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.