100% hatch rate, 100% helping our call ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by hillsdale ducks, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. hillsdale ducks

    hillsdale ducks New Egg

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    Jan 31, 2014
    Hillsdale Lake, Kansas
    Since this is our first year hatching calls (and our first year even raising ducks) we having been learning a lot and there has been a lot of "on the job training". My first batch hatched 10 days ago, and I had to assist with hatching for 100% of them. Now that our 6 eggs in batch #2, have hatched, I have had to help 100% of them also. Man, are calls this tough to hatch? Our main issue is, they will internally pip, but will not externally pip after 24 to 36 hours. Then I externally pip them, and within 24 hours I generally have to assist them. Once uncapped and I manipulate the membrane, they generally hop right out of the shells within 4 hours or so.

    So my issue is, is their internal membranes seem nice and wet, but they end up getting "glued" inside their shells. I wet them with a Q-Tip, stretch the membrane, and eventually they will crawl out of their shells. Am I to expect to experience this with the remaining 70+ some odd call ducks that will be hatching over the next month? Not saying I am not enjoying this experience, but it is definitely a hands on experience throughout.

    Also, our first batches have some BEI mixed in. We had a BEI that we named "The Rapist" and it looks like he had his way with a few of our calls.

    Some pictures from last night.

    Well, hello little fella.

    [​IMG]

    After an hour or so, it decided it was time to hop on out. You can see where its brood-mates are and have been assisted.

    [​IMG]

    Still wet, and it went into the brooding box early this morning and is getting nice and fluffy.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture from Batch #1. Can anyone guess who the BEI is? LOL

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Southern New England
    Calls are not easy to hatch, from what I have read here on the forum. I am not a hatcher. But there are many hatchers around.

    There is a sticky (link to the sticky index is at the top of the duck forum) on hatching waterfowl. Perhaps there are some tips there. I have read about humidity, and how sometimes new hatchers will open the incubator and drop the humidity and the ducklings get shrink-wrapped by the membrane, and that can be fatal.

    Congratulations on your success rate! You may be someone other call hatchers turn to, for you may have found the right process for a high success rate!

    Can you edit the title of your thread? I wondered what a hate rate was.
     
  3. hillsdale ducks

    hillsdale ducks New Egg

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    Jan 31, 2014
    Hillsdale Lake, Kansas
    Good grief, I cannot believe I messed up the title of this thread. By all means, I do not hate this process. I am so embarrassed. LOL That's what I get for not drinking a pot of coffee this morning. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    As for humidity, I think I am OK. I have verified it with many hygrometers and thermometers. (I am an engineer by trade and tend to overdo/analyze things...)

    Regardless, so far so good. Only 70-some odd eggs to go.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Southern New England
    I suspect you are blessed with the ability to do what is needed for these little treasures. I too need coffee in the morning. I pray you have continued success and blessing.
     
  5. hillsdale ducks

    hillsdale ducks New Egg

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    Jan 31, 2014
    Hillsdale Lake, Kansas
    When the first batch pipped, I told my wife "When in doubt, help out...". Now whether it is the right thing to do, I do not know but it seems to be working. I know that we will not continue our 100% rate statistically over the next few weeks due to things not in our control. But in my mind, I would rather kill one helping, than to let one die in the shell by taking no action at all. (Hope that makes sense...)

    Thanks for the blessings. We've had a lot of ups and downs being new to call ducks... mainly more ups.
     
  6. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Your first year with raising ducks at all and your hatching that many calls? your certainly jumping in head first lol Calls are well known for being 'hard to hatch' a lot has to do with the short beak but i think their maybe more to that as well.

    There is a call duck thread(i think even a hatching one) that should aid you with more experienced hatchers, i don't hatch stuff here.. i leave that to the ducks, once i got stuck where i had to help and that was enough for me to last a lifetime.

    [​IMG] Cute babies !
     
  7. hillsdale ducks

    hillsdale ducks New Egg

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    Jan 31, 2014
    Hillsdale Lake, Kansas
    Well, it was kind of by accident and chalk it up to being a novice quack addict. So boys and girls, please learn from my mistakes. LOL

    For one, we did not separate the hens and drakes like we should have. This has been remedied. And secondly, when it got below 0 degrees for a while back in late December, I put in white heat lamps versus red. That kicked them into full breeding mode based on what I think I know. They have been dropping eggs like machines, so we figured that we would try to hatch them. Luckily, we live on 40 acres in the middle of nowhere so providing room and board is not an issue, and we have had 20 adult calls this past summer. But yes, I agree, we are jumping in head first and let's say I end up with a 50% overall hatch rate, that is still a few ducks on hand. The good news is, we have some friends and local contacts that do want some ducks, so eventually we will find them good homes.

    Did I mention we are quack addicts? Quack addiction is dangerous.
     
  8. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    If you remove the eggs you don't have to separate the birds, i keep mixed sex flocks in both calls and Muscovy(there are some buffs in that flock too) i just pull eggs to avoid any unwanted "kids" I don't think the light would make much difference, my calls are breeding.. their outside most days despite the cold and snow, most ducks resume laying by Feb/mar .. i know last year i had a Muscovy sit a nest in feb..

    It's a lot of calls for sure, they are super cute though and fortunately quite small. [​IMG]
     

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