Duck hatching question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jberger10, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. jberger10

    jberger10 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2010
    So I have duck eggs in the incubator right now. Some are blueish green and some are white. There are 7 of them. They have been in there 20 days now. The I got them from said some of them are muscovy ducks and those apparently take 35 days instead of the regular 28 days for ducks. Any suggestions about lockdown?
     
  2. jberger10

    jberger10 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2010
    anybody....?
     
  3. tigerrrrrrrlilly

    tigerrrrrrrlilly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    are you using an egg turner or turning by hand? do you know which eggs are the muscovy? Muscovy should be white with a greenish tint.
     
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Do you know which are muscovy? If not, you're going to have a bit of a time of it, but it should be okay anyway. Here is what I would do:

    Candle the eggs regularly so you get a good feel for how they are developing. By Day 25, eggs that will hatch on Day 28 should be nearly completely dark inside except the bright air cell in the large end. You may see *some* veining, but mostly you'll see dark. You may be able to see the baby pushing against the inside of the membrane, or possibly even a little bill in the air sac. Eggs that look this way are ready for lockdown.

    Your muscovy eggs will probably not be that developed. You will probably still see a lot of veining and the embryo kicking around in the fluids. Those eggs won't be ready for lockdown yet.

    If they are all ready for lockdown, great--go for it--you've got mallard derivatives. If none are ready for lockdown then great, keep candling daily until they are--you've got muscovies.

    If you've got a mix, you're going to have to make some judgment calls. My approach would be this:

    Take them all out of the auto turner (if you're using one). Raise the humidity into the 60s, but not much higher. Place most of the sources of humidity on one side of the incubator, and put your locked down eggs on that side. Mark them carefully so you don't get confused. Place the remaining eggs on the opposite side of the incubator in a styrofoam egg carton propped securely at a 45-degree angle.

    Three times a day, raise the humidity as high as it will go by adding water through the vent holes (you can use a straw or aquarium tubing for this). Quickly but carefully open the incubator, prop the egg carton to the opposite direction, close the incubator.

    Your first batch will hatch around Day 28, but may still be in the bator as late as Day 30. As soon as they are done drying out, remove them to the brooder. Remove all the gunk and shells from the hatch, remove the sources of humidity, clean the incubator quickly but well (don't bleach though). Return the remaining eggs to the bator and continue to turn until Day 32.

    Then lock down your remaining eggs and go.

    Good luck. Sounds like a complicated hatch, but I'll bet you can do it. [​IMG]
     
  5. jberger10

    jberger10 Out Of The Brooder

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    Im not using an auto turner but the incubator than I made allows me turn the eggs from the outside. I have no idea which are muscovies and which are mallards. The lady i got the eggs from also has harlequin ducks which would be pretty cool to have!
     
  6. tigerrrrrrrlilly

    tigerrrrrrrlilly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] excellent explanation, The only change (for me) would be the egg carton, I don't have luck with moving eggs that have been incubating on their side into egg cartons late in the hatch. The egg cartons have only worked for me when I started out with them. Also my duck eggs have not done as well as chicken eggs using egg cartons, even using them from day 1. I also noticed they gave me humidity trouble, styrafoam ones might work better [​IMG]
    I have done staggered hatches quite a bit with chickens and ducks together, I just cut a piece of plastic for a short barrier that fits across my bator to keep my earlier hatchers from disturbing the rest of my eggs. Ducks are pretty tough, if you dont open the bator for too long at a time, or more than necessary to turn 3x, and keep the temp/humidity mostly steady throughout, I think you will be ok.
     
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    If you can turn from outside, then you're in good shape. Just leave the ones not ready to hatch in the turner, and place the others on their sides. You'll be running a higher-than-recommended humidity for those still in the turner, but I've done it without trouble in the past, and it's just for a few days.

    The key, though, is to candle and figure out which are which, so you know when to stop turning and raise the humidity.

    Good luck!!
     
  8. tigerrrrrrrlilly

    tigerrrrrrrlilly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they all went in at the same time, you can candle now and see which are closer to hatch, those will be non-muscovy, [​IMG]
     

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