Archive for the ‘Keeping Ducks’ Category

Keeping Baby Ducks

Whether you have freshly hatched ducks just out from their egg shells, or you have day-old ducks from a farm or a shop, raising and keeping them can be quite a very challenging task, and that’s because they always need special attention and care. Nonetheless, with persistence, it should be fairly easy for you to keep and raise your baby ducklings until they are mature ducks.

The first thing you need to do is to find a warm and comfortable resting place for your baby ducks. When they are newly hatched, ducks are totally wet. Typically, it takes at least 3 hours for them to naturally dry, and before you can take them to a farm incubator, they need to be completely dry. Also, you should take note that a sudden removal of the baby ducks from the incubator can shock their young system.

A surrounding with room temperature is a significant change as compared to the comfort of the incubator that is around 85 ? 90 degrees. Thus, if your baby ducks were hatched during spring, it is wise to have an incubator or a warm place where you can keep them temporarily. A small room, small enough to keep the needed temperature would be great.

A small box would be a safe place to keep your baby ducks. At first, you should keep them in a small place. To do this, you can use a sturdy cardboard box, with thick paper or cloths in the bottom. I would suggest putting a plastic sheet on the bottom too if you use a cardboard box to avoid the box from getting wet, when the baby ducks begin playing with water. You can use a small lamp, and place it near the box so that it can provide the needed warmth. Avoid using lamps that are brighter than 40 watts to avoid extra temperature.

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At first, the baby ducks will huddle together because it is their natural instinct. They have the tendency to do this behavior during their early days in the incubator. Also, they will spend most of their days sleeping. If the baby ducks are hatched during summer, when the weather is hot, they tend to be more active.

In feeding baby ducks, you should give them starter pellets since they are well formulated to have all the needed nutrients that their young body requires. You can place their food in a small container such as a bowl. You should expect them to be unruly when eating; they commonly play with their food and splash water around.

Baby ducks need to have enough source of water. Like any pet, they need water to survive. However, they are not yet ready for swimming. Primarily, you should place a small container of water in their box. Avoid using large water containers since they can get drowned while playing.

After a few weeks, the baby ducks are ready to move out from the box. If the weather is fine, that means it’s warm; they can play outside, and start enjoying your yard. However, you should keep them initially in a small area of your yard because they are too young, and they are a potential meal for predators such as cats.

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By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his top ranked GVO affiliate site: GVO

Keeping Black East Indies Ducks

Would you like to find out what those-in-the-know have to say about Keeping Ducks? The information in the article below comes straight from well-informed experts with special knowledge about Keeping Ducks.

The Black East Indies is a decorative breed of domestic ducks. In spite of the breed’s name, it was never developed or breed in the East Indies (now Southeast Asia). It was first bred in the United States in the early 19th century. Some raisers started to call it the East Indies and this particular breed is distinguished by its attractive appearance: jet black color, iridescent green feather coverings and dark bills.

The females can sometimes grow white tinge feathers as they mature. A bantam breed weighing around 2 lbs, Black East Indies are widely raised by hobbyists for exhibition purposes. Being small, they are known as good fliers. This breed was formally recognized by the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1875. The Black East Indies duck is very popular among raisers, and the breed has a docile temperament, they are basically more passive and obedient than Call ducks.

This breed has been known as the Black East Indies as early as 1865, but has been widely raised with different names such as Buenos Aires Duck, Black Brazilian and Labrador.

The Black East Indies Ducks is a very remarkable duck breed and is very easy to differentiate from other breeds due to their plumage that is basically dark green. They have short black bills and their legs are either grey or black. Some female of this breed can have a white feather covering in the tail region, males can weigh about 5-7 lbs and the females can weigh about 4-5 lbs. As ducklings, they have a distinct black plumage, and gradually changes to green sheens as they mature.

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This breed is very domineering and strong. They do not like to remain dormant for too long because they are very active. The striking feature about the Black East Indies Ducks is that their eggs are primarily heavy gray, but then changes to a brighter shade before they are hatched.

Most East Indies ducks are kept as pairs or trios, based on the drakes’ level of energy. They can lay at least 100 eggs every year, and will not sit and brood their eggs if they are touched by humans. As they are very good fliers, they tend to fly and escape the coop so you can clip their wings or pinion them. However, before pinioning, you should consult a veterinarian as they should be administered when only necessary.

Like the Cayuga breed’s solid plumage, the runners in the females will usually fade and white feathers appear as they age. However, they can still produce offspring. A white plumage in the Black East Indies Drakes can appear in the chest as they mature.

Like most duck breeds, the Black East Indies breed is very easy to keep. Most raisers keep this breed for domestic and ornamental purposes. They can also be raised in the suburbs because they are handy, but you should pinion them if you don’t want them to escape. If you have a baby pool, you can use it for their swimming area. Most hobbyists raise the breed because they provide relaxation when they glide effortlessly through a pond or any water surface.

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By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his top ranked GVO affiliate site: GVO

How to Raise Ducks In Your Home

Perhaps the idea of keeping ducks in your suburban home is nearly impossible and would be quite a predicament. But, contrary to popular belief, this is very possible and can be very entertaining especially when you have kids. Your neighbors (and even your wife or husband) may find it a bit different, but soon enough they too will find it enjoying. Keeping duck is easy, if you have the patience. It is fun and can give you and your family an exciting and fresh activity to do together.

The first thing that you have to do is to acquire baby ducks. Basically, you have two choices, you can purchase from farms or you can search for an online store. The good thing about purchasing baby ducks from the internet is you will be guaranteed of their quality and get the kind of duck you want to raise. The disadvantage of online purchasing is you need to purchase a minimum number and you have to pay delivery charges. Three ducks is manageable, but the higher the number, the higher the mess they will produce. Ducks are naturally messy animals since they kind of play with their meals. It is suggested to convince a neighbor or a friend to raise ducks also and split the order.

Finding baby ducks locally is not an easy task. They can’t just be purchased at your local pet store. They are seasonal pets. You should find a farm or specialized pet stores in your area that market ducks for domestic purposes. Normally, most types of ducks are hatched during spring. For their food, a local feed store is the best place where you can buy food pellets and proper materials for feeding and raising baby ducks.

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When you have purchased your baby ducks, place them in a high-fenced plastic container with paper or cloth sheets in the bottom. Place this container near a source of light that can run about 40 ? 80 watts, suitable to keep the area warm. If you have a lamp, you can use it, but do not use lamps with bulb more than 40 watts, since too much warmth can be harmful. You can observe their behavior when they are not comfortable with the heat. If they keep away from the lamp and keep pushing their legs from under, they feel too much heat. If they huddle closely together very near the lamp, the heat is inadequate.

If they are ready for outdoor fun, allow them to roam around your yard, that is if you have one. However, you should keep them in at night to protect them from predators such as cats, raccoons and dogs. You should note that it will be difficult to raise ducks when your cat is not trained not to harm them.

Probably the most enjoyable experience with having pet ducks is swimming with them or at least watching them swimming your pool, even in an inflatable one. Duck have natural oil coating in their feathers that keeps them dry. You should take note that baby ducks acquire oil from their mother, so it is unwise to let them play in water when they are too young. They can get colds, or even get drowned.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his top ranked GVO affiliate site: GVO

Keeping Ducks: The Mallard Breed

If you have even a passing interest in the topic of Keeping Ducks, then you should take a look at the following information. This enlightening article presents some of the latest news on the subject of Keeping Ducks.

The Mallard breed, probably the most-popular and most familiar of all duck breeds, is an ornamental duck that breeds all over the sub-tropics and temperate regions of North America, Asia, Europe, New Zealand and Africa. It is also presently the most common duck breed in New Zealand. It is scattered in these areas because they are migratory birds. They usually go north during the breeding season and farther south during winter. For instance, in North America, it migrates to Mexico during the winter season, but regularly drifts into the Central region and the Caribbean Islands during spring.

The Mallard is known to be related to other duck breeds, except to the Muscovy which is not related to any kind of ducks.

This breed has a wingspan of 80-100 cm, and can weigh almost 1.5 kg during its growth peak. The breeding male is distinctive, with a green tinge on the head, black side ends and the bill is yellow or orange with black tips, as compared to the dark brown bill of Mallard females. The female is light brown, like most female ornamental ducks. However, both sexes has vivid violet speculum, tipped with white, which is distinctive during flight. During the non-breading season, the drake (male duck) changes into a dull color, looking more like the female duck, but still recognizable by its yellow bill and scarlet chest. Male ducks have a nasal quack, while the sound from the female is more vivid and louder.

In confinement, domestic Mallards appear in a wild kind looking feathers, in white, and other shades. Many of these color varieties are also commonly known in farm-raised mallards not raised as poultry, but kept as household pets, or aviary purposes, where they are deemed unusual but is gaining in popularity.

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The Mallard likes to stray in wetlands such as parks, ponds and streams, and typically feeds by picking plant foods or grazing the ground. They commonly brood on river banks, but not very close to the rim. It is a very sociable animal when they are not breeding and will form in large a flock that is called a sord.

Mallard breeds seek a partner until the female lays eggs at the time when she is left alone by the drake. The usual egg clutch is 9-12 eggs that are incubated by the female for almost a month with 1 ½ month of fledgling. The baby ducks can swim and feed by themselves as soon as they hatch, although they still need their mother for safety.

When they find a mating partner, often some drakes will end up alone. This flock will somehow target a single female duck ? courting her until she gives up, at the point each drake will take his turn in copulating with her.

Keeping Mallard ducks is recommended for ornamental purposes, since they can provide a relaxing experience for people who own a small pond. They are not so popular for meat and egg production, since there are other breeds such as the Peking and the Black East Indie that are more productive than this breed.

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By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his top ranked GVO affiliate site: GVO

Keeping Ducks: Pinioning

The following article covers a topic that has recently moved to center stage–at least it seems that way. If you’ve been thinking you need to know more about it, here’s your opportunity.

Ducks are generally a flying bird. This makes them harder to keep around. To avoid this from happening you should pinion your ducks. Pinioning is the act of clipping the pinion joint, which enables any bird to fly. Pinioning is regularly done to poultry and waterfowls, and should be administered to duck breeds that have lighter bodies, which allows them to escape because they are more capable of flight.

Removing the pinion joint is similar when you remove a person’s hand by cutting through the wrist. This eliminates the primary plumage, preventing the velocity and acceleration needed to take flight. This can be done by a veterinarian or an experienced duck breeder.

Most breeders use a sharp pair of scissors designed for docking. They hold a wing, extend it, and locate the joint on the end of the wing. There are two pieces of wing part that are attached at the pinion joint. One part is very small and the other is more noticeable. The larger piece should be cut-off at the joint, leaving the smaller piece whole. Cauterization is also done so that all bleeding of cuts will be stopped and the ducks can heal faster and easier.

Pinioning is typically only administered to duck breeds that can fly; otherwise they would escape the coop or fly above the fence yard. It is recommended to perform pinioning before they are a few days old. When done with older ducks, the pinioning is more stressful to them and the cut tends to bleed needing further cauterization.

Most raisers don’t perform pinioning. Instead of cutting the joints, they clip the feathers instead, although this solution only lasts until the fathers are replaced again during the molting season; these flight feathers are grown by most domesticated ducks at least once a year.

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Lasting duck pens, made to prevent escape eliminates the need for pinioning, but this will entail more costs in your part.

Ducks, who can’t fly, doesn’t need pinioning, so before you bother yourself and your poultry, check whether the breed you are raising is indeed able to fly.

The elimination of a body part of livestock is an issue of animal rights activities. The quality of life for the ducks is often used to justify this. In some situations, if the ducks are not confined, pinioning can increase the quality of life. Ducks that are allowed to roam around the yard or a pond have a higher quality of life, because of freedom of motion, natural habitat and increased mental and physical development as compared to penning.

Clipping is an alternative to pinioning, but it is not always reliable. The molting season can happen earlier or later than the expected date. A partially molted duck can summon the required acceleration and be able to take flight, which does not increase their life preservation in the wild since they are not adapted to survival in the open. They cannot fully fly and avoid possible predators.

Remember, pinioning should be performed by a veterinarian or an experience breeder. Amateurs can harm the ducks and even prove to be fatal if the cut is infected. Ducklings have a lower survival rate when they are injured.

So now you know a little bit about Keeping Ducks. Even if you don’t know everything, you’ve done something worthwhile: you’ve expanded your knowledge.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his new GVO affiliate site: GVO

Keeping Ducks: Frequently Asked Questions

So what is Keeping Ducks really all about? The following report includes some fascinating information about Keeping Ducks–info you can use, not just the old stuff they used to tell you.

Why raise ducks?

Basically, ducks are raised for commercial purposes. There are around 1 million duck farmers presently around the United States, and they are the main source for supply in the US market for duck meat. Ducks are also raised for their eggs, but they are not on a large-scale since ducks are not good layers as compared to chickens. Campbell ducks are copious layers but they are small so you can’t get enough meat from a single duck.

Domestic duck keeping is gaining popularity as well. Most people find it relaxing when they watch a flock of ducks swimming through a small pond in their garden. Ornamental ducks, also called bantam ducks, are raised as pets. However, they are still edible.

Can you raise duck if you don’t have a farm?

Of course you can. If you have a spacious room or a place that is dry, well-ventilated and free from predators, you can start raising ducks for family or domestic purposes. If you want to raise baby ducks as pets, you can get a shoebox ? the size depends on the number of ducks you have. Some people in suburban areas now have pet ducks.

Do I need a pond to keep ducks?

No, you don’t need a pond. Your ducks will grow healthy even if they don’t swim in a pond. However, they will be happier when they can swim. You can use a plastic pool for their artificial pond. Many have found these to be very relaxing and a great addition to their yards.

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How many eggs does a mother hen lay?

During their first year, layer ducks can lay at least one egg a day. After the succeeding seasons, the rate of egg-laying gradually decreases. If you raise ducks in a suburban home, you can’t keep all of the eggs. If you decide to let them hatch, their number will increase to an unmanageable rate. Better, you can give them to your neighbors or your friend who also want to raise ducks from egg to adults.

Do hens need a drake (male duck) to lay eggs?

No, unless you are raising a duck farm. A drake is only needed to fertilize the eggs, but ? just as with any other kind of poultry animals ? the hens will lay eggs whether or not there is a drake.

Are duck eggs like chicken eggs?

They are similar, but they are not exactly alike of course. The size of duck eggs vary according to their breeds. Some eggs have the same size, while some are smaller. When you cook duck eggs, they are a bit creamier than chicken eggs and have a richer flavor.

Can I raise ducks with my usual pets such as dogs and cats?

Naturally, cats and dogs are predators. So, they will chase, even eat, your pet ducks. However, if your cats or dogs are trained, they will learn not to harm the ducks if you tell them not to do so.

About the Author
By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his new GVO affiliate site: GVO

Keeping Crested Ducks

When you’re learning about something new, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of relevant information available. This informative article should help you focus on the central points.

With powder-wisp of feathers planted on the head, the Crested Duck is certainly an eye-catcher. An average-weight duck breed, the Crested ducklings can grow fast, making them very prolific ducks for their meat, and they are also good egg layers.

A mature crested drake can weight about 6-7 lbs, and the mature Crested female can weight about 5-6 lbs. The American Poultry Association recognizes two Standard of Perfection for Crested ducks, the Black and White varieties. Other types such as the Grey, Blue and Buff have been a good interest for raisers, and crests can appear on other varieties as well. Crested ducks usually have a large body and should be symmetrical on the forehead when in idle position.

The crested feature of this breed is linked to the fatal situation during incubation. Duckling with both genes for the crest cannot hatch. Of these ducks that hatch, usually a third of them will not have the crest. It is very easy for a raiser to see how the crest will develop on the ducklings, so they can choose which stock to raise and sell the rest as baby ducks, instead of feeding them until they mature.

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The crest is basically an abnormality appearing in any color. This is a result of the mutation linked with bone deformities and is has been known for centuries. There are those raisers who claimed that the deformation first appeared in Britain and that is a notion that has been a subject for debate, but it has been recorded in guide books and poultry manuals already as early as the 17th century. The mutations can appear occasionally on any breed of ducks. Careful breeding can increase the number of ducks with the same features.

The crest can appear from a lump of fatty tissues, which surface through a small hole in the skull. From this tissue, protruding feathers grow. The crest can differ from concentrated crests, plump crests, powder puffs, and contorted lumps with just a few plumages, or the rare ear lump when the hole glides near the ears.

The crested breed can be cross-bred with any duck breed excluding the Muscovy, as a parent Crested will produce only a small percentage of crested ducks. Most crested ducks rarely breed successfully but when they do, they are very good livestock. If you are using a crested female with a large crest, you should observe that the male duck will use the crest during the copulation, and the female can be injured during this. The clump of feathers on the head of the female, that rarely appears and is known as an object of attraction, when selected and bred for the offspring, will not carry the crested gene to the line, so a crested male will be needed to turn any breed crested, so watch them during mating.

As you have realized now, breeding crested ducks is a very challenging task and not for amateurs; also if the crest is very large and it hampers the eating and basically, living of the duck, you should trim it to give them a normal life.

That’s how things stand right now. Keep in mind that any subject can change over time, so be sure you keep up with the latest news.

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By Anders Eriksson, feel free to visit his new GVO affiliate site: GVO

Keeping Ducklings

Hatching ducklings from fertilized eggs, is a rewarding way to begin your own duck-keeping experience. When growing baby ducks, you can pick different ways of beginning your own flock, but, you also have the option to start a flock with mature ones. Suburban duck hobbyists can purchase mature ducks, adolescent ducks, ducklings or fertile duck eggs to begin keeping ducks. But to some, the experience is more fulfilling if they start with the brood from eggs first.

Hatching Duck Eggs and Brooding Hatched Ducks

To hatch your own fertile eggs, you will need an incubator. An egg incubator is essential for hatching duck eggs. But, you should remember that you cannot provide enough space for duck eggs in the egg incubator as you would with chicken eggs, because most of the duck eggs are larger than chicken eggs.

Most duck eggs take at least 28 days to hatch. This is about seven days longer than hatching chicken eggs. But, some eggs of various breeds can take longer. For instance, Muscovy ducks can take almost 1 month and 5 days to hatch.

Heat the egg incubator to 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit. You should check the level of moisture in the incubator first before placing the eggs. At the least, it should have 55 per cent moisture or humidity for the ducks to properly develop and hatch.

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How you decide to brood your newly-hatched ducklings is up to you, but you should be cautious as it is the most essential step in keeping ducklings. Most people would brood ducklings using a chicken hen. A few backyard duck hobbyists choose a chick brooder to raise their ducklings. These two brooding options have their distinct advantages and disadvantages.

If you will use a chick brooder to provide warmth to your ducklings, ducklings need a shorter period of time than chicks. Also, you don’t need a specialized set-up to brood your ducklings. You can use a cardboard box or a wood box. It is essential to have at least three to four inches of fillers that are dry and comfortable for the ducklings. You can use wood shavings or paper scraps as litter.

To provide sufficient supply of warmth and heat in the duck brooder, you can use a heater or a 250-watt light bulb. This set-up must be enough to brood up to 2 dozens of ducklings. You can also use a hover brooder, normally used for raising chickens. You should remember this, because ducklings are larger in size than chicks, a brooder set-up can only give space enough for around half of the space capacity for chicks.

Your newly-hatched ducklings require at least 6 sq. inches of brooder space and it should be raised to 10 to 12 sq. inc. of space as they grow bigger. You should adjust this setup depending to the growth rate of the ducks.

Baby ducks should be brood for about six to seven weeks after they are hatched. The period of time required in a brooder is shorter during summer.

As your knowledge about Keeping Ducks continues to grow, you will begin to see how Keeping Ducks fits into the overall scheme of things. Knowing how something relates to the rest of the world is important too.

About the Author
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Keeping Ducks For Meat

The only way to keep up with the latest about Keeping Ducks is to constantly stay on the lookout for new information. If you read everything you find about Keeping Ducks, it won’t take long for you to become an influential authority.

Duck raising was just a small business venture in the past, but now it is slowly growing in significance in the poultry industry. With the rapid growth of demand for duck meat, the industry of duck farming has started to follow the same pattern of the chicken broiler industry. This could be seen in the establishment of more particular business ventures with modern poultry farmers, processing for greater packaging and presentation to consumers.

About 12 million duck meats are produced every year in the United States. Most of these are produced under intensive confinement in some commercially duck farms scattered in the country. Duck meat producers usually raise Peking, Muscovy, Cherry Valley and Jawa breeds because they grow in just a short period of time.

The ideal brooding technique for meat production is a mixture of pen heating and local heating.

Meat ducks do not need a very specialized housing as compared to chicken broilers. The pens are normally made of inexpensive materials such as wood and wires.

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If you would build your own duck pen, its walls should at least be 20-25 inches from the ground and are made of concrete planks. The rest of the wall can be built using wires. In building the floor area, it is cement, earth or slatted wire that is needed. To provide fillers, you can use wood shavings, dry straws, husks or fine sands to cover the floor for a depth of about eight centimeters.

With the roofing, the design and shape is normally based on the direction of the wind, the sun rays and frequency of rainfall in the region. These factors aid to provide proper ventilation, moisture and dryness of the fillers, and the pen in general. The other important factor in building the housing pen is to make sure that the ducks are comfortable and well-provided with adequate space while they are inside. Inadequate space and overcrowding can result to malnourishment, fighting and the spread of diseases.

After brooding the duck broilers, the ducks can now be reared for their meat. Rearing habitats with proper ventilations, away from intense sun heat, heavy rain and predators are the proper place for your ducks. The floor should be kept dry at all times, not too crowded and can give enough space for feeding and drinking. The ideal space for rearing is 2.5 ? 3 sq. feet per duck. Fences of 18 inches to 24 inches are designed so as to allow at least 350-450 ducks in each pen. This is done to ensure their proper maximized growth.

In about seven to eight weeks, meat ducks are ready for slaughtering, but to get the desired meat produce, considering their food and feeding is very essential.

The quality of the feeds is vital, particularly in the first three weeks of the ducks existence. It is crucial to sustainable growth and proper nutrition, and to fortify their bodies to avoid diseases. You can give them medicated-feeds, but you should consult first a breeder, as the type of feeds, protein mixture and medications depends on the duck breed, and the desired production.

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Hatching Baby Ducks

If you have a small pond in your yard, it would be very enjoyable and relaxing if you have a small flock of ducklings swimming through its waters. For a good number of people, ducks are very beautiful pets. Watching them swim in a very serene way through the pond is very calming, and relaxing. Ducks are quite easy to raise, especially if you have the proper information on how to keep them.

Check and collect duck eggs frequently, assuming that you have laying ducks. If not, you can just buy fertilized duck eggs from some farms to begin with. Most duck raisers collect eggs every day when the matured duck hens begin laying. Ducks are not that good in prioritizing things and a layer will usually begin laying eggs before they can even build a suitable nest, leaving the eggs scattered on the ground. Collect these eggs wash them mildly and pat dry with a piece of clean cloth. Before the incubation, place the eggs in a box at room temperature. It is essential to shift their position at least twice a day, since mother ducks do egg turning naturally, even before she begins sitting on her eggs.

Prior to the incubation, preheat the incubator for at least a whole day. This is to make sure that it has the constant temperature of 90 ? 100 degrees. You should constantly keep a room thermometer in the incubator and check it frequently. Moreover, provide the trough with enough water. This is very essential because the eggs require proper moisture to avoid dehydration.

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Once the incubator is ready, place the eggs inside. When you have gathered a number of duck eggs, at least a dozen, you can now begin to incubate them. However, never store the eggs for more than a week before you put them into incubation. If you are thinking of adding some more eggs as they are laid, make sure that you put a mark on the eggs with the start date of their incubation. With this way, you will not be confused as to which will come first. You should remember that that eggs may appear alike, and you may not remember what is the exact date you put each egg in the incubator. Some raisers place a batch of eggs at a time, especially if they have a number of layers. However, if you begin with a dozen or so originally, it is okay to place another dozen in a few days.

Do not forget to turn the eggs. During incubation, keep on egg turning at least twice a day, dabbing them with water at each turn. You can also use a spray bottle for moistening the eggs. This will keep the fetus from fusing to the shells. Keep on turning the eggs until about three days before they hatch, and then discontinue the egg turning. Right now, the fetus has settled into their hatching speck.

After about 3 weeks, begin listening to the eggs during the egg turning. They are very active when they are near to hatching, and they tend to chirp. If you can hear their faint bird singing, it is a very good indicator of a healthy baby duck.

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