Mandarin Egg Incubation

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by SundownWaterfowl, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    Okay. Ill start out with this.

    I got my Mandarin Ducks in the fall of 07'. They didnt lay last spring, 08' as ive heard they dont lay their first year. Im expecting them to lay this spring. Ive heard they start around April. Ive already put up their nesting boxes.

    Now, do you have better luck hatching them in an incubator, or under a broody hen?

    I've heard that they hatch better under a broody hen rather than an incubator. If so, I would plan to use my silkie hens as broodies.

    If I use a silkie chicken as a broody hen, do I have to mist the eggs everyday, since duck eggs require higher humidity than chicken eggs? And how would I raise the humidity under the hen when the hatch date approaches? Maybe putting small pieces of wet sponges under her?

    Also, any other tips on hatching and rearing them would be very appreciated.
     
  2. giffy

    giffy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Let the Mandarin duck (female) do it all, they make great mothers. As long as you have enough boxes up (more boxes then breeding pairs) you will be fine. Boxes should have some bedding in it and wire going up the inside (hardware cloth) or be roughed up going up to the nest opening for the ducklings to climb out when Mom calls them out.

    Big thing is once you start seeing her entering a box, leave her alone. Only enter the pen to feed them and change water. Try to hold back the tendency to peek in the nest..........let her be and she will reward you for it. Once they hatch just make sure you have some type of ramp for the ducklings to get out of the water source. Mom will lead them to the food and water and keep them warm at night.

    giffy
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  3. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    I will let her incubate, but I want to collect eggs and hatch them myself. Otherwise she will only lay one batch of eggs (8-12) . This way, I can hatch some, and she can hatch some.
     
  4. poultrykeeper08

    poultrykeeper08 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would just let the mother do it and raise them . I hatched some in an incubator and they died before i could take them out . They had heart attacks and were so scarred .
     
  5. giffy

    giffy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:If you force a double clutch on a regular basis you will shorten the life of the hen, and you have no guarantee she will lay a second clutch for you.

    I wouldn't even waste the time on incubating them. They are tough to hatch in a bator and then can be tough to get them to eat right. The mother will be perfect at it, far better than you or I. The only time I would think about taking the ducklings from her is if I had lost her or there were other breeds kept that would put them in danger.

    If for some reason you have to remove the ducklings from her, if you have a domestic bantam breed of ducklings you can put in with them, they will help "train" the Mandies to eat.

    giffy
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  6. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    I would have call ducklings to raise them with to get them to eat. I heard that you can get good hatches under silkies, but you should move them to your hatcher 3 days before they are due to hatch. I want them to be tame, so I dont want the mother to raise them.
     
  7. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:If you force a double clutch on a regular basis you will shorten the life of the hen, and you have no guarantee she will lay a second clutch for you.

    I wouldn't even waste the time on incubating them. They are tough to hatch in a bator and then can be tough to get them to eat right. The mother will be perfect at it, far better than you or I. The only time I would think about taking the ducklings from her is if I had lost her or there were other breeds kept that would put them in danger.

    If for some reason you have to remove the ducklings from her, if you have a domestic bantam breed of ducklings you can put in with them, they will help "train" the Mandies to eat.

    giffy
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    I was planning on keeping a trio of geese in the pen with them. they are in with a male goose right now. do you think that I shouldnt put geese in the pen with them, if I let the hens sit? I guess I will just let the hens sit. How hard is it to get the ducklings to eat?

    But, when the hens take the ducklings out of the nest, the ducklings would be able to squeeze through the pen. The pen is a very large dog kennel with about 1" open links.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2009
  8. poultrykeeper08

    poultrykeeper08 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In the end they are your birds your decision . But from our expieriences it wasnt good and its not fair to have the babies die .

    Mandarins arent a tame breed they are wild birds .
     
  9. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    Should the hens keep the ducklings close? They are in a 21'x10', i think, chain link dog kennel. The holes in the chain link is around 1", so the babies could squeeze through. But if the hens keep them close they should be fine, right? They can become tame, look here, http://www.acornhollowbantams.com/mandarin_ducks.cfm?id=52
     
  10. poultrykeeper08

    poultrykeeper08 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well i guess i am wrong about them being tame ...

    A breeder i got mine from keeps his in Dog pens and the babies go ut but come back into to the mom
     

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