Will an automatic egg turner work for hatching duck eggs?

ecrb223

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Sep 27, 2014
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Hey, everyone! I am about to start incubating 15 duck eggs ordered from Metzer Farms, and I bought an automatic egg turner that rotates them 90 degrees every 4 hours. Will that be enough for the eggs? I have read mixed reviews on whether the hatch rate is significantly greater if you turn them by hand or if it doesn't matter if it's auto or by hand. Should I rotate the eggs 180 degrees every night before bed and let the auto handle the rest? Please share your thoughts!
 
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Yorkshire Coop

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I would leave all the work to the egg turner. I've had better hatch rates using a turner rather than hand turning. Your turner sound fine and should be ample at 90 degrees. I would advise though if your eggs are shipped to let them sit pointy end down in egg cartons for 24 hours before setting them in the incubator. Then when you have set them don't turn for three days to let the air cells settle. Good luck.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hatching-eggs-101 This is a good read if you are incubating shipped eggs.
 
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ecrb223

Hatching
5 Years
Sep 27, 2014
9
1
7
You have had better hatch rates with chicken eggs right? I am incubating duck eggs and have read that chicken eggs do well with the automatic egg turner, but with duck eggs it is pretty iffy..
 

enriquec

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Someone mentioned here that you should use a turner that holds the eggs laying down, not standing up. I didn't find out until after my hatch tho
 

ecrb223

Hatching
5 Years
Sep 27, 2014
9
1
7
Really? Have you heard anything about the automatic egg turner for duck eggs?
 

Pyxis

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I've always hatched my duck eggs in the automatic turner and they do fine. I'm talking about a large end up turner too. With goose eggs you want to keep them on their sides, but I've never had trouble with duck eggs large end up. If you want to twist them 180 degrees in the turn that's fine, it won't hurt and it might help. Just make sure you are twisting them, not flipping them. The large end should always be up.
 

ecrb223

Hatching
5 Years
Sep 27, 2014
9
1
7
That was super helpful! Thanks! What was your humidity days 1-25 and days 25-hatch? I'm overwhelmed with all the differences in humidity people are using, so how did you pick where to keep your humidity?
 

Pyxis

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I tracked the air cell and weight myself. There's a really good air cell chart around here somewhere that I'll try to dig up for you. I was at 50% humidity for the first 25 days mostly, although the best way to be sure is to watch the air cell and make sure it's developing correctly, or to be really precise, you can weigh an egg. An egg should lose about 15% of its weight before lockdown and if that happens you know you are on track with humidity. For lockdown I usually bump to 70%.
 

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