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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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A duckling being hatched.
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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.

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June 27, 20161 found this helpful

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

We did actually find a farmer who has ducks and chickens and is a retired wildlife rehabilitator and one has already hatched :)

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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.

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April 8, 20160 found this helpful

With the small crack the egg will not hatch. It is best to discard it before it begins to rot and smell really bad.

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April 16, 20160 found this helpful

Do you know if a duck egg will survive after 24 hrs without the heat of their mother at 45 degrees temperature? A fox ate the duck mother yesterday. I didn't realize there were eggs left in the next till today. I've place a Lamp, and a warm water bottle to the 4 eggs, in the same next the mama duck had built. The eggs were cold. I don't know if they have a chance to survive. Can't find any info if they have a chance or not.

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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.

 Duck Egg
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April 10, 20160 found this helpful

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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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

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

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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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

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

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Anonymous Flag
May 3, 20160 found this helpful

You shouldn`t ever touch a birds egg then she Probible won`t come back

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June 23, 20160 found this helpful

I found an egg at lake side in a tree I took it home put it in a blanket under an heater and I'm wondering what should I do and is it still alive

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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 16, 20120 found this helpful

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

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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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

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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