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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Question: Hatching Duck Eggs in an Incubator

By Darrell M. 1

My two female ducks just started laying in the coop. It is winter in Kansas. I would like to gather them and put them in an incubator to hatch. However, by the time I get to the coop in the mornings to gather the eggs they are very cold. I immediately bring them into the house, but will they incubate and hatch since they were cold for several hours?

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    By Abigail A. 15 1,046 Flag

    January 1, 2016

    No. The eggs must be kept at a constant temperature and turned sometimes. Can you trick one of your ducks into laying on a warm heating pad?

    I wonder why the ducks aren't sitting on the eggs to keep them warm. They're supposed to do this.

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    Question: Mother Duck Has Abandoned Her Nest

    By Monte 1

    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

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    By leanne chaisson 44 84 Flag

    March 26, 2011

    I agree, please contact your local fish and wildlife office, they may have some ideas. Good luck

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    Question: Caring for an Egg

    By Tiana.L. 1

    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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      By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

      September 8, 2015

      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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      Question: Hatching Duck Eggs

      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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      By vicki hood 4 563 Flag

      March 18, 2012

      Take a toilet paper core, the egg and a flashlight into a dark closet. Egg in one end flashlight at the bottom and you will see if there is a youngster developing in there. Call wildlife rescue in your area as there are all sorts of things that are needed for developing eggs. They have to have proper temperature, proper moisture, proper turning.

      Should they hatch, do not help them by peeling shell away. That kills them as they bleed very easily. Please call wildlife rescue if you want them to live. Ask at your local feed store if they know someone to help you.

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      Question: Moving Duck Eggs

      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. We removed the eggs, put in fresh warm potting soil and moved the pot under the porch awning where the pot would stay dry.

      At first the mother would not come under the porch. She stayed where the pot had been in the rain. i showed her the pot with the eggs, and she immediately hissed at me and jumped in the pot and my husband moved it back under the porch. She stayed in the pot while he moved it, of course hissing and trying to bite the whole time.

      Will she continue to lay on these eggs even though the pot has been moved? We have checked from a distance several times, and she is still there.

      By Leslie S

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      By Dottie Baltz 2 30 Flag

      June 28, 2011

      We get ducks nesting in the yard often, and I believe she will continue to sit on them. I am very surprised she sat in the pot while your hubby moved it. LOL. That must have been a sight. When the babies hatch, she will most likely have them moved before you will ever get a good look at them. That's usually what happens to me. They always seem to hatch while I'm at work. :(

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      Question: Hatching a Duck Egg

      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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      By April 187 452 Flag

      March 16, 2014

      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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      Question: Incubation Time for Mallard Duck Eggs

      We have a mallard duck sitting outside our living room window. She has 8 eggs and has been sitting on them for 4 weeks. What is the incubation time for them?

      By Lyn

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      By P 2 56 Flag

      June 4, 2012

      I'm told 28-35 days, depending on care. Varieties may differ. Also, you can candle the eggs with a bright flashlight (LED best) to see if anyone's home.

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      Question: Mallard Eggs Seem Abandoned

      We had a mallard hen lay 11 eggs, 1 was broken. She sat and hardly ever left. We thought they would start hatching about the 4th. We've been checking off and on. She was there Monday! Today she is not there and 3 shells are broken there is down in the nest.

      By Teri

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      By JazzyMe 12 79 Flag

      May 18, 2012

      I don't know for sure, but I get Birds and Blooms Magazine and read it cover to cover every time. If I remember correctly, one of the articles said that they do come back. She may be coming back at night and leaving in the morning to eat. You can try taking one egg and try hatching it yourself but these efforts usually do not come to fruitation unless you are absolutely sure you know what you are doing. So if you try it, don't be too disappointed if the egg does not hatch.

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      Question: Incubation Time for Duck Eggs

      By cheryl 1

      We have a wild duck on our boat. She laid 7 eggs. How long does it take for them to hatch? When we use the boat she takes off. She seems to come back and sit on them.

      By Cheryl from MI

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      By livithewalkingdead 2 Flag

      July 27, 2013

      They will take 28-35 days to hatch. Sorry, but I wouldn't take the boat out until they hatch. They need to stay at an almost constant temperature in order to hatch. It's good the mother comes back, but the mother needs to sit on her eggs almost all the time. Good luck! Maybe you will be able to see the ducklings if they hatch.

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      Question: Caring for Duck Eggs

      By winstone10 1

      About 3 days ago we noticed baby Mallard eggs in our front garden, there are 6-7 eggs. I think 3 or 4 are cracked and 3 are still good, 2 are in the nest under a bush and 1 rolled under some leaves. I haven't seen the mother at all in the pass 3 days. The eggs haven't been incubated and I don't know if they are fertile. What do I do to check if they are? And if they are, what do I do to keep them alive?

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        Question: Caring for Duck Eggs

        How do I take care of duck eggs that were in the water?

        By Nathan I.

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        Question: Caring for a Duck Egg

        How will you know when to stop turning it? I don't know how many days the duck egg has been sat on by their mom, but it is definitely alive. I have candled it. Why does the egg shell have a hairline crack? Everyday I notice a crack. I heard it chirping (if that's the word for it) 4 days ago then it stopped.

        By Donna Dee

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        Question: Raising a Duck

        If I handled the eggs to see if they are fertile will my duck hen still care for them?

        By Travis

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        Question: Protecting Wild Duck Eggs from Predators

        At my school we have 4 mallard ducks, 2 males and 2 females. I know the hens are laying eggs; they had about 7 nests. Now they finally picked one nest. So they have been sitting on the nest for about 20 days. One day when I went to school in the morning. I saw some egg shell on the floor then I went to see if they were OK. When I got there I saw them and they were OK. I went to put out the water and food for them to eat and drink. When I went to look around I saw about 11 egg shells with dead baby ducks inside. That was very sad for me. I went to see the hens and I looked in the nest and saw only 5 eggs and they usually had 20 eggs. My question is what should I do to stop animals eating the duck eggs. Please help. Thank you, A duck lover.

        By Ricardo S.

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        Question: Keeping Magpies Away from Duck Eggs

        By lindy 1

        How can I keep magpies away from duck eggs?

        By Lindy

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        Question: Hatching Duck Eggs

        By lishey922 2 3

        I have duck eggs. My friend was moving the heat lamp and it dropped (not on purpose) and an egg cracked. A little bit of red stuff came out. What can I do? Please help.

        By Lishey922 from N.S.

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        A duckling being hatched.
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