So... can I hatch them? Crazy weather causing ducks to lay.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jofanx, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. jofanx

    jofanx Chillin' With My Peeps

    177
    64
    91
    Oct 30, 2015
    With all the crazy weather we're having, one of my muscovy ducks (I have a male and three females) started laying eggs, even though they only get a maximum of 6 hours of light a day when I let them out of the coop at around 9 in the morning and get them back around 4 in the afternoon when the sun sets.

    So far I've gotten one a day this week. I am giving the first half dozen to my parents tomorrow but then a crazy thought struck me--can I incubate these? Provided I get to them before the really cold weather (since none of the ducks are broody) sets in--it's supposed to hit 70 Christmas Day here in NY.

    Can I buy an incubator and set these? Would they be fertile? I haven't seen my male put any moves on any of the girls (but he did mount a bantam hen in a dominance display because she plucked at him around the food station) so I don't even know if they'd hatch.
     
  2. JetCat

    JetCat Chillin' With My Peeps

    806
    52
    106
    Oct 26, 2015
    Southeast Alabama
    Yes you can set them, as for the fertility if he's sexually mature then chances are he's doing his thing and they'll be fertile.
     
  3. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,321
    451
    221
    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    Crack one open and check for the bullseye. If they're fertile your can collect them for a week or two and try your hand at incubating. I would date the eggs than you will know how long to collect next time.
     
  4. jofanx

    jofanx Chillin' With My Peeps

    177
    64
    91
    Oct 30, 2015
    Wow, okay cool. So I have to set them all at once, right? I can't just pop them into it one by one as they're laid?

    The temperature in my house right now is around 60 degrees every day, is that too cold for while I'm holding the eggs?
     
  5. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,321
    451
    221
    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    You set them all at once so they all hatch at the same time. 60 is just about perfect. Store them on the counter in an egg carton round side up. I've hatched guinea eggs that sat on the counter for a month in the summer and got a 25% hatch rate. I've also pulled chicken eggs out of the fridge and gotten 50%. They aren't too delicate.
     
  6. jofanx

    jofanx Chillin' With My Peeps

    177
    64
    91
    Oct 30, 2015
    Woot! Thanks so much for the info!

    I'll do that and by the time my incubator arrives I'll have enough for a full clutch. I'm really scared but this is going to be exciting.
     
  7. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

    495
    79
    81
    Jul 20, 2015
    New England USA
    One of my cayugas starting laying that week, too. I'd already given up on eggs this year, too. If she hadn't laid her second egg of the day in the doorway of the doghouse I'd never have known she started laying.

    2 eggs a day for the first two days and she's laid one egg a day every day since then.

    The others are interested and they take a turn on the community nest.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by