Around mid Autumn we get a lot of questions on egg laying. Many duck owners do not know why their ducks have slowed down or stopped laying all together. The simple answer is that ducks are similar to chickens as laying is heaviest during the spring into summer and starts to decline or even stop during the fall and winter.
Keep in mind that this is for ducks not raised under artificial lighting. Ducks need at least 17 hours of light in order to continuously lay year-round. Without it production drops. If you would like to learn more about ducks under artificial lighting, please read.
Breed and environment are the two main factors when it comes to a duck laying eggs. Some breeds naturally lay more eggs than others. They also require a relatively stress-free environment and adequate day length.
Different breeds can lay a different number of eggs. A Khaki Campbell lays a lot of eggs throughout the year and is even likely to lay year-round. On the other hand, a Mallard does not lay as many eggs and is likely to slow or stop laying come fall and winter.
Stress affects how a duck lays. If a duck is stressed, it will not lay as well. Stress can come from anything such as predators, loud noises, or a change in their environment such as a new feed, animal or person.
Day length is a major factor in how a duck lays as the days start to get shorter in the fall. The longer the day, the longer ducks will lay while shorter days can stop them from laying. This affect is most obviously seen in Northern states that have a drastic difference between their longest and shortest day. In Southern states, however, this change is not as obvious as the time gap between their longest and shortest day is minimal. For example, a duck could lay longer in Florida than the same duck would lay in Alaska.
Bottom line is to not panic when your ducks stop or slow down in laying eggs. Ducks naturally decline in laying as the days get shorter. How much and for how long depends on the breed and their environment. Stress can cause issues with laying and day length affects how long the duck lays.
If you would like to see what kind of duck would be best for egg laying for your needs, we encourage you to visit our website and look at our Duck Breed Comparison chart.