Hatching muskovey questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by keyt1969, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. keyt1969

    keyt1969 Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is my 3rd round hatching Muskovey crosses. Last time I had to help 4 of them out of the eggs because they were all sticky. This time it's looking the same. 6 have had their beaks sticking out of the eggs for 3 days. Do they normally take this long? Are they normally really sticky? I've never had this much trouble with other duckling hatches.
     
  2. FarmrGirl

    FarmrGirl MooseMistress

    851
    9
    136
    Jul 1, 2009
    Southern Maryland
    muscovy can be difficult to hatch. They often need encouragement to come out of the shell... I try to coordinate their hatch with other breeds so that when the others pop out of their shell and begin peeping it cues the Muscovy to come out too. If I don't have other babies to put in with them I use a recording of babies cheeping to assist. It's not uncommon to help them out of the shells tho. If they've been in there for 3 days after pipping I would help them break out of the shell right away.

    ETA: also, try upping your humidity during those last 3 days... sounds like there's not enough moisure in the membrane.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  3. keyt1969

    keyt1969 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you! It's good to know I'm not the only one who has problems. I now have 5 happy little babies in the brooder. I checked on them when I went to bed at 3am. I feel bad because one of them died with it's beak popped out of the egg but it didn't get any farther. I know it's part of this incubating thing but it still makes me feel bad. I had to help the last two by removing the outer shell but that's it.

    I did increase the humidity but it didn't seem to help. No more Muskovey eggs for me if I can help it! But if I do try it again, I will be sure to coordinate their hatching with others. Thanks again!
     
  4. FarmrGirl

    FarmrGirl MooseMistress

    851
    9
    136
    Jul 1, 2009
    Southern Maryland
    Quote:sorry you lost one... I really hate it when that happens. In the past, I've waited too long thinking that they had to do it on their own. But these days, if my ducks have their bills poking out but aren't attempting to hatch further for more than 24 hours I start to slowly break away shell for them. If I see any blood I stop but come back within 6 hours to try again. Some babies just aren't motivated enough I guess, but once I get them out they're happy and healthy [​IMG]
     
  5. FeatheredObsessions

    FeatheredObsessions Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 24, 2010
    Oregon
    I find muscovy to be harder than other ducklings to hatch too. I have heard that is why many people let the hens keep their eggs.
     
  6. keyt1969

    keyt1969 Chillin' With My Peeps

    My hen doesn't want her eggs. Actually, none of my 24 ducks will sit on eggs. I should try to let my silkies sit on them, they sit on anything lol

    I once mentioned on the Michigan thread that I helped skovie eggs before. I got hell for that. But all the ducklings I have helped are happy and healthy. I did it for 15+ years with reptile eggs when I bred, raised and rescued all kinds of reptiles. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't just me that had trouble. They look NOTHING like skovies. 2 are totally blond and skinny like my runners and two are all black with white bibs so they could be from the cayuga drake. That's ok, they're cute and healthy and super happy, that's all I care about! [​IMG]
     
  7. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Well keyt, I find it really amusing when people who incubate eggs freak out over people helping babies out of eggs. It's already totally unnatural and I can't imagine anyone being able to see a baby trying to get out and just leave it there. It's confusing to me where people decide to draw the line. In the end, you just have to do what you think is right. It's all any of us can do. I know people have given duck eggs to hens to brood. If it gives them a better shot than incubation, I say go for it. I'm pretty sure theron incubates at least some of his muscovy eggs and the clutch I got my ducklings from only had 5. I don't know if he incubates smaller clutches or if they're just tricky to hatch. It may be that a lot of the kinks haven't been worked out of incubating them because muscovies tend to be broody so there just aren't as many people hatching them as other breeds like runners who are known for not setting.
     
  8. keyt1969

    keyt1969 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wish any of my ducks were broody. Not one of them even try! Unfortunately the way things are set up with babies in one breeding pen and Gandalf, the huge rooster I got at chickenstock in the other, so I can't put breeding pairs in there. That might make a difference, who knows. I put several eggs in 2 incubators in time for chickenstock and some of them ended up being Muskovey eggs which just hatched. I had no choice but to help them. When I mentioned it on the Michigan thread, WOW someone got upset. I'm not going to let them die if I can help it. 5 out of 6 made it and they're now cute little fuzz butts!

    It would be SO much easier if any of my ducks were broody. But if people want my mixed ducklings, I will incubate them. So many people are afraid to eat duck eggs so I'd rather make them into cute little babies instead of letting eggs just sit in the fridge not being sold!

    I should talk to Theron. He seems like a very knowledgeable kid, maybe he has some tricks!
     
  9. txcarl1258

    txcarl1258 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,044
    27
    161
    Sep 11, 2010
    Pleasanton
    I have only hatched scovy eggs once and I didn't find them all that difficult to hatch. I used a still air LG and incubated them at 100 degrees for the entire time. Hand turned them three times a day and misted them with warm water each time I turned. Humidity was kept at 60% until lock-down then upped to 80%. I had 7 fertile eggs and 5 of them hatched. One died shortly after pipping, and I did have to help two hatch. My broody hatched out three at the same time so I gave the bator babies to the broody. She did a great job with them. I am going to order some more eggs to see if I just got lucky.
     
  10. keyt1969

    keyt1969 Chillin' With My Peeps

    What did you do to up the humidity? I had two damp sponges as well as the water in the bottom. I have two incubators, one a little giant, one an lg. The lg is the one I trust the most and the one I've incubated the skovies in. The temp I kept at 100 the whole time as well and I have also turned them 3x a day. I don't like turners. By doing it myself I can watch for trouble with eggs since I've already had one explode in my face!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by