HELP!!! My duck eggs are not hatching

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by zebralady, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. zebralady

    zebralady Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 12, 2013
    Vancouver, Washington
    I am trying to hatch out mallard eggs. They are fertile and they make it to the hatch date but, usually die in the egg before hatching. When I crack open the egg I find a fully formed duckling that has not absorbed the yolk of the egg even 2 weeks after hatch date). I keep the incubator at about 99.7 degrees Fahrenheit and try to keep the humidity at 35-40% I have an automatic egg turner and when the eggs are near to hatch date I move them to a separate incubator with a temp of 98.6 and 80% humidity, with a mesh floor and no turner. Does anyone have an idea what may be going on? Some of the eggs are WAY past their hatch date and there have been a few that I could detect no movement when candling for a few days so I opened them assuming that the duckling was dead, only to find a live duckling attached to a greenish yolk that has a nasty odor....some are just really really behind. I have unwittingly killed 3 ducklings because of lack of movement and being so absolutely behind their hatch date.

    I don't know what I am doing wrong. I am expecting the eggs to hatch by 28-30 days (I know that mallards are a bit less (26-28 days)) but, I am giving them a little bit more time.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. We really really want these little guys to hatch.

    Thanks so much for helping me get these little guys out into the world alive!!!
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Take a look at the Stickies. There are two related to hatching waterfowl.

    The Stickies link is at the top of the Duck Forum Index. That will take you to a list of Stickies, and you can find the threads there.
  3. The Chickeneer

    The Chickeneer ~A Morning's Crow~

    Usually, this is a sign of the temperature being too low. When the temp is too low, they develop much slower and less healthier than they should.

    The temp you mentioned you have it at sounds right, but maybe:
    You have a still air incubator (no fan) so the air isn't circulating as much, meaning you should raise the temp to 100 to 101 degrees
    The thermometer is inaccurate
    The thermometer is placed on top of the eggs, closer to the heating element, so it reads a higher temperature then what the eggs are actually experiencing below it

    Also, typically people have tend to have higher hatches with mallards(waterfowl in general) when they have the humidity higher. 55%-65% the first weeks, then 80%+ the last three days. I know that Metzer farms, a hatchery that specializes in waterfowl, incubates at 86% humidity and hatches at 94%. They make a lot of money doing this so they must be doing something right.

    Good luck with your next hatch, hope this helped. [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.

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