Wondering about possible negative of misting eggs when incubating

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by princessmama, May 18, 2009.

  1. princessmama

    princessmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My muscovy eggs were very wax-y when I got them. I noticed after a few weeks in the bator the waxiness was gone and eggs felt kinda powdery.

    So, what I'm wondering is this--could the misting have a negative effect on the eggs? As in, we mist them to help maintian humidity right? But if misting removes the waxy coating from the egg could this make them lose water faster? I realize they get wet from the mama duck, but they also get oily too, which gives them protection...

    Any thoughts on this?
     
  2. adrian

    adrian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From Metzer Farms' website -

    "The actual consequences of spraying is interesting. It changes the membrane of the egg so a greater percentage of moisture is lost during incubation. Ideally a duck egg looses about 13% of its weight between the time it is laid and day 25 of incubation. Loosing significantly more or less than this reduces hatchability."

    http://www.metzerfarms.com/hatch.htm

    I would like to also say that naturally, the duck or goose will swim and wet its feathers, and then sit on top of her eggs. So this is a natural, daily process.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2009
  3. Webfoot

    Webfoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In natural incubation, the coating on the eggs is worn off pretty quickly by the duck turning the eggs. Misting eggs causes moisture loss. If the humidity in your incubator is at correct level, there's no need to mist.

    Webfoot
     
  4. 92caddy

    92caddy Egg Lover

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    I never mist any of my water fowl eggs when in the bator, nor does my chicken hens when I have water fowl eggs under them.
     
  5. adrian

    adrian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's possible to hatch geese, either under a broody goose or in an incubator, without misting them. But it is what would happen in the wild, under a wild goose. It's a natural occurrence, so I mist. [​IMG]
     
  6. princessmama

    princessmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    adrian
    Yes, I know the mama duck gets wet and sits on the eggs, I mentioned that. I was just wondering if the oil the duck produces causes the eggs to be protected from losing too much moisture.

    Webfoot,
    As i've never had the chance to feel eggs under a duck i hadn't a clue if they were the same [​IMG] I had a sponge in the bator as well as the bottom tray full of water and the humidity hovered around 50% (according to my hygrometer, or whatever)--the room humidity measures 45%. I put a wet washcloth in during the hatch, around a duckling that was drying out as he was trying to hatch. I left the washcloth in and found that wetting it brought the humidity up to 70%.

    I misted the eggs all along, having read it was the right thing to do, even though I wondered. It made sense, since naturally they do get wet. I had a lot of very large air cells and dead ducklings. The eggs were shipped, so there could have been damaged air cells from that. Is it common for them to die a few days before or during hatch in that case?

    92caddy,
    I've heard stories of hens hatching ducklings then completely freaking out when the ducklings hop into the water LOL. But I never put two and two together with the whole humidity thing. [​IMG] Very interesting...
     
  7. adrian

    adrian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm, that's a pretty good point. A duck or goose does have oil on its feathers, and that oil might protect the shell of the egg... It may coat them, in fact, just as this oil coats the babies, allowing them to be water proof... But wouldn't it make sense, then, that the eggs would be waterproof, thus meaning that they wouldn't get very wet from being sprayed?

    Sort of difficult subject... Now I'm wondering whether I should spray or not. I can't lose many of these eggs, as I only have a few left... [​IMG]
     
  8. princessmama

    princessmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Right, but it would wear off without the oil from the mama duck being "reapplied" [​IMG]

    To spray or not to spray, that is the question... [​IMG]

    Now, Metzer farms says it changes the membrane? How does that work? Causing greater moisture loss, hmmm. All very interesting. Wish I knew more about how that works. I'll have to check out the site and see if they have any more details.
     
  9. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    Dave Holderread, who could be the greatest waterfowl breeder in the world, has noted repeatedly that hatching percentage is INCREASED by misting eggs with 100 F water from day 4 onwards.

    Still, some do, some don't..............

    You'll just have to take your own risky decision.

    But the witness of the great Holderread stands. He mists, so do I.
     
  10. Webfoot

    Webfoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dave's advice is a good place to start. However, hatching methods have to be adjusted for the conditions you live in. Dave lives in Oregon, and I would guess that he has no trouble keeping his humidity levels up [​IMG]

    Misting would be advantageous in humid conditions because it would cause the eggs to lose moisture faster.

    I hatch in Central Texas, where 20% outdoor humidity is not unusual. I struggle to keep humidity high enough and cell membranes moist until ducklings can finish hatching. Misting does not work well for me.

    Incubation and hatching isn't an exact science. There's a lot of trial and error involved. Try different things and stick with what works for your conditions.

    I don't believe misting really simulates anything in natural incubation. A duck's wet feathers applied to a nest of eggs really isn't the same as water sprayed on eggs in an incubator. Eggs in the bator are exposed to constantly moving warm, drying air, while eggs in the nest are protected from evaporation by the presence of the duck. Think of the difference between washing and drying your hands frequently (causing dry skin), and staying in the bathtub until you get pruney. In both cases, you are applying water to your skin. The difference is how it gets removed. That's my two cents.

    Webfoot
     
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