Breeding and Hatching suggestions? Advice?

Chirehe

Chirping
Jul 29, 2018
103
179
96
Arkansas
Hello all! I’m really excited to start hatching ducklings but have know clue where to start I have a pekin and blue swedish hen paired with a blue swedish drake currently. They are all about 20 weeks old and have not laid a single egg yet (which I think is normal) but they breed every time I give them new water lol. On two my main questions...

-How many eggs after the first one should I try to hatch? I’d like to try as soon as I can but I know the first eggs are usually trashy lol so with the next few be also or could I try?

-Should I cross breed? I just like the blue swedish boy (Tiberius) more than my two huge pekin drakes he’s very friendly and is very cautious with the females when breeding. The other two will grab and pull the female pekin (Phyllis) around and they are about twice her size which scares me because she had a sore neck for awhile.

-Incubator or broody hen? I’m definitely considering an incubator but there are so many choices where do I start? Any suggestions advice?

I think that’s all for now lol
 

Pugsabi

Free Ranging
Jun 5, 2018
1,585
10,313
677
Arlington, Texas
Hello all! I’m really excited to start hatching ducklings but have know clue where to start I have a pekin and blue swedish hen paired with a blue swedish drake currently. They are all about 20 weeks old and have not laid a single egg yet (which I think is normal) but they breed every time I give them new water lol. On two my main questions...

-How many eggs after the first one should I try to hatch? I’d like to try as soon as I can but I know the first eggs are usually trashy lol so with the next few be also or could I try?

-Should I cross breed? I just like the blue swedish boy (Tiberius) more than my two huge pekin drakes he’s very friendly and is very cautious with the females when breeding. The other two will grab and pull the female pekin (Phyllis) around and they are about twice her size which scares me because she had a sore neck for awhile.

-Incubator or broody hen? I’m definitely considering an incubator but there are so many choices where do I start? Any suggestions advice?

I think that’s all for now lol
Welcome to BYC!
First question, it depends on your girls. Sometimes it takes the egg factory some time to get working, so I would crack open the first few ones that look normal, don't try to hatch any that are tiny, and check for fertilization. Some of the first ones are just fairy eggs and don't even contain a yolk!
I don't know what you would get if you cross breed them but, it would also depend on what you plan to do with the duckies. If your raising them for your own personal flock or to eat etc. It doesn't really matter. I'll let someone who knows better than I answer that. @WVduckchick
Incubator or hen? Both! Your hens might be great momma's or they might get bored and abandon the nest mid incubation. Unproven broodies can be iffy. Plus your girls might just not get broody right away, or even when it's convenient for you.
As for which incubator again that depends on what you want out of it. Something small if it's just for you or something huge if you're planning on starting a business. An incubator is an investment. (And can sometimes cost an arm and a leg) some people will tell you to make your own or get a styrofoam one, other people will tell you to avoid them. If all possible, you might want to find out if you can borrow one from somebody before shelling out major dough.
 

WVduckchick

🐓🦆 For the Birds! 🦆🐓
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I agree, the first few eggs are probably not the best to incubate. They will increase in size a little, I think it’s usually 2-3 weeks to get full size.
My girls didn’t try to brood until they were about 9 months to a year old. So 20 weeks means yours hatched in March/April range, they may wait till next spring before they want to sit. Or be like one of mine and decide to sit in December. :rolleyes:

I don’t see any problem with Pekin/Swedish crosses. I think pekins lay white eggs, correct? My black Swedish laid grayish to white eggs, they started dark and got lighter over time. So it should be easy to tell which ones are pure Swedish if you wanted to stick with them.
 

Chirehe

Chirping
Jul 29, 2018
103
179
96
Arkansas
Thank you guys so much! Could I put duck eggs with a broody hen? We have 9 hens that have tried to hatch some unfertilized eggs would they go broody on a duck clutch?
 

WVduckchick

🐓🦆 For the Birds! 🦆🐓
Premium member
5 Years
Feb 9, 2015
47,506
117,745
1,682
West Virginia
My Coop
My Coop
Thank you guys so much! Could I put duck eggs with a broody hen? We have 9 hens that have tried to hatch some unfertilized eggs would they go broody on a duck clutch?
Depends somewhat on your own flock, but many a hen has been known to hatch ducklings!
 
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