Muscovy Incubation - Time to Learn

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Grassman 52, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Grassman 52

    Grassman 52 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2012
    Ludlow Mass
    Started setting eggs in December - hatched 7 ducks over the last week, but am getting a lot of DIS (dead in shell). Chicks are fully formed and just failed to internal PIP. The eggs that do PIP I am having good hatch rates.

    Breading stock is all young birds first few months of lay - eggs may have been to cold when gathering due to the weather. This may have weakened the embryos - starting to gather them at 7:30 am each morning. All clears are removed at 10 - 12 days (running about 70% fertile)

    Those of you that do use incubators on Muscovys please share your settings:
    Using forced air Dickey cabinet incubator. Setting 20 eggs per week (vertical) for a staggered hatch.

    Temp =< 99.5 degrees - trying to ensure no spikes over 99.5
    Humidity - was trying the dry method and weighing eggs, but I think it has been running to low - Eggs that hatched lost 16% of their laid weight should have been around 12%
    Targeting 25 - 30% humidity then moving to a separate hatcher with high humidity (after internal PIP).
    Misting eggs daily.

    I am using this time as a learning experence before spring - so please all advice is welcome.

    (chickens were so easy compared to ducks[​IMG])

    Brooding is set-up in my basement
  2. myfinefeatheredfriends

    myfinefeatheredfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2011
    Are you giving them enough time to pip? From my experience Muscovies can take anywhere from 29-35 days to hatch. Does your basement maintain a steady temperature? I would start raising the humidity BEFORE they pip, not WHEN. The misting is a smart idea and everything else that you're doing looks good.
  3. Grassman 52

    Grassman 52 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2012
    Ludlow Mass
    Yes - Temp in basement is steady, but winter air in the Northeast is real dry. I think the humidity was two low during my start up - took "dry Incubation" to literally. Bumped humidity up to 30% - 35% and will keep weighing eggs. Now it's just time until I run through a complete cycle. Set 22 more eggs this weekend have about 80 eggs in the incubator at a time.

    when candling the eggs, I can see a change around the air cell - turns brown around 28 days - this is where I believe they are dying.

    Where did you set your humidity levels to start?
  4. Muscovy are a lot harder to hatch than goose, ducks and chicken eggs. Most of mine Die in Shell too.

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