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In the last article, i talked around how us were able to incubate our 25-day-old duck egg after their mommy was killed, using just a heat pad and some elbow grease. In this article, I will lay out the process that taken place to change them come our non working incubator shell and hatch successfully.

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We incubated them for 10 days, caring because that them 4 times per day, swapping the end wet rags to save the humidity level up.

Despite every odds, ns heard peeping one night as soon as I was providing them the critical wet rag at bedtime. Hallelujah! The next day, there were three pipped eggs. I could hardly contain my excitement. Hatching, though, posed a new problem – how could they hatch layered under the weight of the rags and also blanket?

Here is whereby our non functioning incubator come in handy. It might easily be replicated through a styrofoam cooler or even a conventional plastic cooler. You just need a means to save heat and also moisture in, but with the ability to vent excess humidity out.

We have actually a Hovabator incubator through the channeled humidity tray beneath where the eggs go. Ns filled the appropriate channels because that hatching to store the humidity up. Without the incubator, ns would acquire something like my Excalibur dehydrator tray mesh sheets that allow airflow yet secure footing for hatching chicks and also ducks. Place that over part lids with water in them. When working the end humidity, volume that water is no important; surface area is. If you have moisture pooling in ~ the top of your makeshift hatching area, you require to reduce the humidity. Here’s a thorough writeup on hatching humidity; an unified with a sensor you’ll get rid of the guesswork.

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The very first pips emerging 10 job after we discovered the cold nest.

With the humidity under control, the following step is maintaining temperature of roughly 90 degrees. Our incubator pan worked, yet it produced no heat, so it merely served to boost temperature fluctuations and muck things up. Ns unplugged it and also maintained warm by cook water and placing it in mason jars through tight lids. I laid these down on opposite political parties of the incubator and closed the lid.

Using the food preparation thermometer, I ongoing to screen the temperature. Earlier in the day once the room temperature was lower, i wrapped the incubator with blankets to assist hold in heat, leave the optimal air feet open. If replicating in a cooler, place a straw the end the hole and wrapping the rest in blankets will help, but you’ll be opening it every few hours so that will save fresh air comes in.

To preserve the temperature we were aiming for, we filled one quart and one pint mason jar v boiling water and placed lock in the incubator. After ~ the ducks began hatching, we extended these through rags to store the ducklings native getting burned on the jars.

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Using an electric kettle to warm water because that the jars.

During the day, those jars required to it is in refreshed through boiling water every 3-4 hours. To do this, cook the water first, then quickly open the hatching box, pull the end the jars, nearby the lid, refill and also then replace. Ours temperature ranged indigenous 93-102, since I was incorrectly thinking I needed to quiet aim because that 100. Because of the fluctuation, it could be great to target for around 95 so that they aren’t obtaining too chilled when the water cools off.

Overnight we went around 7 hours in between heating. The shortest temperature we ended up v was 88 overnight during hatching. Morning room temperature then was 62, so the styrofoam and also blankets go a great job that insulating and also keeping the hatching crate warm.

From the first pip to the very first hatch was around 36 hours, yet we still had actually pips starting 48 hours after the first. Based upon this, i imagine mother raised ducks would have a higher hatch rate if we brought in the unhatched egg when mom leaves the nest. I’m writing this in ~ 3 p.m. ~ above 6/28. The first cheeps to be heard the evening of 6/24 and we discovered the an initial pips the morning the 6/25. The 9th duckling hatched about half an hour ago. Mother would surely have moved turn off the nest by now and left some unhatched. Now that I know we can fairly easily flower them without a working incubator, I’m much much more likely to retrieve those unhatched egg and shot to hatch them.

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The very first duckling peering up at me. Aww!

For brooding the hatched chicks, we collection up a warm lamp in our right now unused 12’x20′ greenhouse. There room some weeds in there to eat and also we added a shallow pan because that swimming/drinking and ground some whole grains in our wheat grinder because that feed. I carry out some treats when I go to check on them as well and added a tiny bowl of whey from cheese making.

After the ducklings were totally dry, I relocated them out in bag and set them increase under the warm lamp, reflecting them food and also water. Together of this writing, 4 are safely and successfully created in the greenhouse through the week old batch of ducklings given to united state a pair of work ago. I will move this morning’s flower ducklings out either this evening or morning morning, relying on how castle look.

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Overall, this to be a an excellent success. From cold eggs that had tiny hope to–so far–nine the end of ten successfully hatched is a phenomenal rate. Ns haven’t had actually that type of luck as soon as using a functioning incubator, permit alone a jumbled with each other mix the tools and techniques to hatch them without one!

While us wouldn’t intentionally collection out to incubate egg this way, it has actually proved itself a beneficial backup method for keeping eggs alive when mommy is not able to. I was a bit came to that the heat pad us were using could handle constant heat for that long–10 days–but it organized up admirably. After this experience, I’m leaning toward buying a backup to save on hand if ever before we should do this again.

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Quick upgrade 7/1: We gathered 13 egg from the hen’s nest, yet only shown movement in 10. As of this morning, every 13 eggs hatched successfully into flourishing ducklings.