Your tiny, fluffy ducklings have somehow transformed into ducks. They quack all the time, poop everywhere, and somehow, all ground within a 12-foot radius of any source of water is a mudhole. They’re fun, but you’re wondering when you’ll get the rewards of all the work and money you’ve put into them. Where are those eggs?
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Depending on the breed and the season, you can expect your first eggs when your ducks are 4-7 months old, or when breeding season starts.
Ducks mature and become old enough to lay at 4-7 months or 16-28 weeks of age. Smaller breeds, such as bantams and Runners, will lay earlier, often around 4 months, and heavier breeds such as Pekins and Muscovies will lay later. Khaki Campbells will start laying around four months, or 17-18 weeks of age, and Muscovies start laying when they’re about six months, or 25 weeks of age – unless they reach this age during fall or winter.
In the wild, ducks will start laying at the beginning of breeding season, at spring. Some domesticated ducks, especially types such as Mallards, still are somewhat seasonal in their laying and will often only start laying in spring regardless of age. If you use artificial light to artificially extend the length of the day (which is often done to keep ducks laying all winter), then they are more likely to start laying earlier, when they reach maturity, instead of at the onset of breeding season.
So if your ducks are older than 28 weeks and haven’t yet started laying, you may have to wait until spring.
Have you ever actually witnessed a duck laying an egg? Here’s a closeup video of my two adorable Muscovy duck sisters, Peaches and Mitzi, laying their eggs:
How long after mating do ducks lay eggs?
Often, people see their young ducks starting to mate and assume eggs are forthcoming.
In the first place, mating has nothing to do with egglaying. Ducks lay eggs regardless of whether or not there’s a drake present.
Also, ducks often start mating when they’re around four months old, which may be months before they start laying eggs. It varies, of course—mating can start as early as three months or as late as six months.
Sometimes ducks will start mating and laying at around the same time, but more commonly, mating starts weeks before laying.