Is 60-69% a decent hatch rate?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by iamcuriositycat, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am wondering if I should be satisfied with that, or if I should tweak my incubation practices to try and improve it. I set 13 duck eggs and hatched 9, of which one may end up deformed (although it seems to be improving). That's a hatch rate of 60-69%.

    Here are my incubation conditions:
    Hovabator circulating air, with egg turner for the first 25 days
    99.5 degrees F
    50% (ish) RHumidity for the first 25 days
    75-80% RH for the remainder
    Sprayed more-or-less daily from Day 7 to Day 25 with warm water
    Hatched in egg carton

    Eggs are from my own ducks, most were extremely dirty when collected and then washed gently.

    One egg quit before lockdown. Two appeared to have quit between Day 21 and lockdown, but I left them in just in case--neither has hatched. One egg seemed fine at last candling (Day 25), but has not pipped by Day 31.

    Incubator was opened once on Day 30 to remove day-old ducklings. Opened again that night to remove a deformed, stuck & distressed duckling for treatment. At the first opening, no humidity was noticeably lost--I sprayed with warm water upon opening, worked quickly, replaced the damp towel with a clean, wet one, then sprayed again and closed. At second opening, I may have lost some humidity, but I opened, grabbed, closed very quickly.

    This hatch and a previous one (also a 60% hatch) both were late and took a total of three full days to get everyone out.

    I can't think of anything else pertinent. Should I play with the humidity? Or be content with 60-69% hatches (I'm giving a range because I don't know whether to include the potentially deformed baby).
     
  2. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

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    It could be a lot better but my books say that sounds reasonable! The dirty eggs could be the problem.
     
  3. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Stop washing your eggs, at most wipe them down with a dry cloth. You are probably removing some of the bloom. Ducks are notorious for dirty eggs in the wild and they hatch out just fine.
     
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you!! One of the REALLY dirty eggs hatched, one did not. The *one* (yes, only *one*) egg that was nest clean is the same one that got crushed on day 24 and still hatched beautifully--in fact, it hatched faster than any of the others.

    Maybe I need to try and figure out how to get my ducks to lay in a clean nest, so more of my eggs can be nest clean. Hmmmm...

    Thank you!
     
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oops--walking wolf, we were posting at the same time. [​IMG] Maybe for me my next hatch, I'll try simply not washing, even if they're filthy. I have to say, though, when my ducks occasionally go broody, the eggs in their nest are never dirty like the ones I collect out of their pen regularly. Still, it might be worth a try. Or, maybe I can figure out how to get them to lay where the eggs will be cleaner.
     
  6. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    If they were shipped eggs, I'd be very happy. With my own eggs, I'd be looking to try and figure out what the problem is.
     
  7. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Good luck with that [​IMG] I place totes from wallmart in the woods for mine, I put wood shavings in each one. Most of my eggs are clean as the ducks do not sleep in the totes.
     
  8. mulia24

    mulia24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    i don't know why but i never can buy a clean duck egg from people who i bought the egg.

    but i realize 1 thing, duck likes dirty and filthy. my duck can't stand a day without playing with mud. it's horrible when i walking in my backyard and the duck start running and flapping their wing and i guess you know what happen, my face and my cloth were covered with mud and poo. [​IMG]

    i think i need to dry all my backyard up to prevent this happen. [​IMG]
     
  9. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    If whatever caused your one duckling's leg issues is genetic that could keep any of the other's that made it to hatch day but didn't from getting into position to pip and zip.
     
  10. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for all the responses!

    I opened the three eggs that made it to hatch day but didn't hatch. One was not fully developed--it was the size of the yolk sac, and obviously not complete, though it was recognizeable (and stinky). The other two were apparently fully developed, one with the yolk sac partially absorbed and the other with it still large and apparently unabsorbed. None had any obvious defects. The more developed two did not stink.

    Another thing--these are just McMurray Hatchery ducks--not exactly prime breeding stock. Maybe I'll have better luck with my ducks from Holderread next Spring.

    So, next time I will: Not wash the eggs--just wipe as much gunk off as possible and leave it alone; and... maybe I can place some fake eggs in the nest boxes and perhaps they'll lay in them? Ha ha. Maybe.

    Funny thing is, the last several days I've been finding very clean eggs in the duck yard--now that I'm no longer collecting for incubation! Figures. [​IMG]
     

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