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Baby's first clutch

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

My Muscovy hen has just started laying and I've never hatched eggs before. I have a homemade incubator that keeps its temperature quite well but humidity is a bit of an issue. I've decided to cover my bases by taking every second egg and putting it in the incubator and leaving the rest in the nest. It's been about a week and a bit now. Mama duck is still laying but not sitting yet. I understand that she won't sit until she's all done laying but I candled my first two eggs last night and all I saw was yolk. I have a range of questions.


1. How viable is a duck's first clutch? I've read that a Muscovy egg is supposed to be 1.5x the size of a chicken egg but she's laying the same size as my chooks. I appreciate my chooks can lay some monsters but they're not that good.


2. Is my incubator at fault? I can maintain a faily steady temperature of 37-38 degrees C with variation of 2 to 4 degrees either way. Humidity is an issue though. At best I can maintain a humidity of 40% but if I don't keep on top of it, it can dip down to 25%. I DO have to work.


3. Am I putting the eggs into the incubator too soon? Should I keep the eggs until she's done laying and then move them to the incubator when she starts sitting? I understand it's to prevent staggered hatching but is there some other reason for it? Do duck eggs need to prove?


Any other suggestions or advice for Baby's First Clutch would be greatly appreciated.


Love the site BTW. I've gotten almost all of my advice and information from the forums here but I can't seem to find anything on the potential viability of a bird's first clutch.

post #2 of 2

I don't know too much about the muscovies, but the humidity needs to be around 60%. The temp is great it is ok if it changes a little ever once in awhile. Just keep the temp as close to 100 degrees fahrenheit as you can. Taking every 2nd egg is not a bad idea just incase she doesn't go broody. I wouldn't put the eggs in the incubator right away. The best way to get the most ducklings is to let the mom lay out in her nest and go broody then take them out from under her about the 30th day which they have been incubating then put them in the incubator to let them hatch. I put them in the incubator 5 days before they hatch, (35th day) because  the can scatter from the nest or the mother may suffocate them. If you want the mom to raise the ducklings up when you remove the eggs from the mom the 30th day put a close amount of eggs she was sitting on just plain old refrigerated chicken eggs, so she thinks those are her eggs. So when the ducklings hatch keep them in a brooder for 2-3 days then put them under the mom that is sitting on the chicken eggs. Then if she doesn't bully the babies take the chicken eggs out from under her then put all the ducklings under her then make sure she is taking good care of them. I hope they do great.

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