Incubating Duck Eggs Successfully


ducklings on pasture

As I mentioned in Which Poultry Hatching Eggs are in Which Incubator?, I had been incubating duck eggs (20 Golden 300 Hybrid eggs) in a Brinsea Octagon 20 Eco poultry incubator. In my old Styrofoam incubator, I had another 20 Golden 300 eggs and 12 Pekin duck hatching eggs. I’ve been using my old incubator for 12 years and wanted to see how the Octagon compared. Which would be the best incubator?

The Octagon 20 won the competition easily: 18 of the 20 eggs hatched! A 90 percent hatch rate is absolutely remarkable. It’s also amazing that all of the eggs were fertile — the parent flock must have been managed nearly perfectly.

I’ve never been so successful hatching duck eggs or any other eggs. We may have had a 95 percent hatch if I hadn’t cracked one egg slightly when returning it to the incubator after candling it.

Brinsea Octagon 20 Eco

Of the 32 eggs in my Styrofoam incubator, I removed seven eggs during candling. They were either clear or had a blood ring in them, which means the embryo started to develop and died. One of the Golden 300 eggs from this group was clear, so I assume it was infertile. One duckling died during hatching, and five eggs didn’t hatch at all. That’s about a 60 percent hatch rate overall — about what I’d normally expect from this incubator using eggs received in the mail.

9/29/2010 8:41:31 PM

I suspect the Brinsea IS a better incubator, but your comparisons were too dissimilar to make a meaningful evaluation. Let's have a comparison of eggs from the same breed and source using an automatic turner in both, or manually turning at least 3 times a day. I think it's a credit to both your 12-year-old incubator and the ducks that you got a 76% hatch rate when you turned them only once a day!

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters