At what age is it okay to start incubating/hatching ducks eggs??

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by mommyofthree, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. mommyofthree

    mommyofthree Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2010
    We've got 2 female ducks and we are getting 2 more females and a drake. They are all approximately 7 months old and the girls have been laying for several weeks. Is it best to wait and let them lay for awhile before you try to hatch their eggs? We will sell most of the eggs for eating but I know some people who would like ducklings as well. [​IMG]
     
  2. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    Jan 11, 2010
    Australia
    I was a bit to anxious to start hatching this year and learn my lesson the hard way. One of the first to hatch is blind. She is a lovely girl though and such a sweet nature. She has a young drake hatched just after her that has lately become her protector. He wont leave her side. Its so endearing to watch.

    Eating the eggs is fine from when they first start to lay- but in future I will be leaving the first few weeks worth laid out of the incubator. A few weeks will usually see them laying a better size egg with a more consistent shell than when they first start out. By now the eggs should be fine to incubate- especially considering their age too, If they were still only around the 20 - 22 week old mark- I would suggest waiting longer. Can you do a test run with incubating them before selling any for hatching??
     
  3. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    I would toss the first 2 weeks of a first time layer. They eggs are usually not good. In the following cycle you only have to avoid the first week. Another thing to consider is nutrition of the mother duck. She needs to be supplemented with vitamins and mineral in her drinking water to assure that she does not lay deficient eggs. Most of them will die in the incubator before day 20. Some may even hatch with health problems.
     
  4. emjay

    emjay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2009
    Quote:what is it that you put in the water? (what is it called)

    I have a vitamin powder that I put in the water and give to my chicks up to day 4. would that be the same?


    you mention tossing the eggs, is this only in reference to 'hatching' eggs ?

    why do most die before day 20?

    I'm trying to learn as well, as far as hatching ducks.

    thanks.
     
  5. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    With toss I mean don't use for incubating. They are fine for eating.

    The powder you give to your chicks is probably the same thing. There are various brand out there. I use:
    https://www.gqfmfg.com/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=231
    A lack of certain vitamins will cause the egg to die before day 20. So for hatching it is best to make sure that the eggs are of best quality by adding vitamins and minerals to their drinking water. It's not so important if you have the eggs for eating only, but you do want to give hatching eggs the best start possible.
    There is an excellent pdf file from the University of Texas out with what certain deficiencies cause in the egg. It is written for all types of birds, but it is pretty much the same in ducks. Its on page 13.
    http://gallus.tamu.edu/library/extpublications/b6092.pdf
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  6. mommyofthree

    mommyofthree Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2010
    We will only be eating the eggs for awhile, I probably won't try to hatch any until spring when the ducks are a year old si it sounds like there's nothing to worry about there. Is it okay to give the vitamin/mineral powder to chickens AND ducks?? Mine share a coop so I can't separate their food/water.
     
  7. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    They all can get it. Actually it is a good idea to serve it up once per month to avoid any deficiencies in birds. It's like us taking a multi-vitamin.
     

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