Did you know that ducks can lay more eggs and longer than chickens? But when do ducks stop laying eggs?
In this article, we’ll dig into that question and discuss:
- the factors that affect a duck’s egg-laying performance and when it starts to decline
- how long do they lay eggs
- and how to encourage them to lay again
So, When Do Ducks Stop Laying Eggs?
Usually, when ducks reach the age of 7 to 9 years old or older, their egg-laying capabilities decline and gradually stop.
But it might depend on the breed, the health level of their ducks, and how they push them to lay.
Some breeds stop laying earlier than that range, while others keep laying up to their tenth year. Lucky for those duck growers that chose the best breed for longer egg production.
In some instances, the number of ducks in a particular area also affects the production of eggs.
The more ducks in a small area, the fewer eggs it produces. On the other hand, the fewer ducks in a small space, the more eggs are produced.
It only means that you should provide ample space for your ducks to maintain good production.
All ducks are born with a particular number of eggs they will lay over their lifetime. So, if they produce more eggs in a year, they tend to slow down in the other years.
Those growers who push their ducks to lay more will only stop them from laying sooner than expected.
So, cherish the time your ducks continue to lay eggs for good rather than pushing them through.
Why Would a Duck Stop Laying Eggs?
So, why do ducks stop laying eggs? Here are some reasons behind it and how you can deal with it.
Like chickens and poultry animals, ducks have a particular time to start laying eggs. It is when they reach the maturity stage.
Mostly, ducks start laying at the age of 4 to 6 months. But, this stage of time depends on their breed.
For example, smaller-size ducks, like Bantam and Runner ducks, begin laying sooner when they reach the fourth month. While the other bigger breeds, like Muscovies, only start in their seventh month.
And as time pass by – and the ducks grow older, their strength will decline, and laying capabilities will slow down. Eventually, they will stop laying eggs.
Since they have a particular number of eggs to be laid, they’ll stop producing once they are finished.
If you’re planning to raise ducks, choosing younger ones from reputable breeders would be better.
The breed of the duck is another thing that affects her egg production. Some ducks lay fewer eggs than others.
One of them is the Indian Runner ducks. This breed produces lots of eggs per year and is bigger than the others.
But breeds such as Welsh Harlequins, Magpies, and Khaki Campbells lay more eggs than Indian Runner.
So, if your purpose in raising ducks is to have good egg production, then those breeds suit you well.
But, if none of these prolific breeds are available in your location, here are the other 11 best duck breeds for eggs you can choose from.
Length of Day
Ducks not raised with artificial lightning need sunlight at least 13 to 17 hours per day. Even the prolific egg layers need sunlight to continue laying.
And if they lack enough sunlight and have no access to artificial lighting, they will not produce the expected number of eggs they can lay. That is why it’s better to have a spacious area and let your ducks free-range to get enough sunlight.
Seasons worldwide are changing, and ducks also go with the flow. But do ducks stop laying eggs in summer?
The answer is no. Since they can enjoy more daylight hours during summer and spring, they can produce more eggs during these seasons.
Do ducks stop laying eggs in the winter? Yes, it is possible because there are fewer daylight hours during winter and fall. So, waterfowl’s egg production tends to slow down, and some ducks temporarily stop laying.
But that situation can only be applied in temperate countries. Ducks can enjoy summer more in tropical countries but also have a fair share of struggles during the rainy season.
However, commercial facilities prefer to raise ducks with artificial light to continue egg production.
And some seasonal breeds don’t lay even if they get enough light. So, growers should also take note of that.
Extreme weather will also affect the production of duck eggs, just like chickens who can’t stand in freezing weather.
Even though they need more sunlight for egg production, their bodies can’t also take scorching temperatures. That is why they need an abundant supply of water in their area.
So, if you live in the equatorial region of the world, your ducks may struggle to survive extreme heat.
That’s why it is also important that growers consider the season or climate in their country before raising ducks.
Out of all the things you need to consider while raising ducks, their health condition should be your top priority. It is what your ducks would rely on.
If they are not healthy and strong enough, they won’t produce as many eggs as you expected.
On the other hand, if they consume more food and get fat or obese, they also can’t lay more eggs. The nutrients from the food will only go to their body instead of the eggs.
So, always give the proper nutrition that your ducks need for good production.
And when they start laying eggs, they need more calcium, so make sure to provide high-quality duck feed with high calcium content and other supplements.
Duck egg production may also drop due to adenovirus infection and other diseases.
So, preventing and curing diseases and infections promptly is also essential to continue good production.
Ducks can get stressed when they are being bullied by other flocks or being mated aggressively. And be due to water insufficiency and small and unclean laying area.
Signs of stress include loss of appetite, weakness, lethargy, weight loss, and nausea.
If it worsens, they may experience vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and their feathers will disarrange and remain open.
Molting happens in all ducks and chickens every year. It is a process in which they will lose many feathers to change to new ones.
In some cases, duck molts more than once yearly due to a lack of proper diet and protein deficiency. Others suffer from stress and experience suddenly shortened days.
If that’s the case for your ducks, you need to provide more protein to grow their feathers and recover faster.
But do ducks stop laying eggs when molting?
Well, expect to have fewer eggs during this season because the protein they get from food will be used to grow their feathers.
And, if molting continues for a long period, they will eventually stop laying.
The hen is the one that decides when she will get broody. If it happens, they will sit and start to incubate their eggs within 28 days on her nest.
During that time, she will stop laying eggs and focus on her incubation. Even if she’s done incubating her eggs, it will take up to 8 weeks to lay again.
It will be hard to encourage them to start laying again even though you remove their eggs under her nest.
And even if the hatching is not successful, the hen will not start laying until their brooding period is done.
In some cases, some hens refuse to end up being broody. So, you need to be patient and wait for that time.
Some ducks stop laying eggs when animals, dogs, and foxes snatch their eggs.
Such incidents can cause them trauma that someone will steal their eggs again. So, they might not want to lay for days until they feel safe.
As their growers, it’s your responsibility to look at their coop to prevent predators from intruding, especially when they are laying eggs.
How Long Do Ducks Lay Eggs?
Nesting waterfowl lay an egg between 24 and 48 hours. When ducks are matured and old enough to lay, which is between 4 and 7 months or 16 and 28 weeks, they start laying eggs almost daily.
While larger duck species like Muscovies start significantly later, at around six months, other smaller breeds, like bantams, can lay sooner, at around four months.
The breeding season normally begins in the spring, when wild ducks begin to deposit their eggs.
However, domestic ducks like mallards generally start laying eggs in the spring despite their age and deposit eggs seasonally.
Swans lay an egg every two days, while geese and ducks lay one per day.
The species, however, determine how frequently a duck produces eggs.
Ducks typically have a clutch size (the total number of eggs that a single hen lays) that spans from three to twelve eggs, produced at a one to the two-day interval.
We all know that ducks lay one egg per day, but occasionally, duck owners may receive a bonus second egg on the same day.
Yes, ducks sometimes produce two eggs in a day, which is remarkable. Even if it’s uncommon, it does happen – it’s natural and is particularly common in “first-time” ducks who have hit hormones.
Typically, this occurs only once. When they eventually reach equilibrium, they resume laying one egg daily.
How Do I Get My Ducks to Lay Eggs Again?
You can’t force ducks to lay eggs unless it’s their time to do that. But you can do something to encourage them.
Mentioned above are the reasons why your ducks stop lying. Considering those reasons, you might understand their situation and encourage them to lay again.
Giving them the nutrition they need, enough 14 to 17-hour sunlight, a clean and spacious area, and protection would help.
But, except for one thing. The age of your ducks.
If your duck grows old and stops laying, you can’t encourage them to lay eggs anymore.
When that happens, you can butch them for meat purposes. But if you pity them, you can just let them enjoy their life as elders until they die.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ducks’ Egg-Laying Behavior
Do ducks lay eggs all year round?
Ducks can lay eggs, even every day, all year round. They also lay even in the winter season and can produce up to 300 eggs and more every year.
However, it still depends on the breed and how healthy they are.
What season do ducks lay eggs?
Ducks can lay eggs almost every day. However, the laying season may also vary depending on the breed.
For example, the Mallard, also known as the wild duck, will lay between the mid-month of March to the end of July.
Do ducks lay eggs without mating?
The direct answer is yes. Ducks can lay eggs even without a male duck (called the drake). But the egg they produce is unfertilized.
But once the female duck needs to hatch her eggs, she needs the drake to be around to fertilize her eggs.
How do you encourage ducks to lay eggs?
To have a great production of eggs, your ducks should have a proper diet and nutrition. And always ensure that they get 14 hours of light a day.
If the sunlight is not enough, provide an artificial light using a bulb to help your ducks continue laying.
How many times can a duck lay eggs?
A mature and healthy duck can lay up to 300 to 350 eggs a year. So, that is at least one egg per day.
For example, if you have 100 hens, you can probably have 90 to 100 eggs a day. However, it depends on their breed, age, season or weather, and capabilities.
How many times can a duck lay eggs in a year?
A healthy duck like Indian Runner with proper nutrition can lay up to 300 to 350 eggs a year. The size of their eggs depends on their breed.
What time of year do ducks stop laying eggs?
Some ducks slow down in producing eggs during the fall and winter seasons due to fewer daylight hours.
But some prolific breeds like Indian Runner are said to produce more eggs during these seasons.
When do muscovy ducks stop laying eggs?
Most muscovies stop laying eggs when they’re 7 or 8 years old.
Others can still produce 20 eggs per year at that age but will eventually stop when they’re nine years old.
When do Pekin ducks stop laying eggs?
Like Muscovy, Pekin ducks also slow down in egg production at 7.
They can lay an average of 160 eggs per year, but this figure is diminutive compared to Indian Runners.
Final Recap: When Do Ducks Stop Laying Eggs?
To sum it up, ducks stop laying when they’re 7 to 9 years old, but others may not fully stop until they’re ten or older.
As they grow older, their egg production performance gradually declines. But it may vary depending on the duck’s breed, health, daylight hours, and seasons.
If you’d choose the right breed and provide proper nutrition, ample space, a clean environment, sufficient light, and supplements to your duck, you can enjoy better egg production.
But failure to provide their basic needs may result in poor egg production performance, which means less profit.