Ducks are curious creatures and prefer stress-free, relaxed lives. They like their personal space, and they like to go about their lives as and when they want. I can now confirm that stressed ducks lay fewer eggs.
At the moment egg production from the ten birds at Vidamour Farm is highly variable (from 0 to 7 eggs per day). The feed is staying relatively similar, and all other facets of their lives are standard each day – barring the weather.
These factors are worth mentioning, because the information available for duck egg production clearly states that stressed ducks will go off the lay for up to two weeks. Obviously that would be far from ideal!
Usually the whole process to feed, change water and then put the ducks away will take up to an hour each day. They enjoy feeding time and will then heavily drink the fresh water. Once they’re done they’ll start to make moves towards the coop.
Earlier this week I was in a bit of a rush to put the ducks away because I’d stayed at work a little later than expected and needed to rush off to put the home birds away too. It’s getting dark so early now I am finding it difficult to get everything done in daylight hours!
I fed the ducks and changed their water, but couldn’t give them enough time to relax and enjoy the process like they normally do. In fact, normally I enjoy just watching them just as much as they enjoy feeding and playing in the water!
With only 30 minutes at the farm, they were rushed, and while all ducks were fed and watered, they didn’t feel ready to go to sleep for the night. With darkness approaching I hustled and tried to put them away.
Unfortunately, ducks do not obey! Generally speaking they will do the opposite of what I want.
I ended up following them around and around the coop for a solid ten minutes. It would’ve made quite the sight!
I finally got nine stressed ducks into the coop – with one remaining outside. Being separated from the group is stressful for all parties, so I did my best to capture the lone bird as quickly as possible.
Despite my best efforts to hurry the process, it would’ve been just as quick to follow the usual process!
To top it all off, egg production went to zero for the following few days. So I can confirm that stressed ducks definitely do lay fewer eggs!