Is the humidity level THAT much different between duck and chicken eggs during incubation, that one cannot combine the two in an incubator? (set at 99.5* F)Or, do I need to have two separate incubators? Also, if we thought the humidity level was alright, but after the first few days of incubation we found it was only 40% (now corrected) how viable are our eggs? (What chances are there that the eggs will survive/hatch?) Thanks for any information you can provide!!
Combining duck w/chicken eggs for incubation(7 posts)
Hi , Can not advise on humidty but chickens hatch in 21 days and ducks I think are 28 so you already have a problem as you would have to open the incy to remove the earlier hatches. Just guessing but ducks I think need more humidity as they would in nature but one of the Sarah's will help that. Good luck with all the eggs . MamaGoose Girl
Welcome to the farmingfriends forum. Humidity for hen eggs is 85-87 degrees fahrenheit with wet bulb thermometer and for ducks is 84-88 degrees fahrenheit.
I would say that two separate incubators was a good idea.
You will need to turn the eggs or have an automatic egg turner and one problem is you will need to stop turning the eggs 3 days before hatching is due which is day 19 for hens and day 25 for ducks. http://farmingfriends.com/final-day-of-egg-rotation-for-different-species-of-birds-eggs/
I am not sure if the low humidity at the start of the incubation will effect the hatch or not, have you candled the eggs? if you rectified it after a few days then the eggs may be ok. In the wild a hen or duck would get off their eggs and the humidity would flucuate and also would take abit of time to get to a certain level at the outset of setting.
Good luck with the hatch.
Keep us posted.
sara @ farmingfriends
We do have a turner and I have been extensively researching EVERYTHING I can to answer questions that I am having, but sometimes, such as this, I don't find what I am seeking. Have a candler coming via "ebay" on Tuesday, so will get busy after that. We have had pretty decent hatches before,(with Red Producer chicken eggs) but that was before we turned on the central air. I am sensing that the humidity level with the air conditioner "on" is causing our latest hatch failure. Lastly, Give me an opinion on a "still-air" incubator versus a "fanned" unit. We currently have one that has a fan, but if a still-air is adequate, perhaps the extra expense of a fan isn't necessary??
Thanks for the info so far!!
Hello again!! Say, after speaking with an expert at Mississippi State University today, I have found that it is NOT a problem to incubate both duck and chicken eggs in the same incubator. The optimal "set to hatch" temperature for both species is 99.5-100 degrees fahrenheit. The relative humidity to be at 55-60 (dry bulb). Humidity at hatch, 101 degrees fahrenheit (dry bulb). Now obviously, one must move the eggs GENTLY to another incubator because of the difference in hatch timing, but if you DO NOT candle before the 14th day for either egg, and handle them carefully at the 3 day "no turn" stage, there shouldn't be any problem. Thus, one CAN incubate both eggs at the same time, but keep in mind that they CANNOT hatch in the same incubator. Also, because of the extreme possibility of bacterial transpiration, "misting" of duck eggs was not advised. I hope you find this informative. Any q's you may go to... www.poultry.msstate.edu... click on "extension"... incubation/hatching...
I have just had a mix of Chicken, Guinea Fowl, Duck and Turkey in my Incubator. The big surprise were the keets which arrived very early but they must have been pre-incubated by one of many hens (Guinea Chicken or Turkey). Then then 6 chickens hatched and then 3 keets (on time). Finally this morning (day 30) a duckling emerged - I suspect Muscovy due to the timing. Only very few eggs left which I suspect are not viable. A few exploded along the way so I had to clean the whole thing a refill the trays. I left it on auto rock until the chickens had hatched. Apart from being gently rocked I does not appear to do them any harm and the early keets as well. They just seem to wedge themselves in and get on with it, although I know its not ideal. I set the temperature at 37.4 on this occasion as at 37.5 everything seems to arrive early. Both trays were full throughout and I did not spray the eggs as I have often done with duck eggs so the humidity was fairly constant throughout. I didn't seem to make any discerable difference. I am using a Brinsea Octagon 20 with auto cradle. However I now have a duckling which thinks it is a keet! (or it could be the 3 keets thinking they are actually ducklings!) The chickens seem to have figured out their identity.
It is very interesting to hear about the incubation and the conditions applied to the eggs. Hope the chicks, keets and duckling are doing ok.
Hope all well with you and all your livestock.
Sara @ farmingfriends
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