I feel like I am incubating all wrong. Can you help?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by tlck68406, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. tlck68406

    tlck68406 New Egg

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    Oct 22, 2012
    Hey y'all,
    First off, I have to let you know I am in highschool, so I know very little about what I am doing. I live in the city and have very little experience with poltry!
    So, that being said, I have two Cayuga ducks. They were sent to me as a joke and I decided to keep them and try to raise money for college. I have put in weeks of research, but I still feel overwhelmed by what is happening.
    Last week, Rue began to lay. Yes, last week, in OCTOBER! I thought that this would not happen, so I am very worried all of my other research information may turn out to be false.
    I went out and bought a Little Giant bator with the automatic turner for when I am at school. I have a small tray of water (the container I got my chinese food in a few weeks ago) and the temp is between 99 and 101 degrees. It does not fluctuate a lot, but I do notice small changes every four to five hours. All of the eggs are set on the smaller, pointier end so that the little air bubble is at the top. It's 10/22/12 and she layed her first egg on 10/18/12. I want to make sure that I am doing my best to give these eggs life.

    • What more can I do?
    • How small is the lung that I should be seeing when I candel?
    • When do I begin candeling?
    • How often should I candel?
    • How can I encourage my ducks to give me more fertile eggs?

    Any tips you can offer are greatly appreciated! Thank you for reading such a long entry!

    ~Tori C.
     
  2. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    OK, first off, I don't know anything about ducks and haven't incubated any eggs yet (although I, too, have a Little Giant) but the first thing that came to mind is to wonder if your male (I'm assuming your other duck is male) has reached his sexual maturity yet? Have you seen him mount your female?

    I really hope that all your research and hard work pay off in little ducklings! Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    The little Giant has built in water trays in the bottom. The smaller one is usually all you need during incubating period until you take eggs out of turner and then the outer tray for water for last three days. I'm thinking duck eggs incubate 28 days so take the turner out night of day 24 and lay eggs flat. This last three days is called lock down as you should not touch your incubator or eggs during this time (unless you really need to add more water).

    If your incubator is a still air, not a forced air, then measure temp at top of eggs, heat rises so incubate at 101F, the average temp of egg will be 99F. Be real subtle when making any adjustments to the Little Giant as they are super sensitive. Nudge the thermostat and wait a few hours for eggs to settle to new heat before thinking it didn't change enough. Eggs act as a heat stabilizer if you have enough of them in so any adjustments take longer for full effect to show. Also if your temp fluctuates more than 3 degrees, 100-103F, you can add stones to your incubator to act as heat sinks (stabilizers).

    Maybe I should have asked this first; why are you incubating the first eggs? These smaller and erratic eggs are not ideal for incubating. The birds are just getting their reproductive systems in gear so a plethora things go wrong. Odd shaped, shell too thin, too thick, no shell at all, double yolkers and the list goes on. It's better to wait for them to get consistent large eggs. You'll see the eggs start getting bigger and soon will be uniform in size in a month or so.

    I'd eat these first eggs, not any you put in incubator of course. In doing so you can check for fertility to ensure your male is doing his job and also enjoy the main reason for having poultry- fresh egg! Also when you hatch it's best not to have it staggered in time. When your ready to hatch start saving the fertile eggs. They can be stored two weeks pointy end down in egg trays on a counter if rotated twice a day. To rotate simply put a book or other block under side of carton then move it to other side in twelve hours. It tilts the egg side to side twice a day, rotating. Once you stored enough eggs put all in at same time after the incubator is up to temp and middle water tray full.

    Well that was more than I intended to write. Anywho, enjoy eating the eggs they are tasty. Incubate when your ready, keep in mind you'll be brooding chicks 28 days later. And most of all just relax with your pet breakfast makers and have fun with it all.
     
  4. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Egghead Jr.: I know your reply was meant for Tori, but I want to thank you for your great information. I'll be incubating eggs in the spring time for the first time. I've been reading up on it and have gotten advice from others, but each person always has something new to add. =)
     
  5. tlck68406

    tlck68406 New Egg

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    Oct 22, 2012
    @egghead_jr- When will I know the eggs are erady? I understand that most eggs have problems, but mine seem fine. They have no deformities, each have one yolk (I candeled them once because I was very curious), and the shells seem thick. Well, the shells could be thicker on the last two she layed, but the first two have very thick shells- but not so thick that I feel they would be "unhealthy." Is it possible that her eggs are good enough to incubate? How thick should the shells be?
     
  6. tlck68406

    tlck68406 New Egg

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    Oct 22, 2012
    @Countrygoddess- Yes. The first time I saw it I thought her was trying to kill her and I yelled at him. Then I did some more research and found out that ducks are the roughest birds out there when it comes to mating. Since that traumatic moment he has mounted her several time- that I have seen- and I have no doubts about what they do when everyone is gone and they are all alone.

    And I hope that it turn out well, too!
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Search for incubating duck eggs posted by Yinepu. SHe is a master hatcher. Numbers can add up fast-- have a plan on how to deal with the hatchlings and where you will house them. Good Luck.
     
  8. tlck68406

    tlck68406 New Egg

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    Oct 22, 2012
    AAAHHHH!!! I think one of them had a little chicky in it! There is this really small black dot when I candle. If I shake it a little (gently of course) then the dot moves a little. Is this what I might be looking for when I'm candeling? It is so small that I am not sure... I don't want to get excited if this isn't what I should be seeing. (This is in the first egg she layed- so it's from last Thursday, October 18th- meaning it's been in the bator for six days now.)
     

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