Call duck question...problem with incubation, HELP!


In the Brooder
12 Years
Oct 21, 2007
Louisa, VA
I've been raising a few call ducks for a couple of years now, but I've recently ran into a sad problem. Last fall I bought the cutest pair of magpie call ducks at a sale. The female is extremely small, much smaller than my other ducks. I couldn't wait for spring, so I put them in a breeding pen with lights in late January. She started right up laying, and I set her eggs every week. All were fertile, but they all seem to die in their shells at about 20 day. I probably set 30 of her eggs, and not one has made it to hatch time. I was wondering if it could be a disease or malnutrition in the pair? Could it be just lighting them and getting them to lay too early?

I read somewhere about the small size being a problem, could this be it? My other ducks are not show quality in any way, I think to big. So when I got her I thought I really found a good one! I also saw a paragraph somewhere on the web about oyster shell being a problem. They really attacked it, so I gave them all they wanted. Is that bad?

Please help! It's the saddest thing to pull out those tiny black and white ducklings and see how perfect they were! I would love to hatch some pieds, but maybe I'll have to stick with greys and snowys!

Any great sites on the web would be appreciated, too!
I have no experience with ducks but I would like to offer this -

Have you considered it might be a genetic combination? Either your female or the male just doesn't have good genetics that can carry a young duckling to hatch and it dies early in the shell?

Just something to think about.
Where in Louisa? I am in Orange, neighbor
I thought it might be genetics, will try her eggs again soon now that she can breed with my other males. Do you know of any duck genetics that could do this? I know about the short legged japs having this problem, just wondering if there are things like that with ducks.

I'm about 4 miles west of the town of Louisa! I go the the town of Orange all the time! Small world. Do you live near town?
I am off Hwy 522.

You know it might not be a breed genetics problem but isolated to either the female or the male. I know there is someone here with a similar problem with a beautiful (chicken) hen. She lays fertile eggs when mated but none of them come to a point of hatch.

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