Lately, I have been finding 2 eggs a day from my duck. It happens two or three times a week. Although I’m raising a lot of ducklings, I only currently have one male and one female Peking duck.
Do ducks lay two eggs a day and why? Ducks usually lay 1 egg a day but can lay 2 eggs a day. It isn’t common, but hormones or a change in seasons can spur double eggs in a day. Your duck’s hormones will usually balance out after a week or two. Often the second egg will be a softer shelled egg because the mamma duck won’t have enough calcium and other minerals to lay a hard-shelled egg. The second, soft-shelled egg is safe to eat.
My ducks have access to oyster shells 24/7, although only the female duck ever eats it. As a result, I haven’t had any soft-shelled duck eggs, even when multiple eggs are laid multiple days in a row.
Chickens also usually lay only 1 egg a day, but can occasionally lay 2 eggs in a day. Often as the chicken gets older and more used to laying eggs, the frequency will balance out.
If you have a chicken or a duck that is laying multiple eggs a day, don’t worry about it. Laying two eggs won’t hurt the chicken or the duck unless you see other signs of stress such as a bloody egg.
There are other reasons that could cause a duck or chicken to lay more than 1 egg a day including:
- Artificial lighting that stays on 24/7 or that is on longer than normal summer hours. Usually, artificial lighting in the winter should turn on from around 6 am to 9 or 10 pm. Constant lighting can stress out your egg layers and cause them to lay more frequently than usual.
- Certain breeds and sometimes specific ducks continue to lay multiple eggs a day throughout their egg-laying days. Enjoy this!
- Sometimes the introduction of other females causes ducks or chickens to start laying more eggs. This can also happen if your flock is introduced to a rooster. It could be that the females feel more “competition” that affects their hormones temporarily.
- Extremely hot weather can sometimes induce ducks to lay multiple eggs in a day. Do not try to stimulate ducks into laying eggs by raising the temperature of the duck house. High temperatures pose a risk to ducks, especially if they don’t have access to adequate water.
Differences Between Chickens And Ducks Egg Laying
Hen chickens usually take about 24-26 hours to internally prep and egg for laying. A chick is born with a set number of eggs inside of her. Once she has laid all those eggs, she won’t lay any more eggs.
But, ducks are different. A duck hen’s body typically has 5-6 eggs inside her body getting ready to be laid. The eggs are at different stages. When she lays an egg, another is getting close to being ready to be laid.
This is why ducks can frequently lay multiple eggs in a day, whereas its a lot rarer for a chicken to do so.
When a duck reaches her desired clutch or number of eggs in her nest, she gets broody and will sit on them until they hatch.
At that point, the remaining eggs in her body get reabsorbed into her body. During the following 28 days of broodiness, the duck hen will lose as much as ¼ of her body weight. She won’t eat as much because she won’t leave the nest often.
Because ducks don’t have a preset number of eggs they will lay in their lifetime, most ducks will outperform a single chicken’s egg production.
How Many Eggs Do Ducks Lay Before Resting?
Most ducks lay eggs to raise a clutch of ducklings. In nature, a female duck will usually lay between 8-16 eggs in a clutch. When she reaches that number of eggs, she will stop laying eggs and will sit on her eggs until they hatch.
It takes about 28 days for duckling eggs to hatch. Although it took her 1-2 weeks to lay all the eggs for her nest, all the eggs will hatch within 1-2 days. That’s because when she starts sitting on them, the eggs will incubate and the chicks inside grow at the same rate.
Eggs are usually not as viable after about 10 days, but there is some variance in that estimate. Once the ducklings hatch out, it takes almost 60 days to raise the clutch of ducklings. After that, your duck will start laying again until winter hits.
How Can I Get My Duck To Continue To Lay Eggs Daily?
If you want to harvest your duck eggs to eat or sell, you will want your female ducks to lay eggs as frequently as possible. Usually, you can encourage them to lay daily by removing eggs from the nest every day.
When eggs are removed from the nest, the female duck will continue to lay eggs because she is seeking to reach her desired number of eggs in a clutch.
When eggs are removed daily, ducks can lay as many as 200-300 eggs in a year. Other conditions influence the continued daily laying of eggs.
Many ducks will take a short break during the coldest parts of the year. Many duck breeds are prolific egg layers.
When is the best time of the day to collect duck eggs?
Ducks lay their eggs in the early morning. Often before or just after sunrise, your ducks will have laid their eggs. It’s important to collect duck eggs early in the day.
Early collection helps to prevent the eggs from getting dirty or cracked. If your ducks and chickens are housed together, the early collection will also help to prevent the chickens from tasting the eggs and developing the awful habit of egg eating.
How Many Years Do Ducks Lay Eggs
Unlike chickens, ducks continue to lay eggs at high rates for as long as 3-5 years. They take a few months longer to start laying but will continue far past when a hen is usually finished laying eggs.
Today’s chicken breeds have been bred to be high egg layers for the first year, with egg production tapering off drastically in years 2 and 3. After about 3 years, depending on the breed, most hens won’t lay frequent eggs.
But, ducks continue frequent and daily egg-laying for several years. They take a little longer break in the winter than some of the cold-hardy chicken breeds. This could account for their longer egg-laying lifespan.
Most of the breeds of ducks do fairly well getting broody and raising a clutch of new ducklings if allowed to build their nest and clutch to their desired size in the spring and summer.
And don’t forget!
Ducks are a lot of fun. They lay eggs much larger than chickens. This helps with the difficult decisions of culling unproductive hens or continuing to feed and provide space for hens that don’t produce.
In my experience, ducks are much less aggressive than chickens. Some of the more aggressive chicken breeds, such as the Leghorn chickens have more aggressive hens than roosters of other breeds.
In comparison, my drakes are friendly and don’t get aggressive with even my little children. Although they will chase them if the kids start running and yelling. There seems to be some instinct that calls for a good game of chase.
FAQ About Duck Eggs
Are Duck Eggs Healthier Than Chicken Eggs? Duck eggs are about 50% bigger than XL chicken eggs. They also have a bigger yolk, which means that a duck egg has more protein and other minerals and vitamins in the eggs. Many people prefer duck eggs because of the higher protein content. They also have more good cholesterol and higher Omega 3 and iron. Check out this article for a full nutritional comparison of chicken eggs to duck eggs.
Can People Allergic To Eggs Eat Duck Eggs? In many instances, people with allergies or reactions to chicken eggs can eat duck eggs. There is a difference in the exact hormones used to produce the eggs and this appears to make them more palatable for many with egg reactions.
If you have allergies to chicken eggs, proceed with caution when you try a duck egg, and don’t assume that you won’t be allergic. Each person reacts differently.
I knew a girl on chemo that couldn’t keep chicken eggs down but could stomach duck eggs and fresh milk. Sometimes nature and the natural antibodies those mama ducks provide help us with other ailments. (I don’t know of any scientific study that backs this up!)
You might also find these articles helpful.