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In the critical article, i talked about how we were able to incubate our 25-day-old duck egg after their mother was killed, using just a heat pad and also some elbow grease. In this article, I will certainly lay out the process that happened to shift them to our non working incubator shell and also hatch successfully.

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

Despite all odds, i heard peeping one night once I was providing them the last wet rag at bedtime. Hallelujah! The next day, over there were 3 pipped eggs. I could hardly contain mine excitement. Hatching, though, make a brand-new problem – how could they flower layered under the weight of the rags and also blanket?

Here is where our non working incubator came in handy. It might easily it is in replicated through a styrofoam cooler or also a standard plastic cooler. You simply need a way to keep heat and moisture in, but with the ability to vent excess humidity out.

We have a Hovabator incubator v the channeled humidity tray beneath whereby the eggs go. I filled the ideal channels for hatching to save the humidity up. There is no the incubator, ns would acquire something choose my Excalibur dehydrator tray mesh sheets that allow airflow yet secure footing because that hatching chicks and also ducks. Ar that over part lids with water in them. As soon as working out humidity, volume that water is not important; surface ar area is. If you have actually moisture pooling at the peak 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 first pips occurring 10 job after we discovered the cold nest.

With the humidity under control, the next step is maintaining temperature of roughly 90 degrees. Ours incubator pan worked, but it created no heat, so it merely served to rise temperature fluctuations and also muck things up. I unplugged it and maintained warmth by boiling water and also placing that in mason jars v tight lids. I laid these down on opposite political parties of the incubator and also closed the lid.

Using the cooking thermometer, I continued to monitor the temperature. Previously in the day once the room temperature was lower, i wrapped the incubator v blankets to assist hold in heat, leave the peak air hole open. If replicating in a cooler, placing a straw out the hole and also wrapping the remainder in blankets will help, yet you’ll be opened it every few hours so that will store fresh air comes in.

To maintain the temperature us were aiming for, us filled one quart and also one pint mason jar with boiling water and placed them in the incubator. ~ the ducks started hatching, we spanned these v rags to save the ducklings from getting melted on the jars.

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Using an electrical kettle to warm water for the jars.

During the day, those jars required to it is in refreshed v boiling water every 3-4 hours. To perform this, boil the water first, then conveniently open the hatching box, pull the end the jars, near the lid, refill and also then replace. Our temperature ranged indigenous 93-102, because I was wrongly thinking I necessary to tho aim for 100. Because of the fluctuation, it can be good to aim for around 95 so the they aren’t obtaining too chilled when the water cools off.

Overnight we went about 7 hours between heating. The shortest temperature we finished up through was 88 overnight throughout hatching. Morning room temperature then to be 62, therefore the styrofoam and also blankets go a an excellent job the insulating and also keeping the hatching crate warm.

From the an initial pip to the first hatch was around 36 hours, but we still had actually pips beginning 48 hours after the first. Based on this, ns imagine mother raised ducks would have actually a greater hatch price if we brought in the unhatched egg when mom leaves the nest. I’m composing this at 3 p.m. ~ above 6/28. The first cheeps to be heard the evening of 6/24 and also we found the first pips the morning that 6/25. The ninth duckling hatched about fifty percent an hour ago. Mom would surely have moved off the colony by now and also left part unhatched. Now that I recognize we can relatively easily hatch them there is no a working incubator, I’m much more likely come retrieve those unhatched eggs and try to hatch them.

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The an initial duckling peering up in ~ me. Aww!

For brooding the hatched chicks, we collection up a warmth lamp in our at this time unused 12’x20′ greenhouse. There room some weeds in over there to eat and also we added a shallow pan for swimming/drinking and also ground some whole grains in our wheat grinder for feed. I bring out part treats once I walk to inspect on them too and included a tiny bowl the whey from cheese making.

After the ducklings were fully dry, I relocated them the end in bag and set them up under the heat lamp, reflecting them food and also water. Together of this writing, 4 are safely and successfully established in the greenhouse through the main old batch that ducklings provided to united state a couple of days ago. Ns will move this morning’s flower ducklings out either this night or tomorrow morning, depending on how castle look.

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Overall, this to be a great success. Indigenous cold eggs the had small hope to–so far–nine out of ten properly hatched is a phenomenal rate. I haven’t had actually that kind of luck once using a functioning incubator, allow alone a jumbled together mix of tools and also techniques to flower them there is no one!

While we wouldn’t intentionally collection out to incubate egg this way, it has proved itself a an important backup technique for keeping eggs alive when mommy is no able to. Ns was a bit came to that the warmth pad us were using could handle constant heat for that long–10 days–but it held up admirably. ~ this experience, I’m leaning towards buying a backup to save on hand if ever before we must do this again.

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Quick update 7/1: We gathered 13 egg from the hen’s nest, but only evidenced movement in 10. Together of this morning, every 13 egg hatched successfully into growing ducklings.