Video of the Day
The average number of eggs a duck can lay each year depends largely on the breed of duck. As with other types of poultry, some duck breeds are raised for meat, some for eggs and some to produce a balance of both. Good egg-laying duck breeds can out-lay chickens. The laying season for ducks is usually about 35 to 45 weeks long each year.
The runner duck, the Cayuga, the blue Swedish and the buff duck are among the top layer ducks, averaging up to 180 eggs per year. Poor egg layers such as the mallard may lay as few as 60 eggs a year. Some specialized varieties such as the white layer duck can produce nearly 300 eggs a year. Others, including the Khaki Campbell, have been bred to produce both meat and eggs and can lay an average of 210 or more eggs per year while still being useful on the table.
When choosing a duck breed, it’s useful to look at more than just how many eggs certain breeds lay. Some, such as the Welsh Harlequin, are good mothers and will raise many new generations; others, like the white-crested duck, tend to be nervous and are poor mothers. It’s helpful to consider the size of the duck and the cost to feed the breed before making a choice. Very large breeds, such as the jumbo Pekin duck, eat a great deal more than smaller breeds like the mallard, making the jumbo Pekin a good choice for meat but not egg production.
- John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images