Ducklings offgrid


Jan 17, 2018

We are about to get 8 Rouen ducks; 6 females and 2 males.
The females are one and two years old.
We would like to try incubating some of their eggs, and raising their ducklings, but are unsure of what is a reasonable amount. We have raised over 100 chicks at one time, but are wondering how much more work it is to raise ducklings? We have been thinking about incbuating 40 eggs and hopefully hatching >30. Is this crazy?

Of note, we are currently off grid. We can keep the ducklings in town at one of our offices for a few weeks (3-4), but I imagine the smell and noise will quickly become too much, and they will wearout their welcome.
I have used the warm water jug trick succesfully before with the chicks, but was wondering if anyone had additional tricks for off grid?
We could install a small wood stove in the barn and thought maybe this would be sufficient in keeping them warm over the cool evenings. Has anyone tried such a thing before?
Ducks are a little tricky to hatch so I always set a bigger number usually 30 to 40 eggs. They do tend to be messier than chicks though but grow rather quickly. As far as keeping them warm I guess it really depends on your climate I've never tried to raise them without a heat light maybe someone else can help with that part. I hope you have great success with them!
What kind of hatch success do you typically expect with your experience (considering incubator brand and what not)?
At how many weeks do you usually put them outside? I have been reading some articles of people keeping them under heat up to 8 weeks.
When I first started hatching eggs I was using a still air little giant incubator from tractor supply I never had a decent hatch rate with it when hatch ducks it was great for chicks though. I recent bought a hova bator and I've had a much better experience with it around 80% hatch rate with it it's forced air and I don't use and automatic turner. I set 30 eggs this go around I had 7 that died very early I have 23 due to hatch by Wednesday I'm still learning with the duck eggs they are in my opinion a lot harder than chicks but that's just me lol I generally have a 90 to 95 % hatch rate with chicks. As far as putting them out side I usually move mine out around 6 weeks depending on how fast they get their feathers and when they hatch I hatch all year around so this hatch will probably get to go out around 6 weeks depending on Mother Nature. The recommendation is too keep them at 95 degrees the first week then start dropping 5 degrees a week after.
Agree, ducks are super messy and lots of ducks even more so!
I guess it really depends on your tolerance for the mess and smell.
I'd suggest hatching when the weather will permit moving them out at 2-3 weeks. Ducklings do grow fast, and with several, they will keep each other warm with limited extra heat.

Hatching them is super fun!

Good luck with your hatch Danielle, let us know how it goes! :)

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