First Timer: Mallard Eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Snipes, May 15, 2010.

  1. Snipes

    Snipes Songster

    May 15, 2010
    Okay, I am getting 8 mallard eggs in about a week and a half after learning about what caring for them will involve. Now I am trying to figure out I am going to hatch the darn things. I have been doing some research on the site and I am trying to pick up as many details as I can about them so that I will end up hatching at least some. This is my first time hatching anything, so here's my fingers crossed. I would love someone to tell me their successes (and failures) with hatching mallard eggs.
    Here is what I know for sure, or think I know, right now
    -Hatching timeline is 28 days, and I think I know what to look for when candling and what days to do it.
    -Duck eggs are more porous than chicken eggs
    -Eggs should be turned an odd number of times is hand-turned
    -Temps should be about 98-100 F more or less (as per duckeggs site)
    -Stop turning around day 25 as this is "lockdown" and you up the humidity as well. Ducklings, if alive, will be at the end stages and pipping to me and thinking about breaking out.
    That is about the only solid info I have.
    I will be attempting this with a Hovabator 1602-N with an automatic egg turner.
    Here are main pieces I am not sure about
    -Humidity: from, it seems that 86% days 1-25 and 94% after, but lots of the pages I am going through here say considerable less, as low as 30% with one thread saying that a book says to keep the eggs at a lower humidity actually, than chicken eggs.
    -Cooling/misting- I have read about possible bringing the eggs out and cooling them for 10-15 minutes and then spraying them with 100 F water. I also have conflicting info about whether to spray at all, and if spraying, which days to.
    -Automatic turner vs hand turner- I have read that hand turning has better results, as well as duck eggs should be on their sides. My automatic turner looks like you have to stand them up rather than keep them on their side. Which method should I do?

    ooh, I'm sure I have more questions, but right now I can't remember what else....Really I would just love for people to chip, or chirp, in with methods to success, and methods that resulted in failure that I should avoid.
  2. quail kid1

    quail kid1 Songster

    Mar 20, 2010
    The most recommended humidity is 40% - 55% you do not want it more than 55% as if they hatch they have more chances of not making it
    Also Im incubating some Indidan Runner duck eggs at the moment and have the humidity at 43% - 45% and in lockdown Ill upp the humidity 65%-70%. I spary the eggs with warm water every 4 days or so. I have geard like you that with duck eggs you have better chances of hatching if turned on their sides. Also I am not too sure but 98F seems a tiny bit too low, maybe 99F- 100.5F

    quail kid1:D
  3. One Acre Wonder Farm

    One Acre Wonder Farm Songster

    Feb 20, 2009
    Here's what I do for my own (not shipped) duck eggs. Temperature 99-100, humidity 30-40 for the first 25 days then up it to 60-65 for the last three. I have never sprayed/cooled and I have super hatches [​IMG]

    good luck with your hatch, hope it goes well!!
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  4. Snipes

    Snipes Songster

    May 15, 2010
    Thanks for the replies. About the eggs on the sides, should I just not use the automatic egg turner then? I have not seen it in person, but in pics it looks like you have them sitting straight up rather than being on their sides.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: