How to Hatch Duck Eggs

Hatching duck eggs can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. Although this task is a relatively simple one, care must be taken throughout the process to ensure a safe transition from egg to incubator.

Much of the information available on incubating and hatching chicken eggs can be applied to hatching duck eggs, as long as the important differences between these two species are taken into account. Since duck eggs are larger than chicken eggs, setting trays must be designed to accommodate their larger size.

Obtain duck eggs that have been fertilized. Ensure that a proper incubator has been purchased or built. Incubators can simply be any enclosed box or area that can retain heat and has easy access to the eggs. Do not set eggs that are cracked, double yoked, misshapen, oversized, undersized or dirty. For best results, set eggs within 1-3 days from the time they were laid. Try to choose eggs from the same breed of duck as the incubation time varies to quite a degree - Eggs from common ducks like Pekins require 28 days to hatch. Eggs from Muscovy ducks hatch in about 35 days after setting. Eggs from common ducks like Pekins require 28 days to hatch. Eggs from Muscovy ducks hatch in about 35 days after setting.

Make sure the temperature of the enclosure or incubator stays at approximately 99 to 99.5 degrees F for the first 25 days. Reduce the temperature to 98.5 degrees F on day 25 and allow incubating for an additional 3 days. Control the humidity of the hatching duck eggs for the first 25 days to 86 percent. Adjust the humidity to 94 percent for the remaining 3 days.

Consider candling (placing a small, very bright flashlight at the top of the duck egg and shining light through) the duck egg after 7 days to check on the fertilization process.

Turn the hatching duck eggs an odd number of times per day throughout the first 25 days. Three, five, and seven times are a common process. This allows the hatching duck eggs to "rest" in differing positions. Stop turning the duck eggs over the last 3 days.

Allow the duckling to hatch on its own. Only interfere to assist should the duckling become trapped in the eggshell hole or hasn't made progress for 1 hour. Ducklings must be kept warm after hatching.

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5 Tips For Raising Ducks

Are you are thinking about raising ducks and you have no idea where to get started? I have come up with some few tips that will head you in the right direction. There are few things you need to know about ducks before you get started. Ducks can adapt to living almost anywhere, they are very economical and require little care once they become adults. When raising ducks, you can choose to buy ducklings and broods them like chicks or you can choose to buy duck eggs and hatch them artificially in an incubator. Some of the tips include:

- When breeding artificially in an incubator, the eggs must be kept in a cool place and mark each egg on each side with different letters. This will help you know which eggs you have turned. The eggs have to be turned every day to prevent the membrane from sticking to the shell. There are some incubators that turn the eggs automatically. The turning should stop three days before hatching. Run the incubator a day or two before putting the eggs to make sure the temperatures are even. You can determine if the eggs are fertile through a process called Candling.

- The first hatch is when the duckling breaks through the membrane into the air sac at one end of the egg. Many people have asked whether it is good to help the duckling hatch. It is not ruled out especially to those practicing small scale poultry farming. Helping the hatching process can be done by using tweezers to make small holes in the shell just right next to the air sac. This is a risky process and it is better to do it with a professional. You must keep an eye on them. The small hole can result in loss of humidity and the membrane may dry out. You can use a sprayer to spray warm water to the egg if this happens.

- Once they have hatched, the ducklings are moved to a brooder where they are kept under a heat lamp which prevents them from being cold. During the first three days, the ducklings are a bit unsteady. The floor should be kept dry to prevent them from slipping.

- When it comes to feeding them, the water should be kept in a drinker which is deep enough for the duckling to dip its beak and not completely submerge its head in the water. The duckling does not need food immediately after hatching but after 24 hours, it should be fed with starter crumbs which are bought from an agricultural shop. Weak ducklings can be fed hard boiled yolk to give them more strength. The starter crumbs should be for about ten days then you can switch to growers pellets which are cheaper. After 15 weeks, feeding them the maintenance pellets should be okay as they are no longer ducklings.

- Ducks love grass and should be allowed to graze once in a while. They also catch insects in the process which gives them proteins. In harsh weather, they should be sheltered. You dont need to have a pond as the ducks can swim in a plastic baby pool. The pool has to be refilled and kept clean. Raising ducks can be fun if you let it.