Help me figure out what went wrong?


10 Years
Jul 30, 2009
Charlotte, NC Area
I have 18 eggs in the incubator that are on Day 7/8 (I put them in the bator last Tuesday morning). Not a single one of them is showing any development that I can see, and I can usually tell by Day 5 whether they are any good. So, what is going on? They ALL look like clear/infertile eggs. Here are some details:

The eggs are from three laying ducks. Two are first-year layers with about a month's experience before I started collecting for hatching. The third is a second-year layer. The eggs were collected over about a week's time. Some nights the temps dipped below freezing and the eggs were very, very cold in the morning--possibly frozen. But some mornings the eggs were still warm from the ducks, so I'm sure they weren't *all* frozen before being brought in. It is also possible that some eggs were infertile. Both drakes (there are eight hens and two drakes total) are in their first year and may not be very efficient yet. However, when I crack eggs open, most are fertile, so it would be surprising if *all* of the collected eggs were infertile.

As for the incubator, I had four successful hatches in it last year. It is a Hovabator circulating air incubator with automatic turner. I'm fairly sure the temps are right--I am using an accurite AND an air/milk/meat thermometer from Hoegger's Goat Supply company (guaranteed accurate to within .1 degree). Both read between 99.5 and 100 degrees F.

What else could it be? What am I missing?


Thanks-- (and by the way, I won't be throwing anything away until at least Day 10, and even then I will carefully open one or two before giving up)
It is completely normal for duck eggs to be infertile this time of year. If temperature was perfect and you had no development at all, they were almost certainly infertile. Duck eggs can be stored at very cold temperature for several days and still be viable. I have had them hatch even when they felt almost frozen.
Thank you!! I'm just really surprised, because so many of the eggs that I crack open to eat are fertile--I look every single time, and out of about a dozen eggs, only one or two will be infertile.

Still, I really appreciate that. I guess I'll start running small test batches once a week or so until I see development. Is it possible for the eggs to *look* fertile (i.e., have the bullseye instead of a simple little dot on the yolk) but not really be viable for further development? It's just weird. Now I can't wait to get those eggs open and check them. Unfortunately, I just gave away my last dozen eating eggs, so I have to store up some eaters before I can start a batch of hatchers.

Thanks again for the feedback--I really appreciate it.

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