Hi guys. We just started raising ducks this year. We began with some adults and raised some ducklings as well.
Our ducklings hatched late enough in the spring that we didn't expect to see any eggs from them until next spring. But in the middle of September we started to see eggs from the young ducks and we are still getting eggs now.
We're near Vancouver, BC and everyone we talk to who raises ducks has stopped seeing any eggs as early as September and none are getting eggs now. I'm not complaining, don't get me wrong. We're now getting more business as a result of others dropping off. I'd like to know how much longer we can expect these young ducks to keep dropping eggs every day.
We do not provide any supplemental lighting to them, but they are outside all day every day foraging in the field. Are we seeing this late laying simply because these ducks are young?
I'm not a duck expert, but chickens will often lay in the winter if they hit the egg-laying age in the fall. It's like that first season of laying is stronger than the dis-incentive of the dark. It's a strategy used by the commercial egg producers. Another one is to force a molt, and of course artificial light.
I have hens who are still laying in Portland Oregon now, in late November. Not as often as they were in May, but they are still laying. They don't have any artificial light.
It also depends upon which breed of duck you have. We have Khaki Campbell and are in a constant state of flux with them, breeding new stock every year. They lay all winter and people have often asked, "How do you get so many eggs even in the winter?"
We do stack the deck though as we give supplemental light, and here in Maine, have the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue of coops. It is not only lighted, but insulated with geothermal heat so it never gets below freezing; or put another way, the idyllic temperature for ducks. As such, they give back in return in the form of eggs.
There is no reason why actually, despite being worth some $4.50 locally, we are a sheep farm, and as such make income that way and so we just give our excess duck eggs away. But through simple farming techniques, it is nice to give back to our community a copious amount of eggs.
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