Duck hatching advice

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by living2ride, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. living2ride

    living2ride Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 17, 2008
    Illinois
    My first batch of duck eggs (Golden Cascades) are on their way to my door. (Thanks Corancher!) I've been looking things up online, but wanted to ask all of you pros...
    What are the differences in hatching chickens and ducks? Besides the number of days til hatch of course... (Does this breed typically hatch in 28 days? Forgot to ask...) If one of my neighbor's ducks goes broody in the next month, I may even pull the ol' switcheroo on her and let her hatch and raise them the rest of the way. We'll see...
     
  2. Stormhorse23

    Stormhorse23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2007
    Indiana
    I've have better luck with turning them less. Weird thing, but it works. Dont ask how I know...
     
  3. twigg

    twigg Cooped up

    Mar 2, 2008
    Tulsa
    Quote:Ducks typically hatch on day 28, but can be as late as day 32 (actually the range for ducks is wider, but most are 28-32 days)

    They need turning until day 25 and need higher humidity throughout, typically 60% for 25 days, then 80%.

    Duck eggs can be dirty. If yours are you can either sanitise with egg wash (in which case watch the humidity, it may need to be a little lower) or scrape the worst off with sandpaper .... don't go mad [​IMG]

    Some advocate a brief cooling of around 15 mins per day, and/or, a light misting from a cold water sprayer once a day. It's not essential, but can help breed stronger ducklings
     
  4. living2ride

    living2ride Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 17, 2008
    Illinois
    Great! Thanks for the info. I'm using a still-air bator. What temps should I aim for? I have one thermometer for air temp, and an accurite w/ probe for a water wiggler.
     
  5. twigg

    twigg Cooped up

    Mar 2, 2008
    Tulsa
    Quote:You should aim for a steady temp of 99.5 in the wiggler (middle egg height) The temp at the top of the eggs is likely to be higher, maybe a degree above the recommendation for chicken eggs, as the eggs are larger. The wiggler is your new best friend tho.
     
  6. Crazy4Chicks

    Crazy4Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2007
    Glendale, AZ
    good luck with your hatch I just had my very first hatch of duck eggs over the weekend - they are muttducks from my own flock.

    this is what i did - but I am NO expert !! this was my first hatch of anything LOL

    I turned them 3 times a day - 7am - noon- and just before bed

    I did the mist thing and keep the eggs on a wet washcloth - not dripping wet but moist changed it every other day ( it will stink if you dont ).

    I added a rolled up washcloth in a swallow dish keep it soaked the whole time - also changed it every other day - all this water helped with humidity along with keeping the wells under the eggs filled.

    I candled them often ( just because I like to watch them grow [​IMG] )

    and just sat back and waited. one of mine hatched on day 29 the other two waited till day 30 - two were born with some yoke still attached but all survived and are doing great.

    Julie
     
  7. kartking22

    kartking22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2008
    Wisconsin
    Living2ride,
    Believe it or not, you can also place the duck eggs under a good setting hen. My parents had an abundant of duck eggs but my bators were full. I started by taking the eggs from under the hen and replacing them with the duck eggs. After a week of setting on the duck eggs, I allowed the hen to lay a few of her own eggs as well. She sat on the eggs for the whole incubation period and the ducklings and chicks hatched at the same time. The hen clucked and protected the ducks as well as the chicks. I just wonder what the rooster thought about this...........[​IMG]
     
  8. living2ride

    living2ride Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 17, 2008
    Illinois
    Quote:Funny you should mention this right now. I have never had a broody hen. I have often hoped and watched for a broody hen, but no one ever cooperated. BUT tonight, when I went out to lock up the gang, my one EE hen was in a nest box and showed NO signs of wanting to leave. So I gathered up the other eggs from the other boxes and set them on the edge of her box. She quickly reached out and slid each one underneath her without even getting up. I went ahead and locked up the rest of the flock and fed my other animals. Before heading back to the house, I peeked in on her again and she was still there, sitting on the eggs. I guess we'll see what's happening in the morning... Could a standard sized EE handle a DOZEN duck eggs though? Hmmm...
     
  9. living2ride

    living2ride Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 17, 2008
    Illinois
    Well, maybe not... That was the first time ever that that hen wasn't on the perch when I went out to lock them up at night, yet this morning, she was off the nest, the eggs were cold and she was up on the perch with her comrades. Shoot! Guess I'll be doing it the hard way.

    I'm getting my other bator regulated now and I think I'm going to run into town and pick up another thermometer (or ten.) After temp problems using one thermometer last month, I'm sticking in as many as possible from now on. [​IMG] I need to remember to leave room for the eggs though. [​IMG]

    I really appreciate all this advice. It's always nerve-wracking the first time you try something new. Now, Ms. Mailwoman, bring on the ducks!
     
  10. kartking22

    kartking22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2008
    Wisconsin
    Living2ride,
    Don't give up on the natural form of incubating. Some hens are born to be hatchers, others just layers.
    I found this out last year when one of my hens that was setting was so stupid that she couldn't remember which nest that her eggs were in. I actually had to pull her off of one nest and put her back on her own eggs. She did actually hatch her eggs eventually but forgot where her chicks were. Most of them died except for one whom we gave the name of Tabitha. From the Bible of the woman that was brought back from death. Tabitha actually grew up and hatched a brood of her own. It's sort of a happy ending that should have turned out as a disaster.

    Keep you hopes up and don't let the little things let you down.
     

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