In the Coop
Have you heard that saying that goes "Never say never"? This kind of falls into that category. When we were planning Mark's egg business, we had an idea to raise our own birds to replace the older girls in the flock. I did a lot of research and decided that Welsh Harlequin ducks would be great because they autosex. This means that you can tell the male hatchlings from the female hatchlings. You could separate the ducklings after they hatch and raise the males for meat and save the females for egg laying. Well...then, I started doing some research on incubating eggs. It is expensive because you need an incubator (that costs several hundred dollars to get a good one). AND it is actually quite challenging to make sure the heat and humidity correct. If one thing goes wrong, you can lose the whole hatch. I realized that maybe this was not going to be an efficient way to start the egg business. This is when I started looking into egg laying breeds and found the Golden Hybrid 300 ducks that we ended up purchasing. The "300" means that these ducks are to lay 300 eggs a year. We have gotten 2 batches of these ducklings and we like them just fine. HOWEVER, I don't think we are getting close to 300 eggs a year from each duck.
I recently saw a post in a homesteading Facebook group of some Khaki Campbell ducks available. The mother of the drake laid 335 eggs in her first year! SOLD! We purchased 4 ducks and a drake. BTW: I saw someone else post that they had some of the Golden Hybrid 300 ducks and they did not think that they were getting that many eggs/year either. They are great ducks but I just don't believe they are living up to their namesake.
In September, the new ducks came to the farm. (There is a video at the end of the post of when we got them.) They are about 8 weeks old in this pic and they all look pretty much the same.