have fresh water for them to swim in if you want eggs.
Of course, the ducks swimming in the water are going to make it dirty, so keep it clean the best you can. For example, if you have a kiddie pool your ducks swim in instead of a pond, make sure to empty it, clean the pool, and put fresh water in at least every couple of days.
How Long Do Ducks Lay Eggs?
Now that you know when ducks start laying eggs and a few tips for helping them do so, you’re probably wondering how long your ducks will lay eggs for. Ducks usually start laying eggs between the ages of 5 and 6 months if the conditions are right.
If your duck is well taken care of, it’ll live for around 12 years. Once the duck stops laying eggs, it will start eating insects in the yard and be just an enjoyment for the family who has come to love it over the years.
Ducks are a joy to raise; the eggs are delicious and can see you through during lean times. However, if you want your ducks to lay eggs for you, the conditions need to be right, and you need to take proper care of the duck as well. Follow the tips above for the best results.
Featured Image Credit: Dalibor Sevaljevic, Shutterstock