New here, could use some advice!


5 Years
Apr 14, 2014
White Lake, Michigan
Hi everyone! I can honestly say, I would have never imagined myself joining a forum like this in my life! I have joined saltwater fish forums(, baby forums(, Irish dance forums( but never saw myself here!

And, I'm so excited to be here! One of my student's parents came to class with 2 day old baby goats and it was totally adorable! I asked why in the world she has them, she said her friend owns a petting farm and every Spring/summer she picks up eggs to hatch and takes care of some baby animals for a week to get them used to people. She then told me she would stop by the farm and pick some eggs up for me to try. She said it was a piece of cake, just keep them in a styrofoam box with the heat at 100 and add some water to the wells and turn them 3 times a day. I thought, heck, I can handle that! But then, I started to have questions. How long until they hatch? How do I know it's fertile? How do I know the heat source is the right temp? What humidity does it need to be at and how in the world do I measure it? I went into freak out mode! So, 2 days before she was to bring the eggs to me, I started researching chicken and duck eggs because that is what I was told she would bring me. Before I knew it, I had purchsed a $500. incubator from Amazon with an auto turner, and a water pump with all the bells and whistles. Piece of cake, right? No. When I met her to pick up the eggs, she handed me the bucket of 15 eggs and I said, WOW, those are some big chicken and duck eggs! She said, oh, those are duck and goose eggs! Umm, she never mentioned goose eggs! The incubator hadn't come yet and the eggs were covered in mud/manure? She said it was ok to wash them, but not scrub them and then to leave them on the counter until my incubator arrives later in the day and to put an X on one side of them. So, I took them to the sink and rinsed of the hay and chunks of mud, but by now, the shells were stained brown. I didn't use any soap and just gently wiped them with a wet paper towel, dried them off, set them on the counter and marked an X with a pencil on each one. When the incubator came, I panicked! I didn't know how to put it together, the eggs were sitting on my counter in room temperature and I could only fit 9 eggs out of the 15 in the incubator! She said oh just put the rest in the fridge. I said WHAT? She said it was fine, they could stay there for up to 2 weeks! So, my intention was to use her styrofoam incubator for the ones I couldn't fit into my new one. At least, until she told me, oh, it takes 2 days to get warmed up. I thought, this is way to unreliable, so I bought another incubator like the first one! I have now invested $1000.00 and I have no clue what I'm doing LOL

Today is day 5 of the 6 goose eggs and 3 duck eggs in the incubator. From what I can tell, the only one that is for sure fertile is one duck egg. It's got a quarter size circle with a red blob in the middle and little veins going around it. The other 2 ducks eggs I see nothing but a yolk. The goose eggs shells seem much thicker and my little flashlight can't penetrate it enough for me to see, so I bought a candler, oh ya, that was another $15. I spent at Amazon. I get the 2nd incubator and candler today, probably around 6:00 tonight. So I took the other eggs that have been in the fridge out early this morning to bring them to room temp before putting them in the incubator.

So now here I am. I have no clue what kind of geese or ducks I have as this farm just has a bunch of roaming mix breeds and so I have no clue when to stop turning them. I'm guessing day 26? I also am completely confused about the humidity, because I have read soo many sites now that all conflict with eachother. Some sites say they don't add ANY water the whole time, some spray their eggs every day. Some say to put a wet washcloth after the last turn. I'm so confused! My incubator has an automatic water pump and is set right now for 60% as that is what the book that came with it said for water fowl. It didn't say anything about increasing the humidity after 26 days, but the sites I have been to say that I should. So, do I crank it to Rainforest setting at 80%?

Sorry for my long post, but I'm hoping this is the right place for all my questions and I look forward to getting to know you all!

If you start at the top of the duck forum page, you will see the "Sticky" section. Check it out, it should have some info to help you!!!!
veronicasmom is pointing you in a good direction. This is one of the links I specifically recommend - I am not a hatcher, but this looks like a good writeup

It applies to ducks and geese.

Oh, and I keep reading about people getting confused between relative humidity and wet bulb humidity. It matters. Many first timers keep the humidity too high.

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