Can ducks lay 2+ eggs in one day? (You’ll be surprised!)

Can ducks lay 2+ eggs in one day? (You’ll be surprised!)

Ducks lay one egg a day. If you say, “My duck laid two eggs in one day!” you’ll probably get funny looks. It takes 24-26 hours for a duck’s body to create a fully-formed egg. Some would say it’s physically impossible for a duck to lay two eggs in one day.

But they’d be wrong. The boundaries of possible are not always where logic would have them to be.

Can a duck really lay two eggs in one day?

Surprisingly, yes, ducks occasionally lay two eggs in a day.

It’s rare, but it does happen and it’s completely normal.

This paper from the Alberta Poultry Research Centre mentions the possibility of a hen laying two eggs a day: http://www.spottedcowpress.ca/chapters/02FemaleAnatomy.pdf

Even more rare, but not unheard of, is a duck laying three eggs in one day.

Don’t automatically jump to that conclusion, though—it’s possible the extra egg was laid the previous day, and you either missed it or it was laid in the afternoon or evening. It might also be possible that a duck you think is a male is actually a female.

A duck that is laying her first ever eggs is most likely to lay two eggs in one day, due to her hormones being out of whack. Most commonly, one or both of the eggs will be soft-shelled, since ducks rarely have the resources to manufacture two shells in one day. Occasionally, both eggs will have normal shells.

Note: Be sure your ducks have access to free-choice oyster shell or another calcium supplement. Also be sure they have plentiful access to an appropriate layer feed—laying two eggs a day is hard on their bodies!

Young ducks, in general, are most likely to lay two eggs in one day. Breeds that are heavy layers (Cherry Valley Pekins, White Layers, and Khaki Campbells, for example) are also most prone to it.

Sometimes this will be a one-time occurrence and the duck will have a normal laying routine thereon.

Other times, the duck will lay two eggs a day for several days.

Either way, these extra eggs usually don’t last long. Soon enough, the duck’s hormones will balance out and she will start laying normally, one egg a day.

Very rarely, a duck will continue laying two hard-shelled eggs a day for long periods of time. If you have one of these “wonder ducks,” as long as she is healthy, don’t worry about her. Enjoy the extra eggs for as long as she’ll give them to you!

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24 Comments

    1. It’s okay. If your duck is laying two eggs a day, she probably just doesn’t have enough calcium to make two hard shells.

      Soft-shelled eggs CAN be a concern, if a duck is regularly laying one soft-shelled egg a day. In this case, it usually points to a nutritional deficiency. But in this case, don’t worry about it.

  1. I have a khaki Campbell x duck who is in a ru with her 10 ducklings who are almost 3 weeks old. Tonight I found 5 eggs in the next box. I put fresh hay in there daily and im pretty sure I put hay in yesterday, but 100% sure I put hay in the day before and there were no eggs.
    The duck and ducklings have been confined to the cage since the ducklings hatched. No other adult ducks can get in there. The eggs are not unhatched ones I know this as 1: I cleaned all unhatched eggs out and 2: I candled and these are obviously fresh eggs.

    I’ve never heard of a duck laying so soon after hatching ducklings (she is still caring for the ducklings as any normal duck would). It’s currently almost winter here and there is a light on 24/7 in the housing area of the run to provide heat for her 10 ducklings, however I’ve used this setup countless times before
    I don’t know her age or laying history as she was given to me by people who had been feeding her after a neighbour dumped them on his property and left them there with no food, shelter etc.
    it’s almost winter here so daylight hrs are quite short, however there is a light On in the housing to provide heat for the 10 ducklings. However I’ve used that setup countless times before and never ever had a duck go back into lay until the ducklings were at least 10-12 weeks old.
    I don’t understand how on earth she could have started laying so soon, much less lay 5 eggs in 2 days! But I am absolutely certain no other duck has access to the house and run she is in, which is a professionally build one and completely covered with small diameter netting and solid roof/walls etc.

    I’m baffled…any thoughts?

    Kim
    1. Interesting. Is it possible that this was a prank by neighbors or family? I remember a few similar cases on BackyardChickens.com that turned out to have been a prank.

      If you’re sure it wasn’t a prank, I suspect it has something to do with the light being on 24/7 or the fact that this is a Khaki Campbell. Is this your first Khaki Campbell? And how long have you had her? This is just speculation since I don’t have real life experience with a light in my coop, but I wonder if the 24 hour light stressed her and caused her to lay earlier than normal, since she wasn’t used to having it before she came to you. I’ve read that having the light on all the time sometimes works out fine (as it seems to have, for you, in the past), especially if they’re used to it, but in other cases stresses the birds and causes laying problems.

      And maybe Khaki Campbells just tend to start laying earlier. I don’t know. I have a Muscovy who just started laying this week, even though her ducklings are only eight weeks old. Campbells are known for extremely high egg production and not so good mothering instincts anyway.

  2. How interesting! I bet when ducks or hen lay 2 eggs in one day the eggs are almost see-through because of having so little time to produce the egg. Have you seen this with a few different breeds of ducks, or one? I once had this happen with a Rhode Island red hen, but only once..

    Bridger
    1. Yes, the eggs tend to have very thin or nearly transparent shells, but sometimes they’re perfectly normal. I’ve never seen any of my ducks laying two eggs in a day, but it’s possible it has happened I didn’t realize it, since I can’t keep close track on who’s laying and who’s not. I do remember once when one of mine laid a soft-shelled egg around 5 PM, but I can’t remember whether she laid one in the morning or not.

      I’ve heard of various breeds laying two eggs a day.

  3. My young Khaki Campbell Girl laid two eggs two days in a row! She is the only female duck I have so I KNEW it happened, but when I googled I didn’t expect to find confirmation that this happens!

    Ashley
  4. My female Pekin just started laying 3 days ago. She was hatched the beginning of February 2018. She has been laying 2 eggs each morning. The eggs look totally different from each other.

    Heather A
  5. We have a 5 month old peking duck and she started laying eggs at 4 months. But in the 5th month she started laying 2 eggs a day. She is still laying 2 eggs a day. We only have 1 male and 1 female. In reading i find that this is normal. We are also amazed at how large these eggs are. We are running out of recipes to
    use all our eggs. Just greatful and amazed.

    Paula
  6. My female Peking lays two hard shell every day and has been for the last couple months. It used to only be one. I had four ducks and and am down to two because of predators. It seems for the first time she is wanting to sit on her eggs but how do I keep them safe since she laid them outside their enclosed house??

    Holly
    1. Hi Holly,

      I think the best option would probably be to fence in a yard or run for your ducks, or make a mobile run. If you’re having predator issues and are worried about her eggs being stolen, it sounds like you really need a better enclosure.

      If that’s not possible or practical in your situation, perhaps you can create a small fenced box, like a dog crate without a floor, to set over her while she’s broody, with enough space for her food and water. Still, once the ducklings hatch, they will be even more vulnerable to predators than an adult, so I would still recommend a fenced yard or run.

      Hope that helps!

      Hannah

  7. Our two Khaki Campbells are Ducky and Spike… Fairly sure from the behavior that Spike is a drake. Today is day 5 of our young Ducky’s egg-laying. I have been augmenting the crumbles with cracked oyster shells as a Calcium supplement.
    I have not noticed any soft shells, bit one egg is somewhat smaller than the other…
    Thanks to everyone for their post(s).

    Mrs Flanders
  8. Thanks for the reply… Our Khaki Campbell, Ducky is still laying 2 eggs most days with one egg slightly smaller than the other. .. I’ve charted her production… and so far, she’s now in to her 4th month of egg laying. I do provide supplemental cracked oyster shells *which she loves – her egg shells are firm, not at all soft… The additional calcium supplements their normal 28% protein game crumbles… They also get a generous supply of raw leafy green vegetables (freely offered by the local green grocer). These eggs are huge. Even the smaller egg is larger than a jumbo store-bought chicken egg. But the consistency is great for making fresh challah and pastries!

    Such spoiled suburban pet ducks!

    I honestly would NOT like her to lay more eggs per day than she now provides.. I worry that she won’t be able to maintain her weight.

    Ms Flanders
    1. She’s been laying two eggs a day for four months? Wow! Are you absolutely sure you don’t have two females? If she really is laying two eggs a day, I’m sure she’ll wear out and switch to a more normal pace eventually.

      Laying ducks don’t really need 28% protein. Layer feed usually has 16-18% protein. I wonder if she’d lay more normally on a normal layer feed?

      Hannah

      1. Yes, We have one each of a duck and a drake… I am quite sure about the drake, as I have seen him mounting her… And Yes Ducky continues to lay 2 eggs a day. I have been sharing eggs with our favorite green grocer who has (from time to time) encouraged the ducks with culled leafy greens.

        About the High Protein… that is Game Bird Crumbles/Turkey Starter Crumbles, that I make available to ALL my birds, regardless of age or breed (from chick-age, on). I have it as a one-stop-shop feed for the feathered friends. By law, the Game Bird Crumbles are not medicated… That’s great for Me, as I put probiotics into their water from time to time…and avoid the meds. I’ve done this for almost 10 years with the bantams. And the entire flock has been healthy. Never a Coccidiosis Problem… They are all spoiled,,, with indoor wall heaters and heated waterers… which helps when temps fall to -20 to -30 degrees F.

        The two ducks didn’t get to go outside this winter, but will be transitioning outdoors any day now!

        I am wondering if Ducky will ‘go broody once she goes outside.

        Ms Fkanders
        1. The high protein probably isn’t a problem. Too low protein can be a problem, but high protein isn’t. I just wonder if it might be a factor in her laying two eggs a day.

          By the way, mounting is not necessarily a guarantee of a drake, because females will sometimes mount each other, especially if there are no drakes around. Sometimes it’s a dominance thing, sometimes it’s a hormone thing. But does the drake have a curly tail feather? And does he have a drake voice? Drakes don’t quack loud like female ducks; they have more of a hoarse, quiet quack.

          You said Ducky is a Khaki Campbell? No, she won’t go broody. Campbells pretty much never go broody.

          Also, ducks can actually withstand much lower temperatures than chickens. They tend to be fine in -40 Fahrenheit with no heating and no insulation, just a three-sided shelter that protects from wind and snow. Not that there’s anything wrong with “spoiling” them or giving them a heated coop! But don’t let cold temperatures dissuade you from letting the ducks outside. Ducks love being outside in the snow. Yeah, at -20 or -30 F, they should probably have some shelter, but Holderread’s book says they’re fine outside at 0 degrees if they have a windbreak. I think you should probably be able to let your ducks out if it’s 0 degrees or warmer. 🙂

          Meanwhile, where I live, it was 104 F yesterday. Ugh. So we’re just busy trying to make sure no one overheats.

          Hannah

          1. wow!! 104 degrees in the beginning of April! I can’t imagine what Summer is like.
            In prep for the ducks going out (as well as prepping for the summer crops) I went out at dusk, just a while ago and found it was too cool to go without a light jacket!

            By the way, when I go in to see them in the morning, the two eggs are one next to the other… every time. Maybe I’ll set up a camera to document the laying activity. And, the drake had markings on the wing feathers.

            One last thing, so many years ago when I was home schooling my daughter, we had Khaki Campbells then too. But back then the ducks stayed out of doors. So, I did not have as much close-up observation of their day-to-day. But we did have a small family[like activity going on. The drake was especially protective of his flock and would even chase away any intruders. The ducks (mommies) were pretty good mothers. But in the case of Ducky, since she and Spike have been ONLY indoors, with close-up human contact daily, I would not be surprised if she did not go broody… But I hope that they acclimate to out-of-doors and then maybe…. hmmm I still wonder if Ducky will perhaps want to be a mommy.

            Ms Fkanders
            1. April and May are actually the hottest months where I live. It cools down a bit in June, fortunately.

              A camera sounds like a great idea.

              That’s interesting. Khaki Campbells aren’t known for going broody, but it certainly happens from time to time. Who knows, maybe she will.

              I hope you can let the ducks out soon. 🙂

              Hannah

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