The Pekin duck is one of the most popular duck breeds in the United States. In addition to being excellent layers (200 eggs per year), they also are quite tasty and reach an excellent eating size of 7- 13 pounds.
You can expect your Pekin ducks to start laying at 5 months of age. But, if you are planning to eat your ducks then it is best to harvest them at 7-8 weeks of age. This is because when the pin feathers come in it becomes much harder to pluck them and prepare them.
If you plan to hatch your eggs, then be warned – Pekins don’t really go “broody”. They have been bred to lay a large number of eggs to be collected on farms or to quickly grow to a nice table size. (Most ducks eaten in the United States are actually Pekin ducks.)
This means that if you want to hatch some you’ll likely need to do it yourself with the use of an incubator. While this is a more involved process, it is not difficult. It mostly requires a watchful eye and paying attention to things like temperature and moisture.
You’ll also need to make sure that you have the right equipment. Most trays for egg hatching are intended for chickens and duck eggs are quite a bit larger, so they will not fit.
Start by choosing the best eggs which will have the most likely chance of success. The eggs you pick for hatching should be uniform, have no cracks, or double yolks which may inhibit the baby duck from forming properly in the egg.
Eggs can be stored in a cool location for at least a week after laying. After that, fertility begins to decline and so do your chances of hatching a duckling using those eggs, so keep that in mind.
Tanya is a stay at home mom who blogs online to earn a bit of extra income from her hobbies. She also loves working on projects which she can involve her two kids in and teach them the valuable life-skill of sewing.