So, anyone hatch your own duck eggs?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by erinszoo, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. erinszoo

    erinszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just wondering if anyone has hatched duck eggs and how hard it is to do?? We want to get our boy some girls but didn't want to do so until spring however, it seems like the hatcheries are already selling out of some breeds for their spring hatch dates. We thought maybe it would be a great school exercise for our kids to hatch some and get the ducks we want at the same time. Any advice? What kind of incubator would we need? Is it different than chicken eggs? How long do they take to hatch?
     
  2. Glenmar

    Glenmar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Brinsea ECO 20 is the best. I am new at hatching and I have had great hatch rates. It is fool proof.
    Directions and incubation times come with the incubator. I also recommend the auto turn cradle.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  3. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    Good luck. I tried it once and got nothing. After that I decided to let mama Muscovy do it. She had an Awesome hatch rate.
    Glenmar I might get a new Baroda next yr. So I am assuming u would recommend the one u mentioned.
     
  4. DUCKGIRL89

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used a hove bator. The temp was at 97 and humidity was at 50 throught the first 25 days, and then on day 25 till they hatched the temp was the same, and the humidity was 70, and I put in 9 eggs, and got 5 ducklings.
     
  5. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    Try to avoid still air incubators, they are cheaper but the temps are not as stable inside. This can lead to bad hatches. GQF and Brinsea both make good table top forced air incubators. We use the Brinsea but are switching to a cabinet model next year or larger hatches. The table top bators are great for a couple doz eggs to be set.

    Baseline temp for incubating is 99.5 f . You don't want to go lower or it could lead to bad hatches, or slow hatches. Humidity is something that has to be worked out for where you live and the typical humidity in the air in your home. The one constant is at lckdown (when you stop turning for the ducklings to hatch) is you try to increase humidity to 70% (+/-) and DON'T open the lid until they are done hatching.

    That is just a basic incubating guide, there are other details, but for just learning not yet setting eggs this is the beginning basic.
     
  6. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    Some very good advise there from CelticOaksFarm.

    Just to answer some of your other questions though...

    Many people say that duck eggs do better laying down in an incubator- standing upright in a turner is fine for chickens- but in my experience I have much better hatches with them laying down. That was one particular thing in mind when I upgraded from a hovabator, so I got a model that has an auto roll turn mechanism in it.

    Humidity needs to be higher than with chickens, and instead of just 21 days- duck breeds other than muscovies take 28 days incubation. Muscovies take 35 days.
     
  7. astrid.mary

    astrid.mary Out Of The Brooder

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    I just hatched 4 Indian Runners 5 weeks ago! - my first time hatching duck eggs and only my second time hatching any eggs at all, so I was very pleasantly suprised when I got a 100% hatch rate. [​IMG]
    I have a new Hovabator which has an automatic turner and a fan in it to keep even temperature, it's all preset so you just plug it in and keep the water topped up basicaly. Very easy and as a beginner I am very pleased with it.
    Duck eggs usually take 28 days. My babies hatched 3 days early though! On the morning of day 25 I went to take auto-turner out of the incubator in preperation for hatching (if you are going to use an auto-turner then you need to take it out 3days before hatch day so that babies can position themselves within the egg for hatching correctly and so that there's no chance of their little bodies getting caught in the machinery) and there was a little yellow fluff ball tucked in one corner peeping at me!!
    Advice that I got which I found helpful and attribute to the successful hatch was to mist the eggs once a day with pure water, I just used a nice new gardeners spray bottle from the hardware store set on the finest spray setting and gave the eggs a squirt every day.
    You want girls, so have you thought about what to do with the unwanted boys you will get from hatching?
    I was suprised how messy the ducklings were compared to the chicks - they spread water absolutely everywhere! It's quite amazing. I gave them the same drinker as the chicks have (ie one that they cant stand in or tip over etc) and I had to refill it at least once a day because they just sit around it and pass the water through their beaks and kind of just spit it everywhere - very cute, but not so much fun to be cleaning out wet litter ever single day, little darlings.
    Also amazed at how quickly they have grown. 5 weeks old this week and they are more that half feathered and tower over the chicks that are 7 weeks old and they boss the chicks and even my two big laying hens around too! I just love my ducks, they are so beautiful and I love watching them do their thing.
     
  8. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    astrid.mary :

    I just hatched 4 Indian Runners 5 weeks ago! - my first time hatching duck eggs and only my second time hatching any eggs at all, so I was very pleasantly suprised when I got a 100% hatch rate. [​IMG]
    I have a new Hovabator which has an automatic turner and a fan in it to keep even temperature, it's all preset so you just plug it in and keep the water topped up basicaly. Very easy and as a beginner I am very pleased with it.
    Duck eggs usually take 28 days. My babies hatched 3 days early though! On the morning of day 25 I went to take auto-turner out of the incubator in preperation for hatching (if you are going to use an auto-turner then you need to take it out 3days before hatch day so that babies can position themselves within the egg for hatching correctly and so that there's no chance of their little bodies getting caught in the machinery) and there was a little yellow fluff ball tucked in one corner peeping at me!!
    Advice that I got which I found helpful and attribute to the successful hatch was to mist the eggs once a day with pure water, I just used a nice new gardeners spray bottle from the hardware store set on the finest spray setting and gave the eggs a squirt every day.
    You want girls, so have you thought about what to do with the unwanted boys you will get from hatching?
    I was suprised how messy the ducklings were compared to the chicks - they spread water absolutely everywhere! It's quite amazing. I gave them the same drinker as the chicks have (ie one that they cant stand in or tip over etc) and I had to refill it at least once a day because they just sit around it and pass the water through their beaks and kind of just spit it everywhere - very cute, but not so much fun to be cleaning out wet litter ever single day, little darlings.
    Also amazed at how quickly they have grown. 5 weeks old this week and they are more that half feathered and tower over the chicks that are 7 weeks old and they boss the chicks and even my two big laying hens around too! I just love my ducks, they are so beautiful and I love watching them do their thing.

    Astrid, you should calibrate your incubator using a second thermometer. With a 3 day early hatch you are running warmer than 99.5. The bators come preset, but thermometers can vary on how accurate the reading is.​
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    astrid.mary :

    I just hatched 4 Indian Runners 5 weeks ago! - my first time hatching duck eggs and only my second time hatching any eggs at all, so I was very pleasantly suprised when I got a 100% hatch rate. [​IMG]
    I have a new Hovabator which has an automatic turner and a fan in it to keep even temperature, it's all preset so you just plug it in and keep the water topped up basicaly. Very easy and as a beginner I am very pleased with it.
    Duck eggs usually take 28 days. My babies hatched 3 days early though! On the morning of day 25 I went to take auto-turner out of the incubator in preperation for hatching (if you are going to use an auto-turner then you need to take it out 3days before hatch day so that babies can position themselves within the egg for hatching correctly and so that there's no chance of their little bodies getting caught in the machinery) and there was a little yellow fluff ball tucked in one corner peeping at me!!
    Advice that I got which I found helpful and attribute to the successful hatch was to mist the eggs once a day with pure water, I just used a nice new gardeners spray bottle from the hardware store set on the finest spray setting and gave the eggs a squirt every day.
    You want girls, so have you thought about what to do with the unwanted boys you will get from hatching?
    I was suprised how messy the ducklings were compared to the chicks - they spread water absolutely everywhere! It's quite amazing. I gave them the same drinker as the chicks have (ie one that they cant stand in or tip over etc) and I had to refill it at least once a day because they just sit around it and pass the water through their beaks and kind of just spit it everywhere - very cute, but not so much fun to be cleaning out wet litter ever single day, little darlings.
    Also amazed at how quickly they have grown. 5 weeks old this week and they are more that half feathered and tower over the chicks that are 7 weeks old and they boss the chicks and even my two big laying hens around too! I just love my ducks, they are so beautiful and I love watching them do their thing.

    Okay now we need Pictures of your lil monsters, I mean ducklings!!! [​IMG] and [​IMG]
     
  10. StevenW.

    StevenW. Lovin' My Quackers!

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    Central, Illinois
    I incubate some of my duck eggs to ensure that they are fertile. But I have a LG and I very rarely ever get anything to hatch out it. [​IMG]
    I'm thinking about getting a preset hova-bator next year.
     

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