Temp 100 recirculated incubator.
They die around day 24.
They are Pekin x Cayuga ducks
I have no idea why they keep dying fully developed.
Edited by TheArsenal - 11/1/15 at 6:27pm
@Orca5094 any thoughts?
Does "recirculated incubator" mean it has a fan in it, or no? What kind of incubator is it?
How are your air cells throughout incubation? Are they growing in size properly? Air cell size is the easiest indication of whether or not they are getting the proper humidity during incubation. This is a good chart on duck egg air cell development:
Are you misting the eggs once a day during incubation? Turning them properly?
My guess is your humidity is possibly off, resulting in either too much or too little weight loss of the egg during incubation. It needs to be pretty consistent during incubation, and some eggs need higher or lower humidity than what the books say. The way to know is to watch those air cells. I've also never done dry incubation with duck eggs, so I'm not to keen on that myself.
It can also be something genetic. Are any of your ducks crested by any chance? Ducklings with the crested gene often have neurological problems and alot of times will die late in incubation.
So many possibilities, but we can try to help you figure out the problem with some more information. :)
Ok, has your friend dry incubated duck eggs before? They need more humidity than chickens is why I ask. I just don't like that method for ducks, but some people do have success with it. It also depends on your ambient humidity in the place you live as well. It's not humid enough where I live to try it, and I just don't like it anyway. But that's just my opinion. ;)
I would try to keep your humidity as consistent as possible, around 35% and monitor your air cell sizes to see how they do. You can adjust your humidity during incubation as needed. If the air cells are too small according to the chart when you candle them, you need to lower the humidity so they lose more moisture and the air cells can grow larger. You can also mist a couple times a day instead of once if your air cells are too small. It sounds counter-intuitive, but misting them with water more often will actually help your air cells grow larger faster because it will help pull some of the moisture out of the eggs. And of course, if the air cells are too large at any point, you need to raise your humidity.
Did you ever open up any of your eggs that died to see what the ducklings looked like inside? That can also help figure out what went wrong if it happens again.
Good luck, and please keep us posted! :)
Is it possible for you to get a hydrometer? They aren't all that expensive, and really sound like they'll make the difference for you guys if you can get that humidity under control.
I use 35% humidity during incubation, then up it to 55% for the last three days during "lock-down". Works great for me anyway. I had 100% hatch rate this spring. :)
And yes, you can add sponges if you need more humidity, but I'd try to get a hydrometer so you will know what humidity you are actually getting in there first. It'll make your life alot easier.