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Eleven Weeks Old and Laying Eggs? Did I Break My Ducks?

 
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Oh wow. I have two ducks that were hatched last February, and they started laying when they were 20ish weeks old. I now have an additional five Swedish (Blue and Black) ducks who are 11 weeks old. This morning I collected NINE eggs. I didn't go on an egg hunt yesterday, but this morning there were nine beautiful eggs nestled together in a corner of the house.

Nesting boxes? Ha! Fuhgettaboutit! We don't need no stinking boxes! We like to lay in the pool - jump in! The water's fiiine.

So, what the heck? They were hatched on September 23rd. I keep looking at the calendar because I wasn't expecting this type of behavior, especially with our Pacific North Wet short days. They younguns were going nuts over the oyster shell and I thought, "Great. Now they're going to poison themselves, silly duckies."

I may have miscounted the younger ones. I picked them up one at a time and listened to them voice their displeasure. But there is no way two ducks laid all of those eggs in two, maybe three days.

Did I break my ducks?

ETA: I stole Pacific North Wet from one of you, but I forgot who it was. Sorry there's no attribution. ;)
 
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I think Jay is the one who first used "Pacific North Wet" .

Look at which ducks are eating the oyster shell--those are the ones laying. I could figure out who laid each day by who ate the oyster shell that day. If they're not laying, they won't eat the oyster shell. If they're laying, they'll go to town on it.

If it were January, and the days were getting longer, I would question them starting to lay this early. I don't think any harm will come to them from laying so early, but I could be wrong. How do the eggs look? Are they small (like chicken size) or big?

You got 9 eggs in two days. Chances are, 4 of them came from the older two ducks. That leaves 5 eggs for the other ducks. I've heard that ducks can start laying after 4 months. Were any of them smaller? It could also be that the older ducks were hiding their eggs under the bedding during the colder days, and then uncovered them. I've had that happen, where I thought there were no eggs, only to find they'd been burying them in the bedding!
 
Beth Johnson
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Nicole Alderman wrote:I think Jay is the one who first used "Pacific North Wet" .



Jay is awesome

Nicole Alderman wrote:Look at which ducks are eating the oyster shell--those are the ones laying. I could figure out who laid each day by who ate the oyster shell that day. If they're not laying, they won't eat the oyster shell. If they're laying, they'll go to town on it.



Girl, the younger ducks and drakes were eating that stuff like there was no tomorrow. It seems the younger drakes have chilled out and realized that it's not food.

Nicole Alderman wrote:If it were January, and the days were getting longer, I would question them starting to lay this early. I don't think any harm will come to them from laying so early, but I could be wrong. How do the eggs look? Are they small (like chicken size) or big?



The eggs are glorious! They're also regular duck sized eggs. I was wondering why I started getting infertile eggs. I think I know now. The younger ducks aren't getting frisky yet. The older ducks only lay fertile eggs.

Nicole Alderman wrote:You got 9 eggs in two days. Chances are, 4 of them came from the older two ducks. That leaves 5 eggs for the other ducks. I've heard that ducks can start laying after 4 months. Were any of them smaller? It could also be that the older ducks were hiding their eggs under the bedding during the colder days, and then uncovered them. I've had that happen, where I thought there were no eggs, only to find they'd been burying them in the bedding!



Yes! The thing is the older ducks tend to lay every other day. I do find eggs tucked away in deep in the straw sometimes when I turn it. I use the deep litter method, and I refreshed the straw on Tuesday or Wednesday. I'm pretty sure it was Wednesday, but I'm not certain. The eggs were in the left front corner clustered in the new straw. (thank you, ducks!) The eggs were super clean except for two or three that I probably missed yesterday, and those were pretty clean, too. I've never seen eggs this clean. They're usually super poopy with straw stuck all over them. I suppose tomorrow will tell. I'll report on tomorrow's eggs after I try to earn my first badge by sharpening a knife! w00t!

You're a good egg, Nicole.
 
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Nicole Alderman wrote:

If it were January, and the days were getting longer, I would question them starting to lay this early. I don't think any harm will come to them from laying so early, but I could be wrong. How do the eggs look? Are they small (like chicken size) or big?

You got 9 eggs in two days. Chances are, 4 of them came from the older two ducks. That leaves 5 eggs for the other ducks. I've heard that ducks can start laying after 4 months. Were any of them smaller? It could also be that the older ducks were hiding their eggs under the bedding during the colder days, and then uncovered them. I've had that happen, where I thought there were no eggs, only to find they'd been burying them in the bedding!



Our youth ducks (born in May) started laying in the last month despite dwindling light. Our adults are mostly on a break. This happened last year too. They're at the right age though. I agree January with lengthening days would make more sense with ducks that are too young or borderline age. Also totally agree with the hiding eggs part here!! That's my bet.
 
Beth Johnson
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Nicole and Noel, I think you're right about them hiding the eggs. Today I found two in two different corners from each other and not the corner that had the nine eggs. Essh!

Nicole, I think you're right about both older ducks laying every day. Master egg hiders!

I'll report back tomorrow before I enroll in a remedial arithmetic class.

ETA: I found two today.
 
Beth Johnson
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Just popping in to say that my young ducks are neither broken nor as precocious as I thought.

I thought I had Wonder Ducks! But nope. They're enjoying the heck out of our rain: 3-7" in the past few days. They've excavated their own flowerbed pond. I'll fence that off in the near future.

Just wanted y'all to know that the ducks are alright. :)
 
Nicole Alderman
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Mine are going nuts in this rain, too. I think they're the only ones who really liked the downpour yesterday. The cats, chickens, and all us humans were all hiding inside!
 
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