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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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.

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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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    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?

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      If you have a male duck, the eggs should be fertile. And, yes, the eggs if incubated before they are 7-14 days old should be viable. Being cold for several hours will not hurt them, unless they were frozen. A mother duck lays one egg each day for a week or two until she is satisfied with how many eggs she has. She will not sit on them until she is ready to incubate. During this time of egg laying the eggs are warmed and cooled by the duck coming and going and they are fine.

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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.

        AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        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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        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

        AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

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

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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

        AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        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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        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.

        AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        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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        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

        AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        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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        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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        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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        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

        AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        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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        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

        AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        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.

        ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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