The ducks are laying!

Much to our surprise, we started finding eggs in the duck house this week! The girls are about 5 months old now, but I sorta expected them to hold off till spring like chickens sometimes do. It is November after all! They apparently had other plans, and started laying this week which brings me to the number one reason you should raise ducks: ducks lay eggs all winter long!

Raise ducks for eggs in winter

Now don't get me wrong, I knew this about ducks when I got them. Especially since these are khaki campbell ducks which are known to lay an average of 300 eggs per year (or more!) I just didn't expect eggs in winter. Yes, I can do the math, it just didn't occur to me. Now that they eggs have arrived though, let's talk about why you should raise ducks for eggs, instead of chickens!


Why raise ducks for eggs


1) Ducks lay eggs in winter. I've found eggs laying in the snow! Seriously, ducks do not care about the weather or amount of daylight so they lay no matter how long or short the days are. This means they don't need lights in the coop in winter, so if that's your thing then ducks will save you money on your electric bill!

2) Duck eggs are generally larger than chicken eggs and have a higher protein and fat content. You'll need fewer duck eggs to make an omelette than if you were using chicken eggs. Check out this chart from Comparing different types of eggs to see how duck eggs compared to chicken, goose and even turkey eggs!

Comparing duck eggs to chicken eggs.

3) Duck eggs are richer and better for baking. Of course this is a winter bonus when everyone is baking lots of delicious cakes and pastries for holiday celebrations!

4) Ducks lay eggs longer than chickens do. Ducks will lay eggs at peak production levels for about 5 years, verses the chickens 2 years. of course they will continue to lay after that, but egg production will slow down a bit.

5) Ducks eggs come in different colors! My KC ducks lay an almost opaque looking egg, but these breeds of duck lay blue, green and even black eggs!

More reasons to raise ducks


6) Ducks don't need a large coop. They prefer to be outdoors and don't roost at night so a small coop is all that is needed for waterfowl. Many duck keepers have used large dog houses. We built our own simple coop for the ducks and geese. 

7) Ducks don't need 'their own' coop at all. They can live with chickens just fine! Many poultry keepers with a mixed flock keep them in the same coop. I did for awhile. It actually worked out great, except when I tried the deep litter method and had the waterers indoors. 

8) Ducks don't need nest boxes. They prefer a pile of shavings, hay, straw or other coop bedding to build their nest to lay eggs in. That's one less thing to add when building a duck coop!

9) Most ducks are more cold hardy than chickens. If you only knew how many times I had to thaw a spot in the pond so they could swim among the ice! I often catch the ducks snoozing out in the snow in winter instead of inside their coop. They're the Elsa of the poultry world...the cold doesn't bother them anyway.

Ducks in the snow

Here's another interesting fact about duck eggs: many people who cannot tolerate chickens eggs have no  problems with duck eggs! Weird but true! Now I don't recommend you try this without a doctors advice, especially in the case of severe allergy...but it bears looking into if you have an egg sensitivity. 

The khaki campbell, ancona, welsh harlequin and runner ducks are most frequently raised for eggs as they lay the most. Before deciding to raise ducks for eggs check the specifications on the breed you like, as some breeds don't lay nearly as much as others!

So far we're only getting 1 egg a day so I'll need to do a little investigating to see who's laying. It's probably Velma...though it could be Daphne. Which brings me to the question: do you give your flocks theme names too? 

Want more information on waterfowl? Click over to read all my posts on raising ducks!

~L


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4 comments:

  1. Awww, cute ducks! How exciting that they are laying already. But now the egg investigation begins to see who is behind the laying!

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    1. I still can't figure it out...only 1 a morning. hmmmm...

      ~L

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  2. Such a beautiful picture of them in the snow :) And congrats on your early duck eggs!!

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