New Duckling In Incubator! Advice Needed!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Patchesnposies, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. Patchesnposies

    Patchesnposies Chickens.....are my ONE weakness!

    Mar 5, 2008
    Southern New Mexico
    Hello folks!

    My husband decided he wanted to try and incubate some of our duck eggs. I was highly skeptical and doubtful of his success, as I have heard and read that incubating eggs is hard to do.

    Well, it apprears that he has been successful, as we just found a duckling in the incubator! (He wasn't there when DH turned the eggs this morning!)

    The little thing looks like it is healthy and strong. He was trying to get around in the incubator and holding his head up, etc....

    Our (very old) incubator is set up so that the eggs are sitting on a rack above the water tray. The little duckling's legs were through the rack and he was a paddlin' away. I am worried that he will fall through the rack and drown, so I cut an old kleenex box in half and pared it down to make him a little safe place and put him back into the incubator.

    How long does he need to stay in there? After the intital burst of energy he seems a bit lethargic, I am assuming he is tuckered out.

    My husband won't be home until late this afternoon. Am I doing things right? What should I do for this little bitty thing?

    I have a brooder cage with a heating pad in the bottom, is that a good idea? I have a lamp, hubby will need to bring us a red bulb when he comes home. I could use a regular bulb meanwhile.

    Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated! This is so exciting!

    I posted this under "Hatching Eggs" too and decided to post here as well.

  2. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    Hey do you have some shelf liner? Put that down so his little feet don't fall through. Also, you can leave him in for 24 hours at least till he fluffs up, don't take him out until then!!!!!

    You can use a regular light bulb for now until you get something else. something is better than nothing. The heat pad thing is good just make sure you put something over it so it does not BURN him. HOW COOL!!!! I love little duckies.

    Also, you can create a brooder out of a rubbermaid box and lid, Cut a hole in the top of the lid and put a screen on it. Then put a heat lamp on top for heat.

    Good Luck!!!!! [​IMG]
  3. Patchesnposies

    Patchesnposies Chickens.....are my ONE weakness!

    Mar 5, 2008
    Southern New Mexico
    JMajors,Thanks for your post. I have calmed down a bit and am trying to think a little more clearly!

    Our incubator is an old one and I don't know how to put down any liner without moving the other eggs and I don't want to do that. I am worried that I have messed with it too much already. I am going to just leave the little baby be (in his little box in the incubator) and see what happens.

    This has been my husbands project and I have been a mere spectator ( and skeptic!). He's coming home at lunch, I'll be glad to let him make all of the decisions!

    Thanks again,

  4. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    That is excellent advice!

    Congrats, that is sooooooooooo exciting!!!!!!!

    Please, Please, Please.... post pics soon [​IMG]
  5. Chickndaddy

    Chickndaddy Songster

    Jul 26, 2007
    East Texas
    (He wasn't there when DH turned the eggs this morning!)

    By the way, stop turning the eggs. ordinarily you stop turning them three days before they hatch. Congrats on the new baby. Sounds like you are off to a good start.​
  6. Patchesnposies

    Patchesnposies Chickens.....are my ONE weakness!

    Mar 5, 2008
    Southern New Mexico
    Thanks Chickndaddy,

    I just read that and made a mental note to tell my husband. I also bookmarked the Hatching Egg Care Guide that I found on this site, so he could read all about it for himself. (Something we should have done, FIRST!)

    Honestly, it sounds like we've made a couple of mistakes. He has eggs that are due to hatch on different dates all in together, which the guide says not to do.

    This is our first ever attempt to incubate eggs and I am just so happy for my DH that he had one make it to hatch despite our ignorance! LOL

    Who knows, maybe there will be more? I was rehearsing a little pep talk, in my head, to cheer him up when he realized none of the eggs were going to hatch.......well, now that we have this little duckling.....I'm gonna have to eat some crow for all of the teasing I have done!

    It is really sort of miraculous, the whole thing,

  7. thegoogers

    thegoogers Songster

    Oct 6, 2008
    Cleveland, TN
    How exciting!!! Congrats!! Can't WAIT to see pics [​IMG] [​IMG]
  8. M@M@2four

    [email protected]@2four Songster

    Mar 12, 2008
    hello...CONGRATS!!! I have hatched out many duck eggs...yes, do not turn the eggs anymore. You are supposed to stop turning three days before they're due to hatch, so if they're in an automatic egg turner, I would turn off the turner(if it's a separate unit from the incubator.) I take mine out as soon as they're fluffed up, which is usually 3-5 hours. Then I put them in a brooder box with heat lamp non-medicated chick feed(medicated will kill them), and a waterer. I line the floor of the brooder(which is usually a rubbermaid bin), with paper towels(they're messy little boogers!). Be prepared---until or if he gets a little buddy, he'll be quite noisy! But they're so darn cute! [​IMG] Let me know if you have any other questions! Keep us posted! [​IMG]
  9. Patchesnposies

    Patchesnposies Chickens.....are my ONE weakness!

    Mar 5, 2008
    Southern New Mexico
    Thanks everyone for the good wishes and advice! [email protected]@2four, you are so right. He is all fluffy and in the brooder now, and NOISY! Such a delightful little noise, though.[​IMG]

    Unfortunately, the only other egg we have due to hatch with him looks like a dud. But, we are novice candler's too, so maybe we will be surprised. I wish we had one more duckling so he wouldn't be lonely. The rest of the eggs in the incubator aren't due to hatch until the 24-25 of October. I did put a stuffy duckling in with the little thing.

    What temp should I keep the brooder at? I will post pictures in a bit!

  10. M@M@2four

    [email protected]@2four Songster

    Mar 12, 2008
    Honestly I don't keep a temp. I just place the light at about a foot above the floor to the brooder. I always place the lamp on one side with something for him to snuggle on or with and then I place food and water on the other side out of the light as much as possible. I put paper towels down on the floor so he won't get "spraddle leg." I have hatched many a lone ducks...he'll adjust and be fine! [​IMG] But he will be a loud one and VERY needy! Don't you just love their little webbed feet and fluffy butts though??? lol Anyhow, keep us posted! You are doing a great job! [​IMG]

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