Problems hatching duck eggs

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by tonini3059, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. tonini3059

    tonini3059 [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Luv

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    I just cannot understand why I have problems hatching out duck eggs. I keep the humidity around 55-65% when incubating then bump it to 65-70% after I stop turning. I use and auto turner then lay them flat.
    I had 5 silky call eggs in the incubator. They were all doing well on day 23 when I stopped turning them. One pipped the shell and 2 died without ever pipping. They were fully formed, but did not absorb the yolk sac. The fluid in the shell was very thick and sticky if that helps at all.
    Any help or thoughts would be appreciated Thanks!!
     
  2. kingpincray

    kingpincray Songster

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    found your post through keyword search. I had the same problem and now I am trying another batch and I am going to spray the eggs with warm water to see if that helps. I read somewhere the water changes the membrane of water fowl eggs for them to develop better.

    will let you know if it works.
     
  3. tia

    tia Songster

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    I had trouble and found that the humidity in the room I had them in was too high. I also had a large fish tank in my classroom that we were incubating salmon eggs in, and lots of plants. When I moved them to another room that had a more constant temperature and lower humidity it helped. Just a thought.

    Tia
     
  4. Goat_Walker

    Goat_Walker I Am THE Crazy Duck Lady

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    Silkies are very hard to hatch and required daily misting of the shells. Other than that I dont know what to say. I havent been able to hatch but two ducklings sucessfully in my bator
     
  5. tonini3059

    tonini3059 [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Luv

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    I did better after that attempt, but I seemed to get a lot of nasty green bacteria growing in the egg which killed them. Once I switched spray bottles and thoroughly sanitized the incubator, I also cleaned the eggs too I did better.
     
  6. MDC

    MDC Songster

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    I have heard from quite a few long term breeders that duck eggs do not do well in automatic turners but instead should be placed on their sides during incubation. Also, I, like many I've heard of, actually prefer a dry incubation and do not get so caught up in humidity throughout incubation and I have my best hatches since having adopted this practice. What I do is spritz the eggs 1x daily with warm water after having left the lid off the incubator until the eggs have cooled slightly. Usually 10-15 minutes. Then I pop the lid back on and go about my business. I don't worry about keeping water in the wells. Embryos must shrink down in order to be able to turn in the egg when they pip & begin to hatch, too much fluid prevents this 'dry down' and a lot of times ducklings will either get stuck trying to turn or I've heard of them drowning once they've internally pipped. I don't remember the exact reduction but there is a chart somewhere that lists exactly how an egg changes over the course of an incubation period showing how the air cell increases week by week. Might try to see if I can find it again.
     
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  7. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    I agree, I have had much better luck with hand turning duck eggs, rather than setting them in an auto turner. I filled my turner with eggs from my own ducks once, 42 eggs. Almost all of them developed, but only 13 hatched.

    When you hand turn duck eggs, you are supposed to turn them 'big end over', meaning instead of rolling them side to side like you would with chickens or quail, you turn them big end down to the other side. That's what I was told to do, and it worked much better that way.
     
  8. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Here's a link that has different reasons as to why the eggs don't hatch http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/aa204
    And
    here's the one that I think MDC was referring to. If not, it at least has a pic on it of what the eggs are supposed to look like (air cells).....

    Well, this isn't the one I was looking for, but it does have a diagram that shows the air cell size at various stages.

    ETA: This site http://www.poplarfarmcottage.com/faq.html is more specific for ducks. If you go to the

    ¬°Why should I candle my eggs?

    question, it has a pic of a duck egg's air cell at different stages.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  9. Goat_Walker

    Goat_Walker I Am THE Crazy Duck Lady

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    I think next time I incubate Im going to try the dry method, so .. QUESTIONS! ( dont mean to hijack [​IMG] )

    What do you mean by the hand turning? I mean how many times do you turn them per day? And what do you mean big end to little end? Ive been told about the dry hatching by a few people, just put them in the turner , they didnt say anything about misting, and then on the third day before hatch fill all the trays with steaming hot water and leave it.

    What exactly do yall do? Details would be nice if yall dont mind since Im kinda physco about my eggs lol
     
  10. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Dry hatching is easy, you basically don't add water at all during incubation time, unless it is really dry in your area. I didn't this last time with my quail, and the humidity was about 25% for the most part. I had 14 of 17 eggs hatch, so that's pretty good.

    Duck eggs don't have to be misted or cooled, but they do seem to do better if they are. Take the top of your incubator off for 10-15 minutes a day and spray the eggs lightly with room temp water before putting the lid back on.

    Hand turn the eggs big-end-over, you want the small end to be 'up' when you are turning them. Think of how you are supposed to store them, with the big end on top? When you turn them, they would be upside down, to lay on the opposite side. You'll still want to mark the sides, but don't just roll them over. That's what someone told me to do, I think it was Sundown Waterfowl, but I'm not sure [​IMG]
     

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