Muscovy hatching in hovabator


11 Years
Mar 27, 2008
Southern NJ
This is our first try and I have been researching online and don't know what the correct humidity should be for Muscovy eggs. I see postings anywhere from 55% to 80% before lockdown and 70% to 95% for hatching. I'm confused. Should be getting the eggs in the mail by Friday, so need info asap to set up the bator.

There are others with more experience than me on here but I tried hatching ten Muscovy eggs in autumn last year. We used a Brinsea Octagon 10 which only has a thermometer so I could only guess the humidity. As such I just followed the instructions (block one ventilation hole during incubation and both during lockdown).

The directions for the Brinsea state that "Short term variations in humidity are not important. The average over the incubation period needs to be near optimum for the ideal weight loss"

We lost 4 eggs early on to 'no-shows' when candled, and then one pipped almost on time on day 33, she was removed on day 35, and the remaining eggs didnt hatch - I opened up the unhatched ones a few days after and two had broken the membrane but not managed to break the shell - I felt so guilty, so sad.

But we learnt a lot and we have one baby girl duckling who is now about 6 weeks off being fully grown - I've been posting pictures of her from hatching through to her going outside for the first time before xmas, must update as well....

The humidity numbers you quote are what I've seen too, its a trial and errorand know-how from what I can tell... the Brinsea instructions state that recommended humidity during incubation should be 40-50% RH for poultry, 50% RH for waterfowl, and 70% RH or more for hatching all species (after eggs pip).

Hope this helps

As for humidity, I truthfully dont pay much attention to percentages. I have hatched hundreds of Muscovy ducklings in a hovabator, The key to Incubator hatching Muscovies is...

1) Hand turning them twice a day (If you want a good hatch hand turn them, don't use an automatic turner)
2) Misting them once a day

Those are 2 of the key things,
As for humidity dont get it too high because the ducklings will drowned. That was one of the main problems I had when hatching Muscovies in the beginning. I do keep all the bottom trays full during the entire hatch, but some will say on the last 3-4 days to put a wet cloth in there for more humidity, I never do that.

Hatching Muscovy ducks in an incubator can be very tricky!

Best wishes,

I just borrowed a bator with an automatic turner because I'm about to hatch some Muscovy eggs. Now I see your post. Why would hand turning be any different than auto-turning?

Thanks R-R. I will do that because now I've seen that a few times. But what's up with that? How is hand turning them better than using the auto-turner?

Also, how often should I turn them?

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