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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got 12 mallards that ate laying eggs but they are eating about half that they lay,any tips on how to get them to stop pecking them open? Also how does everyone store the eggs until its time to set them in incubator. I've got 2 quality incubators with turners and have good temps/ humidity but still low hatch rates,so I'm thinking its gota be before I set them is where the problem is. No wonder ducks are expensive,because they are kinda a pain in the azz. Any tips appreciated.
 

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its probably the drakes that are doing the damage, they will sometimes kill the baby ducklings, just so they can get the hens to copulate again..might want to separate them
 

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I can't type everything from the book but seems Story's Guide to Raising Ducks has all the info you need. Try Amazon?
They collect eggs morning and mid afternoon.
Washed at 100-110deg w/anti b soap.
Eggs stored in basement 1-7 days @ 55-65deg.
Set.
Day 4-26 mist 100deg water.
Day 1-25 turn 90deg hourly.
Day 1-25 dry bulb 99deg, wet bulb 83-84deg.
Day 24 xfer to hatcher dry 98 wet 90deg.
Etc....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
its probably the drakes that are doing the damage, they will sometimes kill the baby ducklings, just so they can get the hens to copulate again..might want to separate them
Not just the drakes,just caught a hen running around with $10 in her mouth.
Thanks Breck, Ill check that book out,we've got automatic turners and hovabart incubators that have a maze system in the bottom for water to adjust the humidity.just picked up a little camping fridge yesterday to try and store the eggs because 55-65 degrees ain't guna cut it for the garage frig, I keep valuable cans in that thing that have to be kept way colder then that. I wonder if misting the eggs is needed even with maintaining good humidity.
 

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Not just the drakes,just caught a hen running around with $10 in her mouth.
Thanks Breck, Ill check that book out,we've got automatic turners and hovabart incubators that have a maze system in the bottom for water to adjust the humidity.just picked up a little camping fridge yesterday to try and store the eggs because 55-65 degrees ain't guna cut it for the garage frig, I keep valuable cans in that thing that have to be kept way colder then that. I wonder if misting the eggs is needed even with maintaining good humidity.
Its been a very long time since I did the hatching eggs thing but you will need to mist the eggs (duck egg shells are thicker than chickens) AND I'd check to see what you are feeding your ducks. They may need a calcium source or something. That's when I always saw them damaging eggs. Oyster shells and we used to cook the eggs shells and crumble them then feed them back to the birds( if you cook them, they don't know they are egg shells but provide some of the missing minerals that your birds might have).

WRL
 

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wow- sounds like a huge PIA. For 12.00 I'll buy them, ready to shoot.
 

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If you can get some Oyster shells and grind them up and feed it to them and give them Laying Pellets, my father in law raises all kinds of birds and thats what he does.
 

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They could also be craving protein. The laying mash/pellets are higher protien and calcium than just corn or scratch grains.

Have you checked the eggs that didn't hatch? If so, what did the chicks look like? If they look/feel soft and bloated, your humidity is too high. If you know anybody close to you that hatches, ask them what humidity they use. I actually run mine pretty dry the first 25 days it maintain about 30% humidity, then I add water to raise it to 75-75 last three days. We naturally have about 50-60% humidity in the air. A lot of people I know use the same method, misting the eggs, only adding a small amount of water when the outside air is dry for an extended period, etc. Also, if you don't already, put them in a fairly temperature regulated room. Fluctuations in temperature can affect the temperature inside and affect hatch rate. I hatch mostly chicks, I've hatched mallards and muscovy using the same method, just misting extra on the duck eggs.
 
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