In Over My Head?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Kangasox, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. Kangasox

    Kangasox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2015
    I'm brand new to BYC, and we are getting ducks! We finally convinced (coerced) my husband, and have lots of space for them. I will apologize in advance, because I'll probably ask questions that have already been asked a million times, but everyone here seems so helpful!

    I was going to get day old ducklings, but then decided on Anconas and Magpies, and have two reputable people, one local and one within the state, with eggs. I ordered a circulated air hovabator and thought my kids woukd really enjoy and learn from the experience. I have read Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, various Internet articles, and several of the recommended how-tos on here about hatching and chick/duckling care. I thought I could handle it, but now I think I might be suffering from OVERinformation. I have so many concerns and no idea how people successfully hatch anything! My current questions are:

    Washing eggs before incubating - just see how they look, or automatically wash them?

    The 6 Ancona are being mailed...based on the incubating shipped eggs info on here, it seems like I should check air pockets and possibly incubate them in an egg carton if reattach mentioned needs to occur. Do I keep them in the carton the while time they are incubating?

    Do I need to spray mist the whole time of incubation?

    Once they (hopefully) hatch, do I keep them in the incubator until they dry? Do they just sit in the egg tray?

    I read somewhere you need a heat sink when only incubating a few eggs, such as a bottle of water in the incubator. If I have 14-15 eggs, do I need that?

    My most worrisome question...I don't want to have crowded ducks. If I incubate 15 eggs, 9 local and 6 shipped and do everything "right", how many can I realistically expect to hatch? I don't know that I have space if all 15 hatch, but don't want to count my ducks before they hatch (harhar) and only incubate eight.

    Sorry for the novel, I tend to overthink things. We're so excited! Except for the freaking out part.
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I am not a hatcher, but can offer a few thoughts.

    I think washing is not a good idea. I have never read of having the carton in the incubator. I have read about letting the eggs rest just a little.

    After hatching, if all goes well, they stay in the incubator till they fluff up.

    You may need to hedge your bets on your hatch. Have Plan B if all hatch - like a friend who would be happy to have a few new members of their existing flock.

    I want to say this carefully - don't know your orientation - but some folks decide that extra drakes "go to freezer camp." Others want all their ducks to be pets. So lining up new homes for extras might be something to start doing now.

    I take it you have read the two hatching Stickies on the Duck Forum?
  3. Kangasox

    Kangasox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2015
    Thanks for input! I have read the stickies. There is so much good info there. Primarily, we are getting them for eggs, secondarily as pets and garden pest helpers. So, we may welcome the drakes and see how it goes. The person I am getting the Magpies from will take any extra Anconas I may get and her Magpies back too. I just value all life and want the eggs to do well...but 15 ducks is a lot!
  4. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2014
    Round Rock, TX
    One thing you need to consider though is if you end up with too many drakes. Usually you need one drake per 3 females at a min. So if you have 5 drakes to 10 hens you are going to need a back up plan.

    As for your other questions, I've bever hatched so I'm no help at all. I love magpies though and can't wait to see the little babies.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Kangasox

    Kangasox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2015
    Thanks for the help! I can't wait to see them either! I think once we get the coop started and familiar with the incubator I'll feel a little better. Overwhelming to start!

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