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Q: At what age do ducks and geese start laying eggs?

A:

Assuming that they have had proper care, lighter-weight duck breeds mature sexually at 17-24 weeks of age and begin laying eggs at that time. Heavier duck breeds usually start laying between 20-30 weeks of age. However, if they reach maturity during winter--just like chickens--ducks may delay laying until the days begin to lengthen and it warms up in the spring.

Just before and during production, ducks may exhibit swollen abdomens, large, moist vents, and widely-spread pubic bones. In some breeds, you may see a darkening in feather color, and in others, the bill color may lighten.

Normally, geese start laying the next spring after they hatch, with laying season beginning in mid-February and going to mid-May at the latest. Occasionally, young geese will lay a few eggs in their first fall season.

When you see your young ducks and/or geese start mating and laying, make sure you switch to a breeder/layer feed with more protein, calcium, and vitamins so they will have the nutrition they need to produce quality eggs.