Hatching Duck Eggs (part 1)

September 2, 2008 | By Anonymous

Incubation of duck eggs is not all that difficult and can be very rewarding, but it is important that you use an accurate egg incubator and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Following are general conditions recommended for hatching eggs & egg incubators:

Incubation Period
Days 1 through 25
Temperature 99.5° Fahrenheit
Humidity 86%
Turns Per Day 3, 5, or 7

Hatching Period
Days 26 through 28
Temperature 98.5° Fahrenheit
Humidity 94%
Stop Turning

1. Opinions vary on the exact proper temperature. Many publications recommend higher temperatures because they are advising hatcheries who hatch much larger numbers of eggs. These temperature recommendations seem to work best for the Octagon Incubators that we offer.

2. Humidity - It is very difficult to measure relative humidity in small incubators so this is one of those areas where you have to do your best to estimate. In the Octagon 10 incubator, we suggest just covering one of the two air holes to increase relative humidity a little bit. (Do NOT cover both air holes as the embryos do need air).

3. If you don't have an auto-turner, most experts suggest turning the eggs an odd number of times each day up until a couple days before the hatching period. The odd number of turns causes the embryo to "sleep" on a varying side each night.

You can candle your eggs after seven days of incubation. This involves touching a small bright flashlight to the top of each egg and observing the growth and progress of the egg.

Incubation Tips

If your incubator doesn’t have a fan, measure the temperature half way up the side of the eggs but not touching them. Without a fan, the warm air rises and you will get a false reading if you place your thermometer on top of the eggs.

NOTE: See a diagram of "What to look for when candling duck eggs at various incubation periods" at the following URL.
SOURCE: www.duckeggs.com/hatching-eggs.html
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