Weight loss can also be used as a guide. For duck eggs, the ideal weight loss is around 14% so when I monitor the weight loss of my eggs, I can see my most successful hatches occur for eggs that have lost around 14% of their weight. What Humidity Should I Use To Hatch Duck Eggs? As moisture is lost from the egg, the air sack at the rounded end increases in size, causing air to be drawn into the sack. There is an average loss of about 3% hatchability for eggs stored 7 days before setting, and about 10% loss for those stored 14 days. I kept my humidity 65-80% the entire incubation time, and 90-95% during hatching. As the humidity of the air decreases, the rate at which the egg loses moisture increases and vice-versa. If the incubator is not already in operation, start the incubator and allow the temperature and humidity to stabilize a day or two before setting eggs. Eggs from Muscovy ducks hatch in about 35 days after setting. I find that keeping humidity in the incubator as close to 70% as possible gives me consistently the best hatches, with ducklings that hatch easily, cleanly, and fluff out nicely as they dry. If you’re new to hatching duck eggs, here’s a few tips that helped me get through our hatch. Learn how your comment data is processed. I hope these tips will help answer any questions you have about how to hatch duck eggs, and that soon you'll have your own adorable fluff-balls peeping and cheeping away! Most small egg incubators (those that hold less than 40 eggs) have a well or two that holds water and generally don t have an easy way to measure humidity. Duck eggs may be hatched naturally by placing them under a broody duck or even a broody chicken hen. Each time I could get the weight loss of an egg to 14%, most of the time, they would hatch successfully. Basic procedures and conditions for hatching duck eggs are as follows. Make sure the humidity is correct for hatching duck eggs. Duck eggs require a little more humidity than chicken eggs do. The ideal temperature for incubating duck eggs is 37.5 °C with a humidity of 55% (you can measure the humidity with the help of a wet bulb thermometer). Some eggs were more porous than others and were losing weight faster. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. On the day of setting, put eggs in incubator, close the doors and allow the incubator to reach operating temperature. The Incubator should only be opened up to spray the eggs or add water to the pans and towel to keep the humidity up. After a little head scratching, I realised that the porosity of the shell was coming into play. I found that the humidity had to be different for different batches and breeds of eggs. there is another way to estimate the correct weight loss and that’s by the age-old method of candling and observing the size of the air sac. If eggs have been stored in a cooler, take them out of the cooler the night before setting and allow them to warm to room temperature. The nest box should be located in a clean dry shelter, bedded with suitable litter. Companion Animal Hospital in Ithaca, NY for cats, dogs, exotics, and wildlife, Equine and Nemo Farm Animal Hospitals in Ithaca, NY for horses and farm animals, Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists, on Long Island for every horse, Ambulatory and Production Medicine for service on farms within 30 miles of Ithaca, NY, Animal Health Diagnostic Center New York State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Ithaca, New York 14853-6401. The moisture won’t evaporate as quickly into the air as on a dry day and this is the same idea with eggs. Eggs that needed a lower humidity were placed into the 35%RH incubator for a few days to bring them back to the ‘ideal’ loss. So what is the answer? Select eggs to be set by carefully inspecting and candling them at the time they are put in setting trays. Set the temperature at 37.5°C (99.5°F) and relative humidity at 55% (84.5°F on wet bulb thermometer). It’s fairly simple to rotate eggs with success and to keep the temperature at relatively the same level, but humidity is more complicated. Eggs must be turned, either automatically or by hand, a minimum of 4 times a day. Egg shells are porous and moisture loss through the shell causes the egg to lose weight. The one that died even pipped, but then died after. This is called “lock down”. Since duck eggs are larger than chicken eggs, setting trays must be designed to accommodate their larger size. For years, I read articles written by well-respected authors who advised everything from 60% relative humidity (RH) to adding no water at all to the incubator in order to have a successful waterfowl hatch. Reading relative humidity is one of the more difficult things to do in a small incubator. Place the big ends towards the window. But, the longer they are stored, the lower the hatch rate. Hatching duck eggs is just as easy as as hatching out baby chicks! As time passes over the 4 weeks or so of incubation, the moisture loss is making the egg lighter so we have a weight loss over the incubation period. How Comfortable Are You with Duck & Goose Down Production? Your email address will not be published. At the time of transfer, the temperature of the hatcher should be set at 37.2°C (99°F) and the humidity set at 65% (88°F wet bulb). Store eggs small end down. Dutch Vet Tour Helps British Farmers Cut Antibiotic Use. Reply. You also know about differences between chicken and duck eggs and hatchlings. Home » Incubating & Hatching Ducks » What Humidity Should I Use To Hatch Duck Eggs?