KEEPING DUCKS FOR EGG PRODUCTION

Ducks, like chickens, can be kept for egg production. In fact, in Asia duck eggs are more common than chicken eggs. Duck eggs are creamier and have more nutrients than chicken eggs. They also have a slightly thicker shell and a longer shelf-life. Many people who are allergic to chicken eggs are able to eat duck eggs without problems.

All domestic breeds of ducks (except the Muscovy which is not really a duck) are descendant from the mallard. Through generations of selecting, breeds have been developed which excel at egg production (Khaki Campbell or Indian Runner) or meat production (Pekin). This is in addition too, of course, the many exhibition breeds of ducks that have been developed. More recently, commercial hybrids have been developed specifically for egg production. This would include the Golden 300 hybrid

DUCK DEVELOPMENT

Ducks will come into production between 7-9 months of age, depending on when they were hatched. Ducks hatched in April through July are maturing during increasing day length and typically come into production in seven months. On the other hand, ducks hatched between September through January when day length is decreasing will come into production in 8-9 months. Ducks can be brought into production with 14 hours of light per day.

PRODUCTION EXPECTATIONS

As with chickens, once egg production starts there is a rapid increase in egg production. The flock can reach almost 90% production in 5 to 6 weeks. Egg production will then steadily decline.

Managing ducks for egg production (University of Georgia)