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When Do Ducks Start Laying Eggs?

Ducks typically start laying eggs when they’re between 6 and 7 months old, though this may vary depending on factors such as health, diet, and more.

If you’re planning on keeping ducks for their eggs, then this is a very relevant question.

When do ducks start laying eggs? How can you make sure they do? And how often do they lay eggs?

In this article, we’ll take a look at the egg-laying process of ducks, different factors that affect this, and how many eggs they’re laying.

At What Age Do Ducks Start Laying Eggs?

Ducks start laying eggs when they’re about 6 to 7 months old. In the beginning, they won’t lay many eggs, but after some time they’ll lay eggs 90% of days.

Ducks, like chickens, lay eggs. Almost every day. However, they have to mature before this happens.

Ducks start laying eggs around 6-7 months old. In general. Some ducks may start laying eggs when they’re just 4 months old if they get enough nutrition and sunlight.

All in all, it comes down to when they mature, which depends on a number of factors:

  • When they were born
  • Weather conditions
  • Their health and mental state
  • Diet
  • And more

Ducks are not all created equally when it comes to laying eggs. Some breeds lay more eggs than others, some breeds lay bigger eggs, and some lay brown eggs instead of white ones. 

duck laying eggs

How Long After Mating Do Ducks Lay Eggs?

Typically, when this question arises it’s based on the idea that eggs come from mating. 

However, when it comes to when egg-laying, there really isn’t any correlation between when ducks mate and when they lay eggs. Mating has no impact on when duck lay their eggs.

Ducks lay eggs much like chickens. They do so often. Mating has an impact on the fertilization of the eggs, but not on the actual egg-laying.

Relation: How Do Ducks Mate?

When Do Ducks Stop Laying Eggs?

Ducks stop laying eggs when they get too old, around the age of 8 to 10 years. Egg-laying slows down when they reach 7 years of age.

Ducks stop laying eggs when they get old.

Egg-laying typically begins to slow down when ducks reach 6-7 years of age. However, they may still lay eggs for another 3 years, though they won’t lay as many.

Ducks are typically thought to lay eggs for anywhere between 3 to 10 years, depending on the individual, with 5 to 6 years of egg-laying to be the median.

ducklings outside

How Often Do Ducks Lay Eggs?

Ducks lay eggs 90% of the days, meaning, a duck will lay around 90 eggs in 100 days. This may vary from duck to duck.

Ducks lay eggs almost every day, like chickens. They often lay one egg per day, or even two sometimes.

In general, they lay eggs 90% of the time. In other words, if you had 100 ducks, you’d get around 90 eggs per day.

Now, when ducks get older, or when they’re very young, they may start out only producing 50% of the eggs they’re capable of later on in their life. If your ducks are just starting to lay eggs, and if they’re only producing eggs every other day, don’t worry. This is normal.

Related: How often do ducks lay eggs?

pekin duck alone

How Many Eggs Do Pekin Ducks Lay per Day?

Pekin ducks are one of the most popular breeds of duck kept by both commercial and hobbyist producers. They’re bred for meat and egg production, hence they lay plenty of eggs.

They lay approximately 200 to 300 eggs per year[1], or about 16 to 25 eggs per month on average. They also have a high feed conversion rate, laying a large egg for their body weight.

Factors That Affect Egg-Laying     

The most common factors that may affect egg-laying are age, gender, weather, health, mental health, and diet.

Not all ducks are the same. Some lay more eggs than others. While there is a natural difference in egg-laying, there are also some external factors that may affect ducks.

If you have a problem with your ducks’ egg-laying, you may find the answer here.

An uncommon scenario that affects egg-laying is the loss of the nest. Studies show that if a duck loses her nest during egg-laying after mating, she’ll continue to lay eggs in a new nest at a higher rater.[2]

Related: Ducks behavior before eggs hatch

The Duck’s Age

The major factor affecting a duck’s egg-laying is the duck’s age. A young duck will lay more eggs than an old one (except for ducks that have just begun laying eggs). 

As ducks get older their reproductive system slows down and becomes less efficient. As they get older, farm ducks can lay an egg every other day.         

pekin duck clipped wings

Gender of the Duck

As with almost every species on earth, including humans, it’s the females that give birth. It’s the female ducks (hens) that lay eggs.

Drakes do not lay eggs. Drakes are responsible for fertilizing eggs, which is the difference between an egg turning into a duckling or not.

male mallard duck

The Weather

When it comes to a duck’s egg-laying, the weather plays a major role. Long days, short days, rain, and cold all can affect how many eggs a female lays in her lifetime. 

Here’s the correlation:

Condition Effect
Long days Days with plenty of sunlight are essential for a duck to lay its eggs. Ducks typically breed in the spring when the days begin to lengthen, which is around March or April depending on where you live.  
Short Days Short days can have an adverse effect on a duck’s egg-laying. For example, some ducks begin to lay eggs when there are about 12 hours of light per day. If the number of daylight hours is significantly less than 12, there will be a delay in the duck laying her eggs.
Extreme Cold Ducks typically stop breeding during periods of extremely low temperatures [1]. For example, if the temperature reaches below 20°F (-7°C), then ducks will typically stop laying eggs.

Health & Mental State

Ducks will only lay eggs when they’re healthy and in a good mental state. Identifying health issues can be done by maintaining a good diet for your duck, ensuring they have access to freshwater, and replacing any worn-out nesting boxes. 

If you suspect there could be a problem with health or mental state, an examination by a veterinarian is required.

When ducks are stressed or alone, they may stop laying eggs.[3]

Studies show that ducks infected with a virus can drop egg-laying.[4]

nesting duck

Diet

Diet plays an incredibly important role in egg-laying. This is due to reasons such as nutrients, minerals, and the protein content in the duck’s diet.

A duck that doesn’t consume as many nutrients as needed can become deficient in amino acids. This can result in a lack of egg-laying.

Make sure your ducks are fed properly.

Related: What Can Ducks Eat & What Can’t They Eat? 

duck eating bread

Conclusion

Ducks start laying eggs when they’re about 6-7 months. Some ducks start when they’re 4 months old, if they get enough sun, and if they grow fast enough.

Ducks lay about one egg a day. This number is not affected by mating but is affected by health, age, weather conditions, and diet.

About Kaitlin Mullins

Birds are plenty, and they can be hard to keep track of. Thankfully, Katilin Mullins has taken charge of these. With plenty of free time spent bird watching, she’s a true expert on these intriguing animals.