First try at hatching call ducks failed, need some advice...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by mikecoscia, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. mikecoscia

    mikecoscia Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2009
    North Haledon, NJ
    I have two butters that I bought last year and the hen has been laying a clutch almost ever two weeks or so. I decided I wanted to add a few members to the flock [​IMG]

    Now I have breed reptiles for years (recently got out of it though) and no problems and figured that ducks could not be that much harder. I still have my still-air hovabator that I used with the reptile eggs, but decided to buy something a little more fancy. I picked up a little three egg holding r-com digital incubator . I thought it would be a lot more accurate with temps and its supposed to monitor humidity and all that. It also turned the eggs every three hours until 3 days before hatching and it automatically stopped.

    Well I had three call duck eggs in there, first never pipped internally, just died one me. Second one pipped internally, but never externally. I decided to help that one out as I read in posts by a forum member called Sundown I believe. After helping the little guy out I quickly found out his beak and head were malformed. Had to put him down, which was prob one of the hardest thing I ever did. The third egg I added three days later than the first and is still incubating. I am reluctant to even let it finish. It's scheduled to hatch on Monday.

    Anyway I am going to try this over again with another clutch and looking for suggestions. First I am going to ditch this digital incubator and go back to the hovabator and manual turn the eggs three times a day myself.

    Here are my questions...

    Should I use my still-air or by a turbo fan model?
    What's the best way to handle the humidity? Should I just fill up the bottom channels? How often should I mist the eggs?

    I just ordered a water wiggler and a brinsea spot check thermometer, so going to insert the probe into the wiggler so I know the internal temps of the eggs. Just need to find out if I need to order a new incubator or not and which model.

    Thanks for any suggestions glad I found this forum and looking forward to contributing in the future.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2009
  2. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    Columbus,IN
    Sorry can't help but maybe someone else can...
     
  3. mikecoscia

    mikecoscia Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2009
    North Haledon, NJ
    Actually been doing a lot of searching on this thread. The R-Com mini might not be the best incubator for call ducks. Put in an order for Brinsea Octagon 20 Eco, spotcheck thermometer, and a hygrometer. I think my biggest mistake was treating them like regular chicken eggs. Hopefully I am better prepared...this is the info I gathered so far about incubating Call Duck eggs. Let me know if I am missing anything...

    - Keep eggs cool (~60F) before incubation for up to 10 days
    - 26 day incubation period
    - 37.5c (99.5F) incubation temperature
    - 50-55% humidity up till pipping than raise to 70%
    - Cool eggs 10-15 minutes once a day (open top of incubator)
    - Manually turn eggs three times a day
    - Stop turning once they internally pipping
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  4. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    Forced air incubator is best.

    Also, start misting and cooling on day 10, not before that.
     
  5. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    Colorado
    Honestly, I'd let your calls hatch them for you! So much less stress. I can't wait to let my girls out of their breeding pen and back into the aviary so they can go broody.
     
  6. mikecoscia

    mikecoscia Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2009
    North Haledon, NJ
    Quote:Thanks Sundown, glad I picked up the Eco 20 than.


    Quote:I thought about that but really want to get the artifical incubation thing down for two reason. One I plan on ordering some white and gray call duck eggs once I figure this all out. Using my butter call ducks eggs as practice.

    Two hoping the ones that hatch will bond or at least tolerate me alot more than the parents. My butters want nothing to do with me. They won't even come up to me for food.

    Looks like my incubator will be arriving wed. The hen actually just laid 5 days ago but she sat on them for awhile than gave up as she was more interested in swimming. They were all yellow on candle, so not sure if they started developing and died off or not. Guess it won't hurt to try and through them in the incubator.
     
  7. Keisha

    Keisha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2007
    Iowa
    The brinsea octogon 20 eco is a good incubator, i just love mine. I check the temps three times a day when i turn the eggs, but its always right on what its suppsed to be so i never have to worry.
    I'd like to buy some call duck eggs to hatch out also, but I dont know much about hatching ducks, so I'll be interested to see how it goes for you in the Eco.

    - Cool eggs 10-15 minutes once a day (open top of incubator)

    Whats the reason to do that for?​
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009

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