You guys! Things are going swimmingly well with our duck incubation. Out of 7 eggs that made it to lockdown, we now have 6 happy, healthy ducklings making a mess in the brooder. I love them already.
That’s a pretty fantastic hatch rate, especially considering it’s my first time hatching ducks (in a styrofoam incubator, in a dry climate). And I’m not giving up on egg #7 yet! Runner ducks can take a while, and when I candled it a couple hours ago I saw an internal pip (through the membrane) that I don’t think was there before.
And that’s not all.
Remember those orphaned eggs from my good friend that we added to the incubator just after the first pip? After I got the last duckling out of the incubator I candled the eggs, and all but one of them are still alive! I saw internal pips in 3 of her eggs as well, so they’re grouped with egg #7 in plain view where we can watch for pips. I can’t even express how happy this makes me. Some of her eggs are due around the 8th, and others are a couple weeks behind. I’ll be keeping an eye on them and will get the hatch cam rolling again as soon as there’s some action.
Finally, if I may say a few words about the Eco-Glo brooder that the chicks are sleeping under, made by Brinsea*: This thing is fantastic. I bought it back when I hatched chicks a couple years ago, and have used it multiple times and loaned it out to friends (the parents of these ducklings slept under it too!). It is basically an adjustable table that keeps its underside heated at just the right temperature, and both chicks and ducks love to huddle under it as they do a mother hen. Chicks also like to roost on it, so fortunately it’s very easy to clean. But here’s the best part: it totally removes the heat lamp from the equation, which eliminates a big fire hazard and saves quite a bit of energy. You don’t have to raise the heat lamp every few days and worry if your hatchlings are too hot or too cold. And if you happen to be brooding ducks in the height of summer, it’ll save your sanity too. No more heat lamps here!
*This post is in no way sponsored by Brinsea, my opinions are my own.