New duck owners need to understand what their birds need to grow into the beautiful waterfowl they were meant to be.
Before you can have a flock of ducklings waddling through your yard, you will need to know how to incubate eggs.
The ideal temperature for duck egg incubation is between 98°F and 100.3°F. Anything below 98°F or above 100.3°F lowers the odds of a duck successfully hatching.
Let’s look at what you will need during incubation, as well as things to look out for.
First of all, be aware that duck eggs are bigger than chicken eggs. You won’t be able to fit as many duck eggs in an incubator as chicken eggs.
Make sure you regularly monitor temperature and humidity.
If an egg is away from the warmth of an incubator or its mother for too long, the likelihood of a successful incubation drops. This is why it’s important to regularly check your duck eggs.
Put your incubator in an area with a stable temperature. Don’t place it near a vent or under direct sunlight.
Duck eggs are incredibly vulnerable to external temperatures and weather; even a difference of a couple of degrees can spell disaster for your eggs.
When you first put the eggs in the incubator, keep the temperature at around 98°F.
As ducks grow in size, they start to produce more heat themselves. You want to start conservatively to avoid overheating your eggs.
Duck eggs are also sensitive to humidity. The humidity inside the incubator should stay between 55-65%.
Some incubators have a device that turns the eggs. You can use this to help regulate the humidity of the egg.
If you don’t have this tool, you should turn your eggs about four times a day. You can twist them and move the egg on its vertical axis, but you should avoid changing the egg’s position completely.
There are several thermometers you can find online to monitor temperature as well as humidity. Regularly check your thermometer to detect any anomalies.
If you know that the eggs will hatch soon, it may be wise to increase the humidity in the incubator to around 65%.
Toward the end of the hatching process (5 to 7 days before hatching), stop adjusting the eggs. This allows the duckling to get used to being in one spot as it prepares to break through the eggshell.
Taking care of animals is no easy task, and duck eggs are certainly not an exception to the rule.
With a bit of know-how and the right equipment, you can start breeding ducklings yourself. Practice and preparation will help yield better results.