fertile or not how to tell?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by stargazingmommy, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. stargazingmommy

    stargazingmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How do I tell if my ducks eggs are fertile?
    With the broody hen, I was tempted to stick one under her and see what happens, but, they were so cold when I grabbed the 4 eggs I'm not sure it would be worth it.
     
  2. duckdad

    duckdad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 4, 2011
    If I understand the question,
    As far as I know, the eggs can sit for up to a week before they have to be incubated either by you or a hen sitting. The temp has to get to a certain level to initiate the process then it has to be maintained for the next 28 days...

    If the egg IS fertile you can candle after about a week and see veins growing toward the air-sack in the end of the egg. Candle everyday if you want, to see the progress. Just be sure to turn them and do not shake. Be gentle. I've used this guideline successfully having hatched lost or random eggs that were dropped away from a nest. Got one hairy little beast right now thats never even seen a nest...much less a hen. Found her egg far away from the only nest ( that had been raided by a raccoon and destroyed) .
     
  3. stargazingmommy

    stargazingmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:All good to know thanks, I did stick a couple under the broody chicken. My kid asked what i'm trying to do to the chicken and what will she think when she hatches a duck.
     
  4. duckdad

    duckdad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 4, 2011
    Kids come up with the best questions....

    From the chickens perspective, that would be strange. Knowing how ducks imprint, the duckling would grow up at home with the chickens.
    The way my 2 big ducks sit together looking at me sometimes...I've wondered what they must be thinking...."hey, did ya ever notice that we don;t look much like dad?" [​IMG]

    From whats I've seen of our "pond ducks" they will lay a full clutch of eggs (10 to 15) and sometimes let them alone for days before settling in for the duration. Once they take a seat, not much gets them off. To feed or fight...thats about it, for minutes at a time. There are always a few eggs that are not fertile, some that die during incubation and a small percentage that make it the 28 days to hatching. If the stars align, some hatch. This is in a semi wild setting where the hatch % can be as low as 2 in 12. To increase the odds I will collect about 1/2 and incubate them myself, and even then the hatch is low due to the semi-wild start of the process and many not fertile or they stop developing due to bacteria or disease. Duck eggs are sensitive because of the more dirty nature of duck nest. I do not know how they know, but a hen will roll out the bad eggs from her nest sometimes.

    If your duck continues to lay, take the eggs you have and make a simple starter incubator out of a heating pad and a box of some sort thats lined with towels. Keep it around 99-100 degrees for the first week. You should be able to see development inside if fertile and then you can decide to return them or incubate... If you do it yourself, read on the subject. There is more to it than waiting...
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
  5. stargazingmommy

    stargazingmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm honestly not to fussed if it doesn't hatch...it's more a fun wait and see type thing, and since the chick is broody...perfect addition to the experiment. I was really hoping miss broody would have gotten over it by now. but nooooo she insists on sitting on her little nest day in and day out.
     

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