Migratory ducks, breeding, to incubate or not?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Angie MI, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Angie MI

    Angie MI Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Michigan
    I live in Michigan and this is my first breeding season with migratory ducks. we built an aviary, dug a pond and have nesting boxes in place. I don't know if I should use an incubator or let the ducks hatch their own eggs. I have chickens that could hatch the eggs too. I need some advice. If I am going to use an incubator when do I take the eggs and are the ducks going to want to use the nesting boxes if they see me checking them. I have wood ducks, northern pintails, bahama pintails, canvasbacks, fouvlus tree ducks, white faced tree ducks and wigd[​IMG]ons.
     
  2. Angie MI

    Angie MI Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Michigan
    Anyone??? I need some advice.
     
  3. mckenzie

    mckenzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2011
    Douglas, GA
    This year I'm going to try something new I'm going to let the mama lay a clutch and then incubate them for about a week or two then put them under broody chickens. I wouldn't recommend using an incubator to hatch the eggs because they are so hard to hatch. Last year I checked my boxes every day and took one egg and left one and it didn't effect them but I didn't get as many eggs this way.
     
  4. destinduck

    destinduck obsessed with "ducks"

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    Mar 20, 2008
    n.w.FLORIDA
    Since this is your first year with them. I would say definitely dont incubate. Enjoy and learn all about your birds and all their habits first. Good Luck!
     
  5. kangababy

    kangababy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2010
    Alabama
    I would definatly let them set on them. incubating them is very difficult and they do a much better job with it.
    We check our boxes twice a week.. Wednesday and Saturday or Sunday. Once an egg is laid in a box we watch that box to make sure a hen keeps laying ing there and if she goes 3-4days without laying another egg we take it out and either put it under another broody hen or a cochin/silkie chicken. If she keeps laying an egg a day or every other day we leave it alone and let them htach them. Once they go broody and pull their feathers we leave them totally alone and may peak to see if they are still there once a week. Once it gets down to the last few days we check the box on a regualr basis. Our avairy is big so chasing down ducklings it not any fun. I would much rather get them straight out of the box. I hope that helps.

    Just a side note: You do know that unless you bought breeders birds only the wood ducks, northern pintails and bahama pintails will lay. The others don't lay until they are at least 2 years old and the canvasbacks are very hard to get to breed. I have three pairs that are all at least 3 years old and no babies at all this year and they have paired up. Water is surface is key with any kind of diver.

    Best of Luck!
     
  6. Angie MI

    Angie MI Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Michigan
    Thank you for all the good advice so far. I have had indian runners for years and have both incubated and used broody hens both worked good. But now that I have the more expensive ducks I don't want to screw it up. Recently we had a problem with a mink and it killed all my broody hens, so that option will not work, unless I got more hens right away. By the way we killed the mink and it didn't get any of my more expensive ducks. If I am going to incubate I will need to buy a new incubator because the one I used before was borrowed and it did't turn the eggs or circulate the air. With all of that in mind does anyone have any suggestions. Letting the ducks do it themselves would be the easiest, but the guy I bought my ducks from incuates all of his.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  7. Angie MI

    Angie MI Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Michigan
    Any suggestions? do I need to buy the incubator?
     

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