I need some clarification on a few things...


10 Years
Sep 6, 2009
Seeing as I'm still fairly new to ducks, this being my first season with them laying full time. I have some questions/clarifications.

My incubator arrived today, so will be anxious to get it going.

ducks = 28 days
chickens = 21

I know that I can add chickens a week after duck for same day hatching (hopefully)

now, I keep reading about duck breeding season, the reason why drakes are so annoyingly protective right now. Now how long does this last - breeding season/bad drake behaviour. and why is it classified as breeding season, when they mate all year round?

If the drakes doing his job, the eggs should be fertile as long as the girls are laying , right?

I read that you aren't to wash eggs to put in the incubator, but how does one get around the fact that duck eggs are always so darn dirty.???!!!!
Ducks will mate pretty much year round depending on the breed- hormones levels can effected by molting though.

If the drakes doing his job, the eggs should be fertile as long as the girls are laying , right?

Yes- even the first egg laid by a first time layer can be fertile- You can crack an egg open to look at the yolk for signs- for the best way to really check- is by test incubating. That way you can clearly see when candling how the fertility rate is - also doesnt waste eggs if you dont plan on cooking with or eating them later. Sometimes the first eggs may have irregular shells- but as long as they arent too mishapen or soft shelled they can still be incubated.

but how does one get around the fact that duck eggs are always so darn dirty.???!!!!

If you left the eggs in the nest- and your duck went broody...they would still hatch - and at the end may well be even dirtier than they started. The best way is to provide plenty of clean nesting material in the boxes- and hope they actually lay there- but failing that- you can dry scrub them- or even just use your finger nail to flick off as much solid material as you can. Even washing can leave some stains if they are badly soiled - eggs are very pourus- and washing tends to leave the dirt in those tiny holes - which is why I dry scrub mine. Its best to just pick the eggs that can be cleaned up fairly well in a non intruive way. I sometimes use some very fine sandpaper to get the stuck on bits loose as well.

When setting up the bator- make sure you have it running about 24 hours at the right temp before adding the eggs- it will take a while to go back up to the right temperature- so dont be tempted to play around with it too much too soon after adding the eggs. Hope the hatching goes well for you.​

my girls are slow to lay, so might be a small handful going in the bator first go round.

do the eggs need to be pretty darn immaculate to go in the bator, my chicken eggs are pretty darn clean, but, i'm really wanting to hatch some ducklings.
is that okay if combined in a bator with other eggs, clean chicken eggs to be exact?
The last lot of eggs I hatched werent from my ducks- They were given to my from a friend- and did have some mud and poop on them- I gave them a bit of a dry scrub- and placed them in the incubator. At the time I had other duck and chicken eggs in there... and for the hatch results...10 out of 10 eggs hatched. The incubator provides perfect conditions for bacteria to grow- but as long as you get off the worst from the eggs - it wont cause an issue.
The issue I had with hatching chicken and duck eggs together was the difference in humidity needed, also we had one out of 12 duck eggs hatch as well as all 12 chicken eggs hatch, and the chickens thought the duck was a peck toy, we ended up having to take him out much earlier then I would of liked, dropping the humidity which could be why the other duck eggs didn't hatch, good luck with the hatching!
well, I've decided against hatching two different types of birds at the same time. This round, going with chickens, then i'll try some duck eggs.
Will hatch my own and most likely will buy some other eggs (ducks) to make it worthwhile, as I only have 3 girls, so, takes a while to make a dozen.

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