Hangin’ with my peeps, or Cheeep(er) by the dozen

The eggs are hatching!

The eggs are hatching!

I forgot to mention last post that Saturday the 3rd of May was the 25 day mark for the eggs in the incubator. That meant I had to take the turning  mechanism out, increase the humidity and decrease the temperature.

The temperature while incubating was supposed to be 99.5 degrees with 55% humidity. I think I got it there MOST of the time. At 25 days you stop turning the eggs and lower the temperature to 98.5 with 80% humidity, I am almost certain I got the temperature right, but keeping the humidity at 80% was not easy. I finally filled some one serving rice bowls from the recycling with water and that seemed to get it much closer. Now I had between 75 and 81%. I figured close enough. The higher humidity is to keep the membrane inside the shell from “shrink wrapping” the ducklings. I still had problems with a few of them, but I think it did help

IMG_20140510_085347Out of 32 original eggs I ended up with 12 live ducklings. I would have had 13, but I did not notice that one of the last to hatch stopped moving after almost taking the top off of its shell. It was fully formed, I think it did not have an air hole poked in the shell and suffocated.


One of the ducklings that was born on the last day Almost didn’t make it. Here is the story of ¬†DuckSoup. It was hatched in the late evening of the second day and I let it and another hatchling stay in the incubator overnight since neither of them were quite dried off at that point. The next morning after feeding goats and chickens and ducks, I went in to check on them and only saw one hatchling. I opened the incubator and found the smallest one mostly submerged in one of the water bowls. I thought it had drowned and reached to remove it from the filthy water, when it looked up at me and peeped. I removed the two hatchlings and dried the one off as best I could with a towel. I put them in a box and took them to the aquarium I had set up in the basement. After lunch I went down to water the sprouts and check on the ducks. I found DuckSoup floating in the drinking tray. This time it was quite cold and did not move. Though it’s head was hanging over the edge of the tray, there was no doubt this time it was dead. I removed it and was heading to the garbage can when I felt some movement in my hand and it turned its head and opened one eye. I ran it back up the stairs to the incubator and let it stay until the other 2 eggs started to hatch in earnest. I checked on it more than once in those 3 hours, but eventually it dried off enough to take back down to the aquarium and this time it stayed out of the water.

Yesterday I got a call from the guy who took eggs for his niece to hatch. He told me that 4 of the 6 developed but one died after hatching. One more died when a neighbor forgot to feed and water while the family was out of town. They wanted more eggs to hatch, but do not want the ducks. I think I will trade them eggs for live ducklings. This may be easier than me trying to hatch several batches this summer. Something to consider.

I promised him a dozen eggs to take back to his niece, so any duck eggs laid between now and Thursday will be counted, but not gathered until Thursday.

Egg count for the week of 5/4/2014 thru 5/10/2014:

  • Collected: chicken – 70, duck – 14
  • Sold: chicken – 6 dozen, duck – 0, forus – 1 dozen
  • Cartons filled: chicken – 6, duck – 1

Marky thinks we have too many ducks already, I could make the same claim about stinking cats. Just saying.

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