Caring for Duck Eggs

Maintaining the proper temperature and humidity is important when incubating eggs. This guide is about caring for duck eggs.
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June 23, 2016 Flag
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We had a mallard put a nest by our back door. She has been nesting. It is now almost time for the eggs to hatch and something killed her last night. How can we save the eggs/chicks? We know they are fertilized as one egg did break a week or so back and we could see the tiny orange feet. Thank you.

June 25, 20161 found this helpful
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Other options are to contact a local farmer who has ducks or chickens, or a vet who might know who would have an incubator to keep these eggs in till they hatch. When they are hatched, you will have to look after them, but ducks are relatively easy to raise. You might find an animal sanctuary or petting zoo or regular zoo that would take them if you are not prepared to take this on. Good luck!

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June 27, 20161 found this helpful
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To quickly improvise an incubator, you need a large carton or styrofoam box, two wired light bulbs one of 40 W and one of 100 W and a thermometer and if possible an hygrometer. Cut a square in one of the side of the box and glue or stick a piece of clear plastic so that you can see clearly inside the box without having to open it

too often. Cut three sides only of another square in the middle of the top of the box that you will use for airing the box and to regulate the temperature. Put the box next to an electric plug. Put two saucers filled with water inside the box to provide humidity (55% of humidity is needed). Get the wires of the light bulbs through the top of the box and put the two lamps on until the temperature inside the box reaches 98.6 °F. Very carefully and moving the eggs very slowly write the figures 1,2,3,4 at equal distance on the flat side of each egg. Put the eggs inside the box on a layer of hay or a blanket, or anything that will help keep the warmth. The light bulbs must be 40 centimeters away from the eggs. Lay the thermometer on the eggs in a position that let you read it through the plastic screen you made on the side of the box. The temperature must stay around 98.5 to 99.5 but never above. To regulate the temperature, use the two lamps by turning on the 40 W light only, during daytime if the general temperature is warm enough and turning the 100 W light during night time.

Refill the saucers with warm water so that it will evaporate quicker. Humidity is very important. Twice a day very carefully give half a turn to the eggs (use the figures you wrote to check that you turn all of them and to the right side). Stop turning the eggs during the two last days of incubation (incubation is 28 days ) but put more water or a third saucer of water for the humidity to reach 65 % during this two last days of incubation. You can eveen spray the eggs a little bit. Do not put the box in a place where it will not be steady or near a machine that will produce vibrations. I really hope this will work and help you !

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June 27, 20161 found this helpful

March 29, 2016 Flag
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Yesterday my little brother and I were at a local park with a lake/pond. Well there's geese and ducks there and my little brother was feeding the ducks while they were laying down, he got too close and they jumped into the water. After they swam away he found an egg in shallow water. We grabbed the egg and took it home and put it in blankets and under a lamp that lets off a lot of heat. It also has small crack. I need to know what I need to do. Also when I candle the egg, you can see the embryo at the top.

March 29, 20160 found this helpful
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Unfortunately, an embryo in an egg that was in cold water for an unknown period and that has a cracked shell is most probably dead. If the embryo was still alive when you placed it under a hot lamp without knowing the required temperature, it is certainly now dead as the embryo must be kept at a precise temperature in an incubator.

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March 29, 20160 found this helpful
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If you find another duck egg and it is not yet cold, try keeping it at 37.5°C, which is 99.5°F. If Your room is dry, mist the egg occasionally with water.

This will only work if the egg is still warm from the mother when you find it.

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April 16, 20160 found this helpful

September 27, 2016 Flag
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This is a guide about incubation time for duck eggs. Wild ducks sometimes lay their eggs where we can watch them, sit and incubate the eggs, hoping to see the babies when they hatch.

Duck in nest with eggs

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September 6, 2015 Flag
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I found an egg the size of a chicken egg lying in a creek today. I was wondering if anyone knew what kind of egg it is and how to look after it. It was really cold so I ran it under some warm water. I hope it's okay. Now I just have it in a blanket under a lamp.
I don't know what to do next!

Kind Regards.

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September 8, 20150 found this helpful
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When an egg comes out of a chicken, it comes out "wet". That fluid is a protective covering, which when dry (it dries almost instantly by the way), keeps a lot of bacteria from entering the egg, because the shell is porous.

If you found the egg in a creek, it is most certainly dead. Not only is the protective fluid washed off of it but even if there were a fertilized embryo in there it asphyxiated from having been submerged in the creek...sorry about it but there it is. You should pitch it because soon it will start to smell bad.

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September 8, 20150 found this helpful
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Sadly, I agree with the previous posters. I think it is very likely that the embryo in that egg is dead. If it was in water and very cold, that would kill it. I have hatched chicken eggs in an incubator in a school science lab, and they need a constant warm temp, a fairly high humidity, and need to be turned twice a day. It takes about 22 days, if I remember correctly, maybe longer.

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September 8, 20150 found this helpful

April 10, 2016 Flag
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I found a cold egg in a park and I family visited. It had been there for about 5-6 hours. I've been keeping the egg fairly warm and still. The egg had been laid that day and I'm not sure if it has even been fertilized, but now my siblings and I are so exited to maybe have a little duckling.

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April 10, 20160 found this helpful
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If the egg has been cold for several hours, any inhabitant was most probably dead long before you found it. Also, even if there was a living embryo inside when found, it would have died as the embryo requires specific temperature and humidity over time to survive.

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August 24, 2016 Flag
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This is a guide about abandoned duck nest. Sometimes you may find what appears to be an abandoned duck nest.

Six duck eggs in a nest

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March 24, 2011 Flag
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I noticed this morning that a mallard hen made a nest in my backyard. This afternoon I had a yard service put mulch down. When I got home the duck was gone and the eggs were covered with mulch. I uncovered them and I really hope she'll come back! Do you think she will return? How long will the eggs be OK without her setting on the nest?

By Monte from Overland Park, KS

March 24, 20110 found this helpful
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I don't really know, but I suspect she's gone for good. That was a lot of disruption for her nest. I don't think the eggs will survive for very long without her heat.

We went out to eat last night, and they've put a little "river" through this shopping area. When we were leaving, I noticed a goose was sitting very intently behind a large rock/stone. I suspect she was sitting on a nest. Not a very good place to pick, considering how close it was to the parking lot & how busy the area is. We watched her for a little while, and I had to keep reminding my daughter not to try to get close, because I didn't want to scare Mama away. But I fear that others will not be so careful.

I think you'll just have to keep the area as quiet as possible, and watch & wait. Good luck!

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Anonymous Flag
April 5, 20160 found this helpful
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She won't return. I once disturbed a duck, while she was sitting on her eggs and she never came back, once she knows you've seen the eggs, she won't come back.

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Anonymous Flag
May 3, 20160 found this helpful

March 14, 2012 Flag
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Yesterday I found 4 duck eggs and I have been watching them. The mother hasn't come back, so I took them into my house and I am keeping them warm. I need to know when they are going to hatch, which then leads me to needing to know how old they are. Does anyone know how to tell how old an egg is?

By Gracie

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March 14, 20120 found this helpful
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Have they been fertilized by a male duck? Unless they have been you will just have some warm duck eggs. Maybe that is why the female duck left them.

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March 16, 20120 found this helpful
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Hold them up to a light and see if there's any development going on, that's called candling! This site is for doing chicken eggs, but, will give you an idea!

http://shilala.homestead.com/candling.html

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March 18, 20120 found this helpful
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June 2, 2016 Flag
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This guide is about incubating duck eggs. If you don't have a broody mother duck, an incubator can help you hatch poultry eggs.

Baby ducks hatching in an incubator

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June 23, 2011 Flag
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We live on a golf course, and a few weeks ago a duck laid its eggs in a neighbor's empty clay flower pot filled with some dirt on her front porch. She has been sitting on them, but today it rained all afternoon, and when we went over to check, the eggs were floating in water in the pot.

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March 13, 2014 Flag
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My 6 year old son found an egg, a duck egg. He brought it home. We have it under a light. But we want to know how long would it take for it to hatch?

By Anthony D.

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March 16, 20140 found this helpful
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If you just have it under a light, it most likely will not hatch. They have to be kept at a stead 99.5 degrees and with a humidity of 55%. They also have to be turned at least 4 times a day. Then, if all conditions are just right, most breeds hatch in about 28 days. The humidity sometimes needs to be changed as well, depending on the duck breed.

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