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Discussion in 'Ducks' started by duck&chickencrazy, Feb 20, 2009.
What is the incubation period for a mallard??? Is it 26 or 28???
I raise Mallards and go by this hope it helps:
Here are a few tips for hatching your mallard duck eggs. It takes 26 days to incubate a mallard duck egg. This is what works for us here at our farm. It doesn't mean it will work for you as every situation is different, but we'll tell you anyway. During the incubation period we keep our incubators (GQF cabinet models) temperature set at 101 degrees at the top of the incubator, not the top of the egg, the humidity is kept between 60% and 70% and they are automatically turned 3 times a day. The eggs are misted with warm water once a day. Day 23 ends the incubation period and the eggs are moved to hatchers. This is when you stop turning the eggs so they can get in position to hatch. During this hatching period the hatchers (GQF cabinet models) temperature is lowered to 100 degrees at the top of the Hatcher, not the top of the egg, the humidity is raised to 70% to 80%. On day 26 your duckling will start to pipe out. Don't help them out the shell. If they can't get out of the shell on their own, they either have something wrong with them or they are just too weak. Either way they won't survive. Both of these problems are due to incubator settings, so monitor your temperature and humidity several times a day!!
If you are using another type of incubator, such as the Styrofoam kind, you need to set the temperature at 99.5 and keep the humidity settings the same.
Brooding is simple and has only two goals - to keep the ducklings warm and dry. You can use a large plastic storage container to brood small clutches. Just suspend a light bulb (plugged in of course!!) about a foot from the bottom with at least a 60 watt light bulb. Be sure the ducklings have room to move away from the heat if they get too hot. Use some common sense, like don't put the water bowl directly under the light. DO NOT USE NEWSPAPER as bedding, this will cause the duckling to lose their footing and they will become straddle legged. Keep drafts off the ducklings. Be sure predators can't get to them. For larger number of birds you will need 1 square foot per bird until they are 6 weeks old. Only feed NON MEDICATED chick starter crumbles or game bird crumbles with 24 hour access DUCKLINGS DO NOT NEED WATER TO SWIM. A duckling will become water logged and drown or freeze to death. When the duckling has the mother she gives them oil from her feathers to repel the water. With out the mother the ducklings do not have this oil and won't have the glands to produce it until they are 6 - 8 weeks old. So put rocks in the water bowl to prevent them from swimming. They don't know what you know!! They will want to swim, it's natural to them. They should have access to water AT ALL TIMES. A duckling will dehydrate in 8 hours and die.
If you've gotten these far, congratulations. You are on the home stretch. Your ducklings have grown fast and are big. At 6 - 8 weeks you will need to provide the ducks more room. We provide a minimum of 6 square foot per bird. Anything less will be uncomfortable for the ducks and they will pick each others feathers. You can start to feed those non-medicated laying pellets, cracked corn, or game bird pellets. You will have to find out what is available in your area. They can be given free access to water and be allowed to swim. Your ducks can fly by the time they are 8 weeks old so if you are going to keep them penned up make sure they have enough room to be able to fly around. If you are going to let the ducks loose in your pond, please don't clip the wings. Their only defense against predators is to fly away. So think twice before you do that, unless you will enjoy having had dedicated all that time and care to these guys and then find pieces and parts around the pond after a coyote or dog has eaten them.
Here is a pic of my 2 beautiful boys
My experience is the same as the previous posters. They hatch about 1.5 days earlier than other breeds.
Don't help them out the shell. If they can't get out of the shell on their own, they either have something wrong with them or they are just too weak. Either way they won't survive.
I have to disagree with the above statement that if you help them out they are either to weak or something is wrong with them because I had to help my little guy out because he was just to big to get out himself...and trust me he is perfectly healthy and just about the noisiest thing ever...
Ha i wondered why mine hatched 3 days early. Though even for a half mallard he pipped early. He pipped on day 25 and hatched on day 27.
I gave him two days and after that i got worried because he just didnt come out or zip or anything. But the fact is i did help him out and he did survive.
I also asked the mallard question cause my little egg pipped while he was still in the turner, i had thought he was a normal kind of duck but i guess i was wrong. I have another egg in the bator now that i am assuming is a mallrad as well. Oh and i guess it dosnt matter if it is a half mallard because mine is mallard/cayuga or pekin or buff. i dont know cause he still pipped on day 25(same as a mallard i am assuming)
O and i am sorry about just rambling on and on about this but i guess i am just so excited about the little guy hatching...
I'm trying to hatch my first batch of 9 mallard eggs. Yesterday was 28 days and nothing! Finally I couldn't stand it anymore and just brought them down to the house and candled a few. There are definitely little babies moving around in the ones I checked. So, back up to the 'bator they went. I sprayed them all with warm water today just in case my humidity level is too low. I am worried the shells are too thick. These are some of the first of my little hen's eggs, and they are very dark green. The more eggs she has laid, the lighter they have been, and I think also more porous.
Well, the humidity is up - the temp is about 97 degrees, and they have been out of the egg turner since day 25. It's day 29, and I really don't know what else to do. I sure hope at least some of them hatch after all this preparation, waiting, and worrying!
After all this, I am absolutely convinced it is best for mama to incubate the eggs. Mine gave me about 20 before I finally just stopped collecting them. Now she is sitting on her own nest of 8!