Newest 'dry incubated' ducklings / Anconas and Pekins

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Dipsy Doodle Doo, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. Hi! Got 6 new Ancona and 3 new Pekin darlings in the brooder this evening (there is another slow-poke in the hatcher still, but today is Day 28 and they started hatching early and I needed to get the early ones out).
    This is the second group I've run 'dry incubator' the first 25 days and didn't add water at all til I moved them to hatcher on morning of Day 26 (most of them were pipped when I moved them to hatcher and by evening Day 26, the first Pekin had hatched).
    [​IMG]
    Interesting to me, these are all black/white Anconas. Last hatch (first hatch of the season for the duck pairs), I got chocolate Anconas AND a crested Pekin:
    [​IMG]
    --- no chocolates or crested in this group.
    Yaaay for ducklings!
    [​IMG]
    Lisa
     
  2. awesomefowl

    awesomefowl Argues with Goats

    awww! [​IMG]
     
  3. gofasterstripe

    gofasterstripe Chillin' With My Peeps

    OMG [​IMG]
    I need more duck...I need more ducks [​IMG]
     
  4. Hi! I realize I don't have many ducks at all! I have the pairs of Ancona, Blue Swedish, two pens of Pekins (crested hen w/ non-crested drake and double-crested drake w/ a pair of non-crested girls), and the Muscovy Chocolate pair, Blue / Black pair, and the Blue Fawn trio). That's only 16 ducks --- if you don't count all the youngsters and misc drakes.
    [​IMG]
    Lisa
     
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I SOOOOOOOO want some of your ducks. I don't need more ducks!!! They are unbelievably adorable.

    And here in NC, I have to dry incubate too. Sea level & humidity--it's hard to get those air cells to develop when there's additional moisture in the incubator.

    Congrats on your new babies.
     
  6. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    16 really isnt many at all...Even the 50 somethign I have isnt "many" or should I say - doesnt feel like enough. I think the count was up to 55 after a few hatched on the weekend- but I sold 3 yesterday.

    Just wondering..What was the intent with the dry incubation?? Just to see if it works with ducks?? Are you living in an area with naturally very high natural humidity at the moment?? Also you say how many hatched- but how many eggs did you start with when you set them?

    Sorry for all the questions but I am interested to learn about dry incubation as its something i have never tried.
     
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    I'm not the OP, but I'll share my dry hatch experience. I started with a modified dry hatch primarily because I'm lazy and didn't know any better. LOL But, my first hatch had a rate of 85%, so I did it again. My second hatch was 90%.

    Somewhere in there, I started tracing air cell development at each candling by drawing on the eggs with pencil. I noticed that even with the very low humidity, my air cells were only barely large enough at hatch time. But my hatch rates ran from 85-95%.

    Then, I had a disastrous hatch. Out of about 20 eggs, only four hatched. Ouch! Same eggs, same everything except... there was a batch of spoiled quail eggs in the incubator during the first 15 days. I didn't know it at the time, but eggs that have gone bad will evaporate very quickly and raise the humidity in the incubator. The humidity was running around 50% and guess what? My air cells were TINY. The poor babies made it to hatch day but drowned before they could get out.

    In the time since then, I've followed a lot of duck hatching threads very carefully, especially those where people are having a lot of trouble. And what I've learned is that a large proportion of the time, when a large number of ducks make it to hatch day and then drown (signs of this are fully developed ducklings dead in the eggs, either internally pipped or not) it is nearly always due to underdeveloped air cells. When the same individuals try hatching again and monitor their air cell development, they usually discover either that the air cells are developing poorly or (if they've followed my advice, LOL), that they have a much better hatch rate after having lowered the humidity (very rarely do people monitor air cell development in their first attempt, so there's usually not any data against which to measure their air cell development after making the change).

    Another thing I've learned is that dry hatching is NOT for everyone. I live in a very humid climate at sea level. The conditions OUTSIDE of the incubator affect conditions INSIDE the incubator. Specifically, if the air entering the incubator is very dry, then the air has to pick up a large quantity of moisture from inside the incubator. If that moisture is not available from water wells or sponges, it will take it out of the eggs and you end up with air cells that are too LARGE at the end of incubation--not good. Contrarily, if the air entering the incubator is very moist (as in a humid climate), then it does not need to pick up much moisture from inside the incubator. If there are water wells or sponges, it may take almost no moisture at all from the eggs, and you end up with underdeveloped air cells (also not good). Altitude and other factors can affect air cell development as well, for various reasons having to do with air pressure and probably other things I don't even understand.

    So the bottom line is, everyone needs to play around with their particular conditions (and incubators) to find the ideal circumstances for best hatch rates in their situation. In general, humid areas call for lower humidity in the incubator and dry conditions the opposite. The best way to judge whether your humidity is right is to measure the air cells at each candling. Ideally, one quarter to one third of the egg should be air cell by lockdown.

    Hope that helps! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010
  8. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awwww, cuties!
     
  9. Hi! That is kinda sorta the same situation here.
    Quote:
     
  10. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    Thanks for that [​IMG] It really is very different here in Australia. No way would I be able to do a dry hatch here where I live.
     

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