We recently started keeping ducks with our backyard chickens. We started with 4 Indian Runners the summer before last, and added 4 Khaki Campbells this last spring. The Runners laid 3-4 eggs/day right through November, then slowed down for Dec-Feb, and back up in March. The Campbells also started out laying strong, and we got 7-8 eggs/day from the 8 hens all summer long. Then, mysteriously, sometime in late Aug/early Sept, they dwindled down and then stopped laying altogether. We haven't gotten a single duck egg in over 6 weeks.
Causes that I think I've eliminated:
* molt (they did molt in early Sept, but that seems to be long over)
* poor nutrition (they used to get full-access food, we just switched to daily feeding. good quality layer pellets. they also get frequent garden access & kitchen scraps)
* threat from predators (occasional possum presence - not a major threat - and no sign of raccoons lately. their coop is coon-proof)
* a hidden nest (their coop is 100 sq ft and their run is only about 300 sq ft -- not much room to hide
* old age (they're all 2-3 years old)
What else could it be? Storey's hasn't been much help. Is it possible they stopped laying due to molt, and then just haven't started back up again? Is there a way we can jump-start them?
Thanks ~ Naga