Incubation Period For Pekin Duck Eggs

I have been asked what is the incubation period for pekin ducks.

Hi, I just wanted to ask about my peking duck.  She has become broody and is laying on her eggs, but I am unsure how long the incubation of these are.


Pekin duck eggs take 28 days to hatch from time of incubation. If your duck is still laying eggs then she won’t start to incubate the eggs until she has laid a clutch of eggs which could be 6-12 eggs.

Check out the following books about ducks and incubating and hatching eggs.

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Will Two Drakes & Two Ducks Get On?

Duck keepers often wonder what is the best combination and ratio of male to females and I am often emailed about the numbers of drakes and ducks in a group and whether they will get along ok.

Carolyn has just emailed as she has two draks and two ducks.

The ducklings I got at Easter have turned out to be 2 drakes & 2 ducks. Will this ratio work, or will there be problems with having two drakes? Hope you can help Many thanks Carolyn

My response is:

There may be rivalry between the drakes when they reach maturity so they may fight to see who is top drake!

They may also prefer one female over the other and both my fight over the duck which could hurt the duck as well as the drakes.

You could separate them into two groups of one drake and one duck during the breeding season and then put them back together during Autumn and Winter when they will probably get on fine. This may depend on the amount of space you have and the housing you have and if you are able to partition it off.

You could also increase the number of females. 1 drake to about 6 ducks is a good amount.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then check out the books shown above about keeping ducks which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced duck keeper.

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Brooder Temperatures For Ducklings

In the farmingfriends forum we have been asked about brooder temperatures for ducklings.

the temp in his brooder is about 93 degrees F. Is that good? or should it be different? Badoodle


If the duckling is moving away from the heat lamp, is laying down alot and panting then the temp is prob too high, if the duckling is huddled under the heat lamp then too low a temp. moving around and sitting in different places usually means the temp is right. The link that Mo gave says, The duckling will need a temperature in the brooder of about 86 degree fahrenheit day one and then by day 7 about 81 degrees.

Once your duckling is dried out and strong enough it won’t rely on the heat lamp so much, like other birds such as guinea fowl.

Check out the following books about ducks and incubating and hatching eggs.

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Candling Duck Eggs

I have been asked about candling duck eggs.

I haven’t candled eggs myself before but I think it is a good idea so that you can check the eggs are fertile, see the development of the embryo and discard any infertile eggs. I have read that it is ok to candle duck eggs from day 7-10.

Here is an excellent link which shows a daily image of egg candling.

There are lots of duck owners on the farmingfriends forum so I have asked them when they candle their duck eggs.

Here is their advice:

Lisa said,

You can candle eggs from 7 days, do it in a dark room , hold a small torch to the back of the egg, keep the eggs point down so you have the air sac at the top, you can see this, it will look like lighter, look for red spider like lines this is the start of the duckling.

Mo and Mama shared this link http://www.duckeggs.com/hatching-eggs.html

Laura said,

I took them out one at a time and shone a torch into the sac end with a regular torch (I cupped my hand so it just went into the egg) very interesting!

Remember that if you decide to candle your eggs, make sure that you handle the eggs carefully and only take them out of the incubator for a short time.

Check out the following books about ducks and incubating and hatching eggs.

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Colour Of Duck Eggs

Well I now have a real mix of ducks and drake here on the farmingfriends farm!

I have 11 khaki campbells (2 drakes and 9 ducks – one is a doubled breasted khaki) They lay white eggs.

I have a pair of magpie ducks (1 drake & 1 duck) and I think they lay blue/green eggs.

I have two buff orpington ducks and I think they lay white eggs.

I have one white campbell duck and they lay white eggs.

Then I have 2 trout runner drakes, a mallard drake and a cayuga drake!

I have only been getting white eggs until the last week or so and now am getting a large egg with a green tinge to it. I think the white eggs are predominantly from the khaki campbells but one or two of the eggs are smaller so they could be from the buff orpington ducks. I think the greenish egg may be from the magpie duck.

If you keep ducks let us know what breed they are and what colour eggs you get from your ducks.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then check out the books shown above about keeping ducks which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced duck keeper.

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Will Concrete Flooring Or 1/2″ Chicken Mesh Hurt Ducks Feet?

I have been asked if concrete flooring or 1/2″ chicken mesh will hurt ducks feet.

I live in an area with alot of raccoons….and due to lack of forage, have to move the duck pen around alot….Will it hurt them to walk on 1/2″chicken mesh and concrete??
Linda

I know that concrete can give them sore feet if they are walking on it all the time, but not sure about the wire mesh, although I wouldn’t have thought it would be comfortable for them and could damage their feet. I don’t like the thought of standing on wire and I often worry about my ducks running around on the concrete farmyard and all the gravel but we do have plenty of grass as well for them to walk on.  I am sure that straw on the top of the concrete and wire would soften where they walk.

Concrete flooring or wire mesh flooring are sometimes used when predation is a problem. Pens and housing can often have a wire bottom on them so that predators like raccoons and rats can’t burrow under and get the ducks or poultry or any sort.

My quail aviary sits on concrete so that I don’t get the rat problem but you can’t see the concrete slabs for straw.
I used to have bottom less pens for my hens and guinea fowl when I first got poultry and had to brick round to stop the rats digging under the sides and into the pen to eat the poultry feed or steal the eggs.

So a wire mesh floor on the hut would have helped to prevent this and their droppings would still get through the mesh and they would still be able to nibble at the grass!

We have had a great debate about this issue on the farmingfriends forum.

One member fo the farmingfriends forum – Yanky says,

Hi Sara I have mesh on part of the guinea fowl area but we laid it then covered it over with turf then straw. It works!
Yan.

Click on this link to read the debate about whether concrete and 1/2″ chicken mesh hurt ducks feet?

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then check out the books shown above about keeping ducks which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced duck keeper.

If you would like to receive regular information about ducks then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

If you keep ducks or are thinking of keeping ducks then why not join the farmingfriends duck forum where you can chat about and ask advice about ducks.

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Duck With a Limp

I am often asked about what may have caused a duck to limp.

It can be quite common for a duck to have a limp, as quite a few of the members on the farmingfriends duck forum have had a duck with a limp.

Reasons for a duck limping:

  • It can sometimes be due to a knock,
  • broken leg,
  • the drake being overzealous,
  • a bee or wasp sting,
  • standing on something sharp which can lead to bumblefoot or calluses on foot,
  • sometimes  a limp can be a sign of worms.

Give the duck plenty of rest, you may have to keep your ducks in for a day so she can recooperate or you may have to separate her from the other ducks.

Check leg and foot for any signs of a break, damage, calluses or lumps.

Does her leg or foot feel hot if so this could be a sign of infection.

Keep an eye on her drinking and eating habits. You could also check her droppings for signs of worms.

If concerned about your duck then you could take your duck to the vet.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then check out the books shown above about keeping ducks which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced duck keeper.

If you would like to receive regular information about ducks then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

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Cayuga Duck Breed

I have a cayuga drake so have been reading up about the cayuga breed.

Kai The Cayuga Drake

Kai The Cayuga Drake

  • The cayuga breed of duck originates from the USA.
  • Cayuga are a table breed.
  • The cayuga has black plumage with a green/purple sheen on the feathers.
  • The cayuga’s bill and webs are black.
  • Cayuga ducks can lay about 100 eggs a year.
  • The cayuga is classified as a medium weight breed.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then check out the books shown above about keeping ducks which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced duck keeper.

If you would like to receive regular information about ducks then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

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Helping Weak Khaki Campbell Duckling

Jim sent an email asking for some advice about his newly hatched duckling who was very weak.

“hi Sara
Just a quick question, one of the ducklings that has hatched cant seem to stand up, hes flapping his little wings and his legs seem very strong, he wasnt help out of the egg although it did take him just under a day to get completely out, hes had food but mostly keeps his eyes closed until you talk to him.
any ideas of suggestions, even if its stop worrying (which is all im hearing from every one) would help!
cheers
Jim”

I advised Jim to give the duckling some warm sugared water that had been boiled

Lisa, one of the farmingfriends forum members recommended,

Hi Jim,

Saras right, give it some cooled boiled sugar water on a cotton bud,if it wont take it then drip it on the end of its beak , it will soon drink it and will give it some energy, when did they hatch? i has one that was week for a day or so,good luck with your little one, Lisax

Then Mama suggested,

Hi Sara, I did the same with my Gosling with a syringe dripped onto its beak and a bit of hard boiled egg yolk soon after. Hope the little one does well. Regards Mama .

Sarah advised,

I gave water in a dropper and very wet chick crumb, whilst mine was still in its shell – as it was exhausted. The sugar will give it a bit of energy. Hope hes really perked up by the morning.
Sarah

I was delighted when Jim emailed to say,

“hi sara, thank you soooo much for your help! in the end i just gave him some mashed yolk from one of my chickens, still wasn’t very strong but then once his sibling hatched out early this morning he perked right up and is running around happy as larry!
Jim, GLad and Barney”

Here is a photo Jim sent of the two ducklings.

Thanks for sending this photo Jim, glad there was a happy ending.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then check out the books shown above about keeping ducks which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced duck keeper.

If you would like to receive regular information about ducks then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

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Duck Treats

I have been sent an email from Jim asking about duck treats,

“Hi Sara, I have a question…we have two runner ducks that were abandoned…we gave them a garden spot to live thinking we only needed to worry about coyotes….my wife was on the way to feed our dogs…and heard a commotion…upon investigation she saw a Mink had our large Runner by the leg and was trying to drag him into a small shed…Linda must have kicked into Mommy mode she ran to them and started bashing the mink with the dog food bowls…and trying to kick him too…he would not let go…she finally hit him enough that he let go and ran off. When I got home about an hour later, went into the garden to check on the ducks on one of the rows, the mink was laying dead…so I guess those dog food bowls did the trick…

Now to bring this long story to a conclusion, I no longer want them to be in the garden, we have about 4 acres we fenced for some small dogs and would like to just let the little Duckies run loose.. none of my dogs will bother them, and in fact I think they will help protect them if nothing else.

We have them in a small enclosed pen while they are convalescing and I am guessing they will be there another 10 or so days…(both are almost back to normal…noisy, strong and confident) I would like to start giving them something great to eat when I pick them up at night to put in their night pen…(a very secure plastic steel cage)…with the idea being they will start looking forward to me coming out and I will be able to get them in at night once and if we give them the run of the place… any ideas on what might be their favorite food….my wife loves them because they eat slugs…she is our night slug hunter…roaming around the yard with her cottage cheese carton in hand looking for the best slugs for the kids…ha ha ha
Jim”

With regards to treats I give mine shredded lettuce, spinach beet leaves, mealworms,
worms, slugs and snails.

I posted your email query on my free forum here
http://farmingfriends.com/forums/topic.php?id=217

We have had a long discussion about duck treats and various members find different foodworks for them and their ducks and not others so here is the link so you can have a read. http://farmingfriends.com/forums/topic.php?id=568

Here is the list of treats the farmingfriends forum members treat their ducks to:

  • lettuce or cabbage shredded up
  • grass
  • chopped up courgette
  • chopped boiled egg
  • finely sliced cooked pasta – un-salted
  • boiled wet rice – unsalted
  • carrot
  • spinach or spinach beet
  • tomato
  • cucumber
  • cooked potato
  • veg needs to be  chopped finely or grated
  • mealworms
  • earthworms
  • another “treat” is to flood a piece of low-lying lawn with a hose pipe until the water is about 1cm deep and they will dabble in this and find food treats thenselves!
  • butter crackers
  • leeks
  • slugs
  • snails
  • peas
  • strawberries
  • pears
  • plums
  • swede
  • sweetcorn
  • grapes

What treats do you give your ducks?

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then check out the books shown above about keeping ducks which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced duck keeper.

If you would like to receive regular information about ducks then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

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