hatching duck eggs, day 26 question


Dec 9, 2015
Hello! I am currently incubating 15 duck eggs for a school project, it is now day 26 and only a few of the eggs have wobbled, and I have felt several pecking against their shells, but not all of them. I candled the eggs on day 17 and they were all alive and developing. I stopped rotating the eggs today and I am not planning on opening the incubator until they hatch, but i'm just a little bit concerned that not all of them seem to be moving. I don't believe any of them have pipped internally, I definitely haven't heard any cheeping. is this normal? I have noticed that the ones I haven't seen moving are farther from the heater in the incubator, could it be that they will just hatch later than the other chicks because they weren't quite as warm?


6 Years
Aug 29, 2014
Panama City, FL
This sounds perfectly normal. They will have bouts of movement, followed by periods of rest. Unless you sit there and watch them for hours on end (I'll admit I have done this) then you are likely to miss some of them moving.

There is a possibility that if some of the eggs were in a cool spot for the entire incubation, they may be a little delayed in their development and may hatch later than some of the other eggs. Ducks take their time hatching, so just be patient with them and give them an extra day or two after their due date before condemning any of them. It's also not a bad idea, for next time, to rotate where the eggs are throughout the incubation so that the same eggs aren't always in a cool/warm spot.

If you do have some that don't hatch and you have given them some extra time, candle them to check for movement and listen for peeps. If you suspect they didn't make it, before you chuck them, make sure you open them up (carefully and very slowly, starting at the air cell) to get confirmation. Incubation isn't an exact science and all sorts of factors will affect the length of incubation time.

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