What time of day do ducks lay eggs?

What time of day do ducks lay eggs?

Ducks generally lay their eggs at early morning, around sunrise.

However, it varies a lot. Some ducks lay around 4:30 AM. Most lay around 6 AM. Others lay around 9 AM. And occasionally, a duck will lay in the afternoon, or even evening. Once I witnessed one of my ducks walking around at 5 PM when an egg dropped out of her. It never happened again.

If you want your ducks to lay in their coop, it’s a good idea to keep them inside until they’re done laying. Otherwise, they may lay anywhere in their yard. If you find that your ducks lay approximately at 6 AM, let them out at 6:30.

Unfortunately, however, ducks are perfectly capable of holding their eggs in until they feel like laying them. If a duck has picked out a special little spot under some wood pile 300 feet from their coop, she’ll lay there even if you let her out at noon.

In general, ducks lay during early morning, and they’ll probably have already laid by the time you let them out of their pen or coop. But if they scout out nesting areas beforehand, they’ll hold their egg until they’re given access to their chosen spot.

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  1. I had two ducks that laid almost every day. I got 3 new ducks that were laying when I got them but now there are no eggs. I’ve kept them in their pen until noon and still no eggs. One duck disappeared yesterday… either a hawk or fox ( which isn’t bothering my geese or their goslings) so I may have to keep them in their pen all day now. If they’re not allowed outside what should I feed them?

    Greg Goen
    1. Their main diet can be commercial chicken layer feed (or waterfowl feed if it’s available where you live). You can supplement with veggies, fruits, grass clippings, mealworms, raw grains, and so on.

      However, I’d like to suggest building or buying a mobile pen. If they can’t free range, the second best option, to allow them constant access to the outdoors and grass, is a small pen that can be moved to fresh grass regularly.

      If you just got these ducks, it’s not surprising that they stopped laying. Sudden lifestyle changes will stress them and cause them to temporarily cease laying.

  2. I have a female Cayuga, she is 8 months and still ain’t laying. 3 of her male buddies just got killed by a predator unfortunately. Don’t know if this has anything to do with it. She now has one female and one male friend. It is winter so I’m wondering if she will lay during spring. Guess we will have to find out!

    1. Yes, she’ll probably start laying in spring. Many ducks start laying during their first spring (once they’re adults), regardless of their age.

      Ducks can be affected by loss of others they knew, especially if they witnessed the event. I’ve heard of ducks witnessing a friend being killed by a hawk, and for days afterwards, they refused to leave the safety of their coop. And stress can stop them from laying. So that could perhaps be a factor, but I think the time of year is more likely to be the main reason.

      Either way, I figure you can expect eggs quite soon! 🙂


    2. I have a three ducks. One male and female Muscovy and a magpie duck. The Muscovy duck just started laying on Tuesday and she laid three eggs in three days. She laid the first two eggs around 9:30 in the morning and the third one around 5:00 in the evening. But since two day now she has stopped laying. What should I do. Her 10 day span will son be over.

      Okeoghene blessing favour
      1. That sounds like it’s probably normal. Some Muscovies’ first clutches only have a few eggs, others have 30 or more. After a clutch, Muscovies usually take a break, sometimes for only a few days, sometimes for 3-4 weeks. It varies a lot.

        What 10-day-span?

        Be sure she has appropriate layer feed and free-choice calcium.


    1. The broody duck has probably stopped laying. Ducks stop laying usually a few days after going broody. You will have to break her broodiness before she lays again (either that or let her hatch ducklings, in which case it will be three to four months before she lays again).


  3. My ducks finally started laying yesterday after 9 months of waiting since hatch day. I have a mallard hen and a blue runner hen and I’m not sure who’s laying what yet, but both eggs I have gotten so far were fertilized (I have a drake as well)…since I have a mallard I’m not sure what her schedule is going to be- will she only lay a clutch of 5-20 and then stop laying for awhile? I want her to go broody in like March but not until then.