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help! hatching duck eggs?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by nettie, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

    Nov 20, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    i'm considering hatching some duckies in order to get the duckling i want and be the first person there when they are hatching. I have never hatched eggs before but from what i researched i should be capable. It was suggested to me that i hatch my own eggs or ask someone in my area who's hatched eggs before to hatch them for me. (pay them a fee of course, thye could also keep any other babies that hatch). This actually sounds like a great idea, but i would HAVE to be the first to see them when they hatch...like get a call on the hatch day when they pip. if the hatcher has children they'd have to wait to see them until after i get there... this sounds like a big favor to ask of children, lol.

    so i contemplated buying a small incubator and doing it myself, but i have no idea how hard it is. I'd have to go by books and online.

    Also, does anyone still have Swedish hatching eggs? anyone in Alabama (or in the areas/states surrounding?) willing to hatch them for me? anyone have any luck with small incubators... is it hard to do on a small scale?
  2. muscovy94

    muscovy94 Songster

    Nov 11, 2008
    Vicksburg, MS
    hey hatching ducks eggs is very simple. you just have to know to turn them an odd number of times a day, and to mist them with water. sorry I dont have any blue swedish, not really sure if they are still laying, but im sure someone on here has some eggs you can have. [​IMG]
  3. calmlake

    calmlake In the Brooder

    Nov 23, 2008
    Mt. Holly
    I assume you are trying to get an imprinted duckling from this as imprints usually happen when a human parent is the first thing they meet after hatching but it is not to be recommended. Ducks are flock animals and grow lonely with no other ducks around. if you do imprint the duck seldom interacts with other ducks, considering itself human. that said incubators can be bought cheaply enough and some even rotate the eggs and supply correct humidity. I do suggest you do not try to create an imprint since it will be lonely most of the time you are not around.

  4. cayuga mommy

    cayuga mommy In the Brooder

    Nov 20, 2008
    Hatching duck eggs isn't that hard. I did my first hatch when I was only 11 years old. I used an Little Giant Still Air Incubator with an Auto Turner ( I was, and still am too lazy to turn the eggs myself ). Ugh, I can still remember how impatient I was.
    I was so worried that I the eggs wouldn't hatch. And when I candled them for the first time I litteraly ran around my WHOLE ENTIRE house and yard yelling and singing "I'm gonna be a momma! I have real ducklings in the incubator!" ( wow, what my parents must have been thinking! ).
    It was an ok hatch. I had the eggs shipped to me, so, I ended up with a couple not hatching due to funked out air sacks ( the air sacks got jossled during shipping ). But, I only ended up with 4 Infertile out of 14. And then out of the 10 only 5 hatched. But, for a first incubation and the fact that I was only 11 and had to be at school half the time, I think it was a pretty good hatch.

    I am assuming you want to be the first one the ducklings see because you want them to imprint on you. The truth is, they dont inprint on a single person. They inprint on a certain species, so to say. They wont bond with a certain human till they are about 4 or 5 days old. But, if a human is the first thing they see they will be inprinted on all humans. They DON'T recognize anyone human till they are around a week old. But, they can already be inprinted on a voice.
    If you choose to incubate the eggs yourself then everytime you candle the eggs just basically talk to them. And -one th eggs hatch-when you come and feed the ducklings just talk to them. In your normal voice. And they will be inprinted on your voice.
    With my first batch I talked everytime I candled ( which, I did a little too much, now that I realize it ) them. And from about day 3 they were totally inprinted on humans. And completly inprinted on my voice.

    So, it doesn't really matter which human is THE FIRST they see. As long as it is a human. And as long as you spend lots of time interacting with them, I dont think you will have any trouble.

    As for the incubator, I suggest you use either a Little Giant Still Air incubator or a Hova-Bator both work really well, and both can be ordered with a turner. And they usually only cost between $30-50 without the turner and $60-90 with the complete Incubator/Auto-Turner.

    If you do decide to incubate the eggs yourself then you can buy eggs offline like Ebay, Eggbid, Ovabid and.....well...here!
    In the spring you can also get eggs from Mcmurray hatchery.

    I hope that this helped.
  5. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I didn't get an incubator... I just stuck them under my hens who hatched them for me. Since they hatched I took them inside to a brooder where they hang out with us in the bathroom. Funny enough, I was only there when one hatched and not the first one. (2 total)

    They are both kinda akward, but like me just the same. We have them around my daughter, myself and my husband daily. Though the chickens raised them the first 3 days of life... they seem to be doing just great with us. [​IMG]
  6. Smartie_Pants

    Smartie_Pants Songster

    Oct 5, 2008
    Madisonville, KY
    This is totally not a good idea, I have to say it. You are expecting something that is probably not going to happen. Ducks aren't lap animals generally. I have hatched well over 50 and raised them from day olds. Even though I handled them all the time and gave them all my attention, once grown they don't want to be touched or held.

    Asking to be called when they pip is very unreasonable. It can take up to 24-30 hours after the eggs pip for the chick to actually come out and they probably aren't going to let you stay in their house that long. They also may be at work, gone somewhere, or wanting private time when it happens at not be able to tell you.

    If you hatch them yourself, beware of the type of incubator you get. I used a LG Still Air and it is not good for hatching chicks. Them temp. gauge is super sensitive and fluxates a lot. The biggest problem though is that the ducks are too tall. When they hatch out and try to stand, they hit their heads on the heating element. With all that I hatched in mine (10 or so) I had to take them out immeadiatly after hatch because they just kept burning their heads. I had to blowdry them and keep them under the heat lamp with some warm towls.

    An imprinted duck is a handicapped duck. They don't recognise predators and loose their natural instincts. I see that you wanted a crested swedish. Crested ducks result as a genetic defect. Often times they develop mental and physical hadicaps as they mature. Are you prepared for that?
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2008
  7. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

    Nov 20, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    just so everyone is clear, i already have two ducks... one which didn't imprint on me (mingMei my female brown runner) and the other (victor, supposedly male fawn/white runner) did. Ming mei was ordered online from a hatchery and she was sexed before i got her. Victor i got from a local farm by my old house and got him befor ehe hatched (i talked to him before he came out and was the first person there).
    There is a HUGE difference in the way they are with people. ming mei acts more like a typical duck and doesn't ever come by us. she hates to be picked up and she doesn'ty sit by us anymore. Victor is a totally different duck. He's still skittish but loves to be held and will sit endlessly with you. he likes to be held on his back (kinda like a baby) and have his head rubbed. if you stop rubbing, he quacks and nips at your finger until you start again.

    I had huge success with victor and it was due to the imprint. Both ducks were raised inside my bedroom and had tons of contact with me. both were picked up a lot and treated the same. Ming Mei is two weeks older than Victor and had us all to herself for those first two weeks. Victor has always been around mingmei and loves his 'sister'. he follows her around and looks to her for protection (even though he's way bigger). They keep each other company all the time and both are very happy ducks. My ducks spend a LOT of time inside. They have two indoor pens and an indoor play area off my patio. they get to go outside whenever they want(they have an outdoor coop and a pool), but they prefer to be inside by us.

    so i have no worries about the imprint. I know others that have had huge success with it as well.

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