PLEASE HELP!!! Duck Egg Incubation Questions!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by WeTheWeys, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. WeTheWeys

    WeTheWeys Chirping

    79
    173
    91
    Jul 12, 2018
    Hi everyone! I am brand new here so I am still figuring it all out. I have so many questions as I prepare for my little babies!

    Tomorrow I am receiving my duck eggs. I have a Janoel 12 incubator and I am pretty sure the tray is not turning like it is supposed to, so perhaps I will just manually rotate the eggs. Is this okay? I have been researching and reading countless books and threads for the past three years so that I could be ready when it was time for my ducks, but I still am nervous and feel unprepared! I have everything all ready, but I am so nervous for my little guys!

    I will be getting ten eggs. I have read that you are not supposed to candle every day (I know you don't see anything until about day 7 anyways) because you let a lot of the heat and humidity out of the incubator, but if I am manually turning my eggs five times a day, wont even more heat and humidity escape?

    If you have tips on how you mark your eggs to keep track of turning, please let me know! If I choose to turn them manually, will I still need my egg tray in the incubator or will they be okay without it?

    I am so SO paranoid that nobody will hatch or that someone will explode and contaminate the others... Any tell tale signs? Other than the odor... If a duck egg is not fertile or dies in development, how long will I have to remove it before it explodes? Also, how many days into the incubation period would I need to start worrying about exploding eggs?

    Thanks!!!
     
    biophiliac likes this.
  2. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Crossing the Road

    6,530
    7,947
    807
    Jun 23, 2013
    The Big Island/Hawaii
    I'm not experienced in hatching duck eggs but just a few things I've read. Those with more experience will be responding .... @WVduckchick @BantyChooks @oldhenlikesdogs

    How many eggs are you getting? The reason I ask is I had a Janoel 12, it's not very big, says 9 chicken eggs and duck eggs are bigger.
    Are they shipped eggs? If so set them in an egg carton, pointy side down for at least 12 hrs so the air cells have time to settle in.
    Have you calibrated your incubator, temp & humidity? Not sure what the temp.humidity for duck eggs are, have attached a chart.
    The turner works just moves slowly you barely notice it. If you choose to manually turn, you'll be opening the incubator at least 3 - 4x a day. Mark an X with pencil on opposite sides. Eggs are laid on their side.
    Chicken eggs are candled day 7, 14, 18th day and it's lockdown.
    You'll know when an egg is not fertile if you don't see any development when you candle. If you see an egg sweating, have an certain odor, it's best to do the float test before wrapping, double bagging and getting rid of.

    Chickens - Incubation Chart.jpg
     
    Deanster401 and biophiliac like this.
  3. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds!

    43,660
    81,966
    1,512
    Feb 9, 2015
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    :welcome

    You can use the turner, or take it out if you turn manually. Some people use X’s and O’s on opposite sides of the eggs, but I don’t mark mine, I just count them as I turn to make sure i get them all. Just do whatever you feel comfortable with to know that you’ve turned each one every time.

    I candle a lot. Pretty much daily, at least a few of the eggs lol. It doesn’t hurt them. I usually just stick the flashlight on the where they lay and don’t pick them up every time.

    Stinkers can happen but are more rare really. You will smell a bad one if it happens, or you will see a difference when you candle.

    Duck eggs usually reveal some growth when candled around day 4-5, but wait till day 8-10 before removing any clears.

    What breed of duck eggs are you getting? Best of luck for a great hatch!


    Oh, one of the most important things. Make sure your temperature is correct by using external thermometer that has been verified for accuracy! Don’t trust the incubator without checking it first!
     
  4. RubyNala97

    RubyNala97 Crowing

    4,621
    995
    311
    Apr 9, 2015
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Just wanted to add to what’s already been stated....I personally prefer to hand turn my eggs. I get a much better hatch rate with hand turning. But you should turn them an odd number of times a day so you alternate which side is facing up overnight. I do 5xday, around every 4 hours. Don’t worry about opening the incubator for hand turning. It takes 1-2 minutes and will not negatively affect your overall hatchrate. I do the “X” and “O” on each side.

    I’m curious what breed of duck your hatching too. Also, are these eggs shipped? Shipped eggs can be totally different to hatch if they get damaged in transit. Also adjust your humidity according to how your air cells grow. You may need to mist your eggs if they are not growing enough.

    And finally I’ve never had an egg explode or even smell bad and I hatch about every 2-3 months, year round.
     
  5. WeTheWeys

    WeTheWeys Chirping

    79
    173
    91
    Jul 12, 2018
    Thank you for the advice! @RubyNala97 @WVduckchick @ChickNanny13 @BantyChooks @oldhenlikesdogs

    yes they are shipped eggs. I just got them about an hour ago, and have since sat them upright, pointy end down, in an egg carton where I will let them sit overnight. I lightly candled them out of curiosity on whether or not the air cells were still in tact. (but the room was very bright and i only used my iPhone flashlight) From what I can tell, none are scrambled. However, I would say about 80% of the eggs have detached air cells....

    But I actually am not sure what exactly to look for! Tomorrow after having let the eggs settle a bit I will post pictures of candling so you can see the air cells, and help me identify which are in tact and which have been detached. Two are saddled, I know that for sure.

    I am hatching Pekin ducks, but the seller also sent some mallards, blue runners, and white crested since I told her I was flexible with breeds in the case of her not having enough eggs to ship to me at that time!

    I have read several posts about getting decent hatch rates out of detached air cells based on incubation care... Here is what I have gathered...

    -keep them upright in egg carton in incubator for the duration of incubation, pointy end down
    -EVER SO SLIGHTLY tilt the eggs (the upright version of rotation) to ensure the yolk does not stick to one side of the membrane
    -do not turn the eggs for the first three days in order to encourage the air cells to settle and firm up
    -move them / candle them as little as possible




    here is what I still need to know...
    ~one of them has a slight crack on top of the larger side. Should I refrain from putting this egg in the incubator with the others? I have another smaller incubator coming in the mail in the next day or so that I could place the cracked egg into...
    ~one of my mallard eggs is blue and very very small... the other is larger and more cream colored than blue... is there something wrong with the little blue one?
    ~HUMIDITY FOR DETACHED AIR CELLS!!! What do I do??? should the humidity be lowered or increased? It is about 50% humidity in the incubator currently, but the eggs are not in there yet so I still have time to adjust this.

    Thanks again for all the help so far!
     
    WVduckchick likes this.
  6. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds!

    43,660
    81,966
    1,512
    Feb 9, 2015
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    I will say that a lot depends on the severity of the air cells.

    So first if they are badly saddled or detached:
    -definitely leave them upright for at least 3 days to try to get them to reattach. They have to be tilted pretty soon though, or the CAM will not develop properly. Tilt perpendicular to saddles. Full 45 degree tilt is ideal if you do them upright. But I would reassess after a few days, and consider laying them down if possible.

    If the air cells are stable, I’d lay them down to begin with.

    The crack. Post a picture when you can. Some cracks can be sealed with tape, wax, liquid skin, super glue, etc. I’ve successfully used the paper-ish type of medical tape.

    Egg color/size those could have been from different hens, at different stages in their laying. Eggs usually start darker color, and get lighter until the hen molts again. They also usually start smaller, so I would assume the smaller, darker egg is from a newer layer.

    Humidity - check out the article in my signature box for my thoughts on that.
     
    RubyNala97 and WeTheWeys like this.
  7. WeTheWeys

    WeTheWeys Chirping

    79
    173
    91
    Jul 12, 2018
    @WVduckchick thank you thank you! Just finished reading your RH post, every question I have had regarding humidity has been answered! When my room becomes darker tonight I will candle the eggs to post pictures.... my main confusion is WHERE to draw the air cell line, as I am not sure if the tip darker pocket is the air cell or if it goes all the way down to where the egg is light... but I think that might just be because I used a weak flashlight that didn't shine very far?

    When my eggs are in the incubator, how can I monitor whether or not the air cells have reattached or settled without moving the eggs from the carton? once I post my pictures, would you be able to guide me on whether or not I should lay them down or keep them upright? Is it possible to candle from the top of the egg (larger part) downwards while it still rests in the egg carton? Thanks so much
     
    ChickNanny13 and WVduckchick like this.
  8. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds!

    43,660
    81,966
    1,512
    Feb 9, 2015
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Unless the post office severely scrambled them, the air cells should still be a complete bubble. Saddles are when the shaking causes the bubble to move around so much that it pulls the inner membrane from the outer membrane.
    What I do is try to think of it as a bubble in a water balloon, and when you candle, watch where the bubble “should be” in the fat end, and circle that. Then carefully tilt it around and draw dotted lines around anywhere the bubble moves as you tilt. Hopefully they are all locked in place and don’t move at all, but shipping is hard on them.
    Hope that makes sense. :D

    Oh, and yes, you can leave them upright in the carton and candle from there. Shining through the air cell will give you the best view anyway. Later it is advisable to candle all around the egg to make sure the CAM develops properly and the embryo is filling the egg.
     
    ChickNanny13 likes this.
  9. WeTheWeys

    WeTheWeys Chirping

    79
    173
    91
    Jul 12, 2018
    Thanks! @WVduckchick
    I will try uploading the pictures now. I saw the tiniest little water-balloony looking movement in the very tops of some, but then i saw darker areas which did not move when tilted slightly. i did not draw the dotted lines because i was afraid of moving them around too much.

    my house is pretty cold (67º) so after letting the eggs rest for about four hours, I have put them in the incubator. since they are already a few days old, I did not want to risk losing any more time and decreasing the hatch rate even more. I placed them large side up in the bator and the automatic turner is off. I did not include the egg with the cracks, because I wanted other opinions on it! I tried to take a picture and will post that....

    Either my candling technique is horrid or I am just not a good photographer... these pictures don't show much of what the eggs truly look like..

    Oh and I was wondering, am I candling all wrong? I wanted to keep the pointed end down and so I candled upwards through the pointed end... And also just realized that the darker shadowed area I was referring to earlier when i thought it was just from using a dull flashlight, turns out that is actually the yolk... who knew?! (clearly everyone except for me).

    also, check out the lines on my mallard egg.... is that normal or is that a badddd sign? Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.51.06 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.51.06 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.50.35 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.51.06 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.50.35 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.51.06 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.50.35 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.50.35 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.51.06 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.50.35 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.51.06 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.50.35 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.51.06 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.50.35 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.51.06 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.50.35 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.51.06 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.50.35 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.51.06 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.50.35 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.51.06 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.50.35 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.51.06 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.50.35 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.51.06 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.50.35 PM.png
     
  10. WeTheWeys

    WeTheWeys Chirping

    79
    173
    91
    Jul 12, 2018
    Thanks! @WVduckchick
    I will try uploading the pictures now. I saw the tiniest little water-balloony looking movement in the very tops of some, but then i saw darker areas which did not move when tilted slightly. i did not draw the dotted lines because i was afraid of moving them around too much.

    my house is pretty cold (67º) so after letting the eggs rest for about four hours, I have put them in the incubator. since they are already a few days old, I did not want to risk losing any more time and decreasing the hatch rate even more. I placed them large side up in the bator and the automatic turner is off. I did not include the egg with the cracks, because I wanted other opinions on it! I tried to take a picture and will post that....

    Either my candling technique is horrid or I am just not a good photographer... these pictures don't show much of what the eggs truly look like..

    Oh and I was wondering, am I candling all wrong? I wanted to keep the pointed end down and so I candled upwards through the pointed end... And also just realized that the darker shadowed area I was referring to earlier when i thought it was just from using a dull flashlight, turns out that is actually the yolk... who knew?! (clearly everyone except for me).

    also, check out the lines on my mallard egg.... is that normal or is that a badddd sign? View attachment 1467646 View attachment 1467647
     
    ChickNanny13 likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: