Hello everyone I have a problem that probably has an easy solution but I want it to be as easy as possible I am fairly new to raising ducks I have had my flock for 1 year next spring and I love them all I have pekins, runners, Swedish blues, mallards, and a Muscovy hen I just introduced my solitaire rooster to their flock yesterday and they have all been doing great but this spring I am ready for the next step hatching out my ducks eggs naturally my mallards have paired up and I hope the female will go broody and I have 3 drakes in all and I get between 1 and 4 eggs a day from a flock of 16 all I hope to achieve is to hatch out a few ducks from my own flock and my other hope was for my Muscovy duck to go broody but we shall see if all else fails I have about 120 birds and I get about 20 broody chickens a year so if I can I would try to hatch duck eggs under chickens but my problem is I clean my ducks every night and every morning their eggs look like they have been buried in mud and I know from experience that eggs need to be fairly clean if you expect them to hatch so how do I manage to keep the eggs clean so they will survive long enough to hatch any help would be appreciated
hatching duck eggs naturally
What kind of house are your ducks kept in? If you don't want mud caking the eggs, you will need to keep them overnight in a house that has no mud. My ducks are kept in a house with a solid floor, and it is covered with straw and pine shavings. Since there is no way for the eggs to get muddy, their eggs are relatively clean. They will get pooped on sometimes, but that will happen with duck eggs. If you keep them locked in their coop until 8 in the morning, most ducks will have already laid their eggs in their relatively clean coop. Maybe if you can explain their housing arrangement, we can give you better advice. A duck will try to bury her eggs, so if you don;t want them burried in mud, you have to change what they are nesting in.
my duck housing is is solid raised wood floor and I use straw bedding because they eat shavings and by mud I meant manure and all their eggs are always stained brown and yellow from the straw and manure every morning it looks lie it rained I their coop because its so wet from their waterer amd yes they are kept inside till they lay all their eggs and that's why they are always dirty
Some people don't put any water in their duck coop for this reason. I keep food and water in my coop, but I use a nipple system and catch the drips, so there is no water mess. You will need to figure out a better way to keep your coop dry - and that can be a challenge, especially if they have a water bucket. As it is getting colder, I have added a thick layer of straw to my coop floor, but I add a layer of pine shavings on top. They make a nest every night, and bury their eggs in it. Their eggs stay pretty clean, I have to wash one off here and there, but if you do that, you should eat it right away. I think that if you are incubating, you aren't supposed to wash them at all, but I could be wrong.
I guess you will have to address the messy coop before you can expect eggs to stay clean. Ducks are just messy creatures. I add a fresh layer of pine shavings every other day or so, and don't do a full clean out of the old bedding for two weeks.
Here is what I do - It makes me nervous to have no water at all for my ducks at night - so this is what I use. I have a pan under it now instead of the absorbent pad, and it is working great. It has taken all of my ducks less than a day to figure out how to use the nipples. As long as they have deeper water during the day, I think this is an excellent water source for a night time coop.
As I said before I don't use shavings because my ducks eat them and they could get an impaction from it as I read and the water source shown in the picture is a great way to do it and I feel the same about no water at night because ducks need water to swallow and they can choke on their feed if you only have feed in there as I have read so when hatching season comes around I will just remove both feed and water and I will use my own birds to hatch because I don't trust my incubator haha