Ducks are productive egg layers and will lay nearly every day of the peak season. Maximum productivity occurs during the summer months when full daylight is available. The number of eggs declines as the days shorten and winter begins. Artificial light is often used to encourage egg laying during the winter months.
Waiting for the First Eggs
Your duck will begin laying eggs at roughly 20 weeks old. This will vary slightly depending on the breed. Begin scanning the coop for eggs at 17 weeks. Look through the bedding and nesting boxes when you clean the duck housing. The first eggs are often small and underdeveloped but they are a sign of maturity and large eggs are not far behind.
Your ducks will lay around one egg per day when they reach maturity. They will lay consistently if you collect the eggs daily. Otherwise, they will attempt nesting with existing eggs and hold off on further production. Create a daily routine where you multitask and look for eggs. Do a check when you feed, change water and clean the duck house. Do a quick morning egg check and try again in the afternoon or evening.
Provide nesting boxes as an option but look around the pen and housing area as well. Ducks will utilize the nesting boxes but will lay in other areas as well. Look for bedding that is piled into a nest for eggs and check the walls and corners of the pen and housing. The ducks may lay an egg and cover it with bedding to hide and protect the egg. They will utilize similar nesting areas and as you learn their habits, egg location will become easy.
Collecting and Storing
After you locate the eggs, remove them by hand and place them in an egg carton or basket. Transport the eggs to your home and wipe them off with a dry cloth to remove dirt and grime. Store in an egg carton and label the carton with the date. Use a range of several days if necessary. Keep the eggs in a cool place or a refrigerator. Use for baking or fry them like any other chicken egg.
Duck eggs are 30 percent larger than chicken eggs. Factor the size difference into your measurements for baking and cooking.
Zach Lazzari is a Montana based freelance outdoor writer and photographer. You can follow his work at bustedoarlock.com.