Incubating Duck Eggs

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Tremor, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. Tremor

    Tremor Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2012
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    This is my first thread on this post (I'm am not new to forums however).

    In April of 2012 I bought my very first ducks from a local feed store; a male and a female. After doing some research I classified them as Blue and Black Swedish. I could very well be wrong so feel free to correct me.

    Female (Emery)
    [​IMG]

    Male (Harper) and Female (Emery) Again.
    [​IMG]


    How did we decide on their genders? By their location once they began breeding. (Oh boy, I know!) We did not have a plan on breeding them and at the moment it does not seem likely that Emery will naturally incubate her eggs. She began laying daily two weeks ago and they have been frequently laying.

    I have discussed with my FFA Advisor (& Agriculture teacher) about incubating some eggs in the classroom and she is ecstatic (as long as I do the research of course)

    So, I must ask some questions.

    1. Are there any resources I can go to?

    2. How long do I have to put the eggs into the incubator after they're laid? (Before they aren't viable any longer)

    3. What temperatures must our incubator be set out?

    4. How often must we rotate the eggs?

    5. How long of an incubation period is there?


    Our plan is to gather eggs everyday (for a 10 day period) and make notes on which egg is which. If the first incubation doesn't work we may try again in the spring until we get a viable offspring.



    I know I am forgetting about a hundred questions. I'm sorry lol! Any information would be awesome!

    -NOTE- (I am not sure how fiery you gals/guys get on breeding backyard poultry)
    Any/All viable hatched eggs will have homes. They can stay with me or with my FFA Advisor because they lost their poultry to wildlife.

    Thanks for any and all help!

    -Julia
     
  2. Tremor

    Tremor Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2012
    Iowa
    If I have posted this in the wrong forum section feel free to move it!

    Thanks!
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Welcome, Tremor, to Duckdom and
    [​IMG]

    I think you are in the right forum (but hey, that's just me).

    Harper looks like a drake to me, from the curly tail feather.

    Many domestic ducks don't seem to get that broody feeling, though they can change their minds. I have been told on the forum that it is best to wait a while (I am thinking a number of weeks) to start selecting eggs to hatch. First eggs aren't always the most viable. I feel that ducks' systems take a while to really get everything right.

    Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks is a good resource. This forum is a great resource. I also like the Ultimate Pet Duck Guidebook.

    I think you have several days before putting all the eggs in the incubator. I hope an experienced hatcher will weigh in soon.

    Duck eggs take 28 days (or so) to hatch, and the hatching seems to take a long time. Moisture matters as well as temperature, and I will let the experts fill you in. There is a thread Formerly known as hatch day is today that is loaded with good information and funny conversation.

    Please keep us updated, ask questions, send photo's, we enjoy sharing.

    I have decided to look first for rescues to add to my little flock, but if you have good homes lined up, I have no gripe. Ducklings are some of the sweetest, cutest little living things I have ever seen.
     
  4. NoseyChickens

    NoseyChickens Feathers On The Ground

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    http://www.duckeggs.com/hatching-eggs.html Here is a site wth most of the info you are asking for. Best of luck. As far as how long you can store eggs before you incubate I would say 10-14 days 14 is really pushing it. I store mine at room tempurature in a flat egg rack tilted up higher on one end and rotate it every time I turn the eggs
     
  5. Tremor

    Tremor Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2012
    Iowa
    Thanks for the reply!

    I will most definitely look into those books!

    She has been laying for a couple weeks now (She laid 9 without us knowing).

    I never noticed Harper's tail feathers! Good eye! We assumed he was male by the size of him and his voice.

    Harper and Emery have been doing well with their upbringing. They are getting closer to people which is good because I was told by other adults to NOT touch them. Yeah, not right.

    I will most definitely keep you all updated!
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Oh, goodness, I have a few runners who don't mind a few pets, even. And everyone tolerates me picking them up for health inspections from time to time. Not that they don't try to scoot away, but they don't try too hard.
     
  7. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will share what I have done and you can see if it will help. I keep my eggs for only 7 days if I am incubating them. Still air, I would set them at 102 degrees, forced air, I would use 99.5 degrees. Candle them at 7 days, 14 days and again at 18 days. Remove any that don't show blood vessals or are clear. You will need to turn the eggs at least 2x's per day, more often if you can, if you use an automatic turner this isn't a worry. If you are using an auto egg turner, remove the eggs from it at the 18th day and lay the eggs flat on the screening in the incubator, if no turner, you can stop turning the eggs now. This is the time to really watch the temp.. It should be 98 - 98.5 for the final 2 - 3 days. Watch the humidity as well, it needs to be around 60 -65 % to keep them from drying out too quickly.

    Okay, Sept. 1 st, I put mallard eggs and a couple of pekin eggs in and tonight I moved them into the incubator I'm using for hatching. I feel so very blessed! When I candled them I could see the ducklings inside the eggs. They actually moved and responded when I talked to them! You want to talk about miracles? At least in my eyes it is. I'm sure there are much more knowlegeable people here who can give you better guidance than I can, but that is what I have done.

    I am keeping my hatched birds, and they will have a very loving home. I have to be careful because the incubating is addictive in the extreme. Right now, as much as I would love to do every eggs the ducks and geese lay, I will settle for this hatching until spring. Good luck! And most important, enjoy. There is nothing more wonderful, or humbling than watching the birth and knowing you had a hand in it.
     
  8. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a Blue Swedish, Elsa, who I got last year. She laid eggs but didn't decide to become broody until this year. Some of her ducklings look like her, and others are black with a white bib, but one looks just like your Harper. I call him Lightning because the white on his chest reminds me of a lightning bolt. Good luck with your hatching!
     
  9. Tremor

    Tremor Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2012
    Iowa
    I just wanted to update you all!

    Eight days ago I put six eggs into the incubator and the day later another. I candled them all yesterday at 7 days (& day six for the last one)......and we have SIX little ducklings. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Everybody is ecstatic. My teacher and I both had shivers from the whole ordeal and the younger kids (8th graders and 9th graders) just found it amazing and keep asking about them.

    So exciting.

    If our calculations are correct we should have hatchlings November 5-6th.


    BTW. Momma and Poppa Ducks are still laying and breeding even in the chilly weather. Young love. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Hooray!

    So you have a nice cozy brooder for everyone, yes?
     

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