HELP....First time hatching duck eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Paulanc, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. Paulanc

    Paulanc New Egg

    Apr 9, 2016
    This is my first time hatching duck eggs. I do not have an incubator and I'm using a plastic container with a heat bulb from my babies chickens. I know it needs to be between 99 and 101 in temp, I have a bowl of water in the container with the eggs....
    I am only doing 6 eggs right now until I know if this will work.
    Do I need to keep it closed with the light heating the lid to keep it warmer and the humidity higher for them?
    I know I have to turn them and mist often for each?
    How long does it take for them to hatch?
    When can I candle them and see if they are fertile?

    Thanks for any help!

    This is what it looks like.....what if anything do I need to change?
  2. Paulanc

    Paulanc New Egg

    Apr 9, 2016
    At this time I do have Saran Wrap over the top instead of the dark plastic lid
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    Most ducks take 28 days to hatch, but some breeds can take as long as 35 days (Muscovys). Be careful with your misting and humidity, all eggs need to loose about 13-15% of their original weight to hatch. The best way to see if your eggs are loosing the proper amount of moisture is to weigh them, or candle them to monitor air cell growth (there are many charts online that show progression of air cell day by day). Do you have a hygrometer in there so you have an idea of what the humidity is?
    You will probably be able to see if they're alive somewhere around days 7-10. You should see veins starting to form and perhaps a little black dot that bounces around (the embryo).

    Be very careful buttoning that container up with plastic wrap. Oxygen is VERY important to the developing embryos. Without proper air circulation, your developing ducklings will suffocate and expire. I'd poke some ventilation holes in the plastic wrap and on the side of your container.

    Honestly, you can buy incubators fairly cheaply. And you could make one even cheaper. You may want to consider one of those options if you plan on hatching again in the future. I've used the heat lamp and box method to finish up eggs that were abandoned by a hen (before I got an incubator), but I've never had any luck doing it that way from start to finish. Even just finishing them, I still had to help them hatch because I couldn't keep the humidity high enough to keep the membrane from sticking to them and trapping them in the shell. Hopefully you'll do better than I did :fl

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