Incubating duck eggs questions...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by lemkoboxer, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. lemkoboxer

    lemkoboxer In the Brooder

    Jun 6, 2009
    Tried to post this in the incubating eggs section, but no replies.... Hopefully some of you that frequent this thread can help me.

    I have 23 duck eggs in the bator... It's a forced air Lyon Roll-X I've hatched several sets of chickens with but I am rather new to the duck egg thing. I did manage to hatch out 3 of 6 khaki campbell eggs at a school recently, but they were treated exactly the same as the chicken eggs they were in with. A student brought them in so we threw them in the bator!

    I've been reading many varied opinions about what the humidity should be... To mist, not to mist?

    So what's the concensus? What's worked for you.

    I've got muscovy, a few crested pekin, a few runners, and two call eggs in there. I know they have different inucbation periods and will set up a separate incubator as a hatcher if the calls end up developing to the end. The person I got the eggs from has never had any luck getting her call hen to set so I'd said I'd try to hatch em if she gave me some ; )

    Any other advice for getting a good hatch?
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  2. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    I have a fan in my incubator but still move the eggs into different positions during the incubation period. I hand turn the eggs 3 times a day for the first week and twice a day after that. I mist the eggs ever second or third day depending on the size of the aircell. I have my hydrometer in the hatcher rather than the incubator - but aim for 55%- 60 % during incubation and up to 80% during lockdown The climate where you live can have an effect on what humidity you should have in your incubator.

    I also talk to the babies once they start to pip to try to encourage them to talk back- and to each other as well.

    Best of luck with your eggs - When are they due?
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Duck eggs are not much different from chicken other than the longer incubation period. duckyfromoz is correct about the humidity varying according to where you're located. If you've hatched with chicken eggs before and had reasonable success, I would definitely not raise the humidity above what you were using for chickens. It's very common for poor hatches to result from people running the humidity too high because most advice says to run it higher for duck eggs. The air cells don't develop well at higher humidity, then the ducks can't keep their bills out of the moisture once they pip internally, and they drown.

    I'm assuming in Australia the ambient humidity is lower than in the SE U.S. where I am (but I may be wrong?), and so the incubator humidity would need to be higher. In MA, you're probably not as humid here, but not as dry as Arizona, for instance. So I would go for a mid-range humidity the first time. Candle your eggs before you lock them down at the end. If the air cells are 1/3 the size of the egg, then you're in great shape. If they're a little smaller, then lower the humidity for your next batch by a bit. If they're very small, then lower it a lot.

    Misting also helps to grow the air cell, so it's probably a good idea. I plan to begin misting mine regularly with my next batch.

    Really, though, since you've had success before, you'll probably be fine. Just have fun, take notes, and get ready to keep working to perfect your hatch rates. It's fun. [​IMG]
  4. lemkoboxer

    lemkoboxer In the Brooder

    Jun 6, 2009
    Thanks for the advice... I appreciate it! I guess I will aim for a humidity around 50-60% which is what I've done with chicken eggs and had decent hatches from in this incubator. Temp is running steady at 99.5-99.8F so I think that's good.

    Did a quick candling today (it's day 4) since the person who gave me the eggs wanted to give me more : ) I was happy to see development in all the runner eggs and one call egg... The other call egg had no yolk, lol. Didn't candle them before I put them in. Some of the scovy eggs were clear, but some looked good and were clearly developing. It's amazing how quick the embryos grow, isn't it? I mean only 4 days and to see veining and development already... Wow- And I'm a novice candler ; ) So with the extra room I made I stuck a few more duck eggs and a few guinea's eggs in that were given to me.... Oh man, at this rate I am going to need more bators! I see why everyone here calls this hatching thing addicting [​IMG]

    The first batch of eggs went in 6/19 so if I counted right, the scovy's will be due on 7/23 and the runners 7/16 and if the call develops I guess it will be due around the 15/16?

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