First time incubating ducklings (any eggs)

wolfinator

Songster
7 Years
Aug 28, 2015
277
607
222
Mountains of Fayette County, WV
After a crazy time hatching ducklings via surrogates 4 weeks ago and ending up with 5 abandoned eggs, I got a new incubator to try and hatch them, now 4 as 1 wasn't fertile. My little emergency incubator was too small for 5 duck eggs.. I believe the settings for ducklings in the instructions were off from everything I read online (100.04°F instructions vs. 99.4°F online) but I had already started per instructions and tried keeping temperature between 99° and 100°F. Instructions also stated 60-75% humidity but I found out later 55-60% was recommended. The incubator I'm using is newer on the market (released 6/1/21), called "All-in-One Automatic Egg Incubator", it hatches up to 40 eggs. I've constantly struggled with temperature and humidity the entire 28 days and now it's day 29 almost 30 with nothing happening. At times the temperature went to 104° with 69% humidity next time it was 97° with 55% humidity. Water amount was good each time, I added a tiny amount every morning and rechecked several times a day. Also we apparently had a power outage 2 early mornings ago and the temperature dropped to 73°F with 45% humidity before I woke up to not hearing it running, neighbor said power was off about 4 hours. I've tried consulting the manufacturer by email but they were of no help.

I was wondering how long should I wait before gently opening their shells. I'm hand rotating every 6-8 hours because I'm afraid of using the automatic turner and hurting the ducklings if they hatch when I'm not inside or home. Just need some more experienced advice.

Thanks in advance.
 

wolfinator

Songster
7 Years
Aug 28, 2015
277
607
222
Mountains of Fayette County, WV
Did you use separate thermometer and hygrometer? Built in sensors are notorious for being inaccurate. Depending IF they're ready on day 28, it can take up to 48 hours to hatch, but if the eggs cooled off at points, it could delay hatch.
No, I didn't know I'd need them. I've never used an incubator for hatching. My emergency incubator was a 7 egg round style and I only used it about 8 hours after the surrogate hen crushed a duck egg from last clutch but the duckling sadly died. Fortunately, I had a broody duck at the time and was able slip them to her. Two days later 2 hatched, then the next day the other 2 hatched. These eggs were the ones that the duck was sitting on but only for about 2 days (June 8th or 9th) so I know it's been 30/31 days now. I collected the eggs every time she left the nest up to then, realized she was broody when she hissed at me. That was the 9th and there were 2 eggs under her. I took the 4 hen abandoned eggs and they hatched. She too left her eggs which was 7-8 by then, about 48 hours later. My others destroyed 2 eggs before I got to check and see if she'd returned to sit. The eggs were scattered, 2 broken so I grabbed the remaining and ran up to the house. The eggs were about 4-6 days gestation. I know 2 had moved from position but that was 2 days ago. I have a red line on them to track any movement and for turning.

When I go out later today, I'll get hermometer and hygrometer. I only had those for the room because the instructions said I needed to keep it between 74° and 80°F for better functionality. The room mainly was 77-79 by day and 72-75 nightly.

Now, should I still hand turn the eggs to be on safe side?

Thanks.
 
Last edited:

BirdsBeesTrees

Isaiah 5:20
Premium Feather Member
Mar 10, 2019
5,616
21,730
862
Iowa
I've got 1 that looks like it's trying to break through!!! Sure enough, the shell is slightly pushed outward. There's hope but I'm still definitely getting the hermometer and hygrometer today if not for these 4 but for future hatches.
Sounds like todays the day for pipping, and today or tomorrow for hatching! :D
 

missunderstood

In the Brooder
Jul 10, 2021
4
4
10
How exciting. I wouldn’t move eggs today at all especially w one pipped, it takes quite awhile to get the incubator correctly heated & the humidity set for it. Depending on which you get, the incubator would be in lockdown at this point which may make it harder to get stable. I don’t know.
But definitely keep the humidity up high, I just had 2 eggs shrink wrap, after a day and a half of trying to get out, that I ended up peeling and praying. One had pipped at the wrong end as well. After watching them for almost 2 days I went ahead and got the first one out, and about 4 hours later I got the second one almost out, but left the bottom of shell on because the yolk was still all over & not absorbed. They will be 2 weeks tomorrow and are huge and doing well. Good luck to you.
 

missunderstood

In the Brooder
Jul 10, 2021
4
4
10
Of course they are 10 times this size now, but here they are. No clue what kind they are, I was told they were pekin eggs but they are not pekin ducks.
 

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wolfinator

Songster
7 Years
Aug 28, 2015
277
607
222
Mountains of Fayette County, WV
How exciting. I wouldn’t move eggs today at all especially w one pipped, it takes quite awhile to get the incubator correctly heated & the humidity set for it. Depending on which you get, the incubator would be in lockdown at this point which may make it harder to get stable. I don’t know.
But definitely keep the humidity up high, I just had 2 eggs shrink wrap, after a day and a half of trying to get out, that I ended up peeling and praying. One had pipped at the wrong end as well. After watching them for almost 2 days I went ahead and got the first one out, and about 4 hours later I got the second one almost out, but left the bottom of shell on because the yolk was still all over & not absorbed. They will be 2 weeks tomorrow and are huge and doing well. Good luck to you.
The temperature is staying about 99°F and humidity 79-81%. I was extremely worried today about things, we had a horrible storm roll through with 60mph winds while out today. By the time I got the alert, it was too late to try and get home. Luckily power didn't go out this time. Although, my garden got hit hard - corn, peppers onions, lettuce was all laid over so hopefully the sun will do its magic again (last month storms laid corn over but all recovered). I depend on the garden for fresh foods to supplement my chickens, ducks and guineas.
 

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