Frequently Asked Questions

I frequently receive a comment or email asking a question related to egg incubation, animals, nature or farming. I thought that it would be useful to have a central place for all the questions and answers that have already been asked and the response or answer I have given, that may be useful to other readers.

Canada Geese Egg Incubation

A pair of Canadian Geese abandoned a nest with four eggs. Although the pair were on the nest often, I don’t think they were finished laying their eggs. When the gardener came and cut the lawn the pair left and didn’t come back. I put the eggs in my incubator at the appropriate temperature. with a small cup of water. I am turning them once a day.
Will they hatch? Then what?

Hi Kit,

It sounds like you have done the right thing. Waiting 35 days (which is the incubation period for canadian geese)or so will show if the eggs are going to hatch. You can also candle the eggs to see if they are fertile.
When To Candle – Candling can be done at any time, although day 8 onwards is usually when the embryo is more easily identified.

Day 3 of incubation (usually pale shelled eggs).
Day 5/6 of incubation (usually dark shelled eggs).
Between day 8 – 12 of incubation (embryo more easily identified).
3 days prior to hatching.

In preparation for hatching I would find out as much as you can about keeping Canada geese if you are intending to keep them or maybe you could contact a local farmer who may take the geese, or even a local nature reserve or animal santuary who might take the birds or know what to do with them.

I hope this information helps. If you have anymore questions then don’t hesitate to ask.
Good luck and let me know how you get on.
Best wishes
Sara @ farmingfriends

Sara- We live in rural Clackamas County on the river and have been watching from a distance a pair of Canadian geese and their nest. It’s been almost four weeks and this morning, I noticed that neither was on the nest and I could see the eggs. They were both up closer to my house and in a dry area on the river bed. This evening, I can’t see either one of them but can see the eggs in the nest. What’s up? Is there such a thing as “dud” eggs? Not sure what to do, if anything.

Hi Margaret,
The eggs normally incubate for 35 days and it doesn’t sound like they have been sitting for 35 days yet.
If the geese don’t return to the eggs the first thing you could do is try to candle the eggs to see if they are fertile and have chick growth inside.
Candling is a way of checking the fertility of an egg and the development of the embryo, with the use of a light source in a darkened room. In a darkened room, carefully hold the egg up to the light to observe the contents of the egg.
Click on this link for more candling information
You could try candling the eggs at night, whilst they are still in the nest so that if the geese do come back you have not taken the eggs away.
The second thing you could do is remove the eggs and incubate them. If you are sure that the geese are not likely to return then I would be inclined to put the eggs in an incubator. If you have candled the eggs and they have growth in them then I would be inclined to incubate them. If you don’t have an incubator then a broody hen may sit on the eggs.
Failing that then I would contact your local bird santuary or society for the protection of birds and ask their advice. They may even be your first option and see what advice they give.
I hope this advice is helpful.
Good luck and let me know what you decide and how the eggs get on.
Sara @ farmingfriends

Duck Egg Incubation

Will Campbell Ducks Sit And Hatch Their Eggs?

Hi Sara,
I have 2 white campbell ducks m+f, the female is sitting on 10 eggs, what are the chances of her seeing the eggs through to hatching? i am asking this as I was told Campbells do not hatch their eggs very often,as they were developed as egg layers. Is this true?
Many thanks Terry

Hi Terry,

I am afraid that I don’t have experience of ducks incubating eggs myself but I have been reading Starting With Ducks by Katie Thear who says,”Domestic ducks are not generally regarded as good mothers, although my experience, they are better from their second year. Even some of my khaki Campbells acquitted themselves well, but refused to consider making nests anywhere other than under the hedge in the field.” She goes on to say that “A broody duck will sit tight on her nest, hissing at anyone who tries to dieturb her. She is less likely to be put off if she is reasonably tame.”
I think that I would make sure that your duck is protected from predators and that she is not disturbed by anything if that is possible, so that she is not inclined to leave her nest un-necessarily. I would also try to get an incubator organised (if you have one or know someone who does) and on standby because if she does leave the nest for more than the usual stretch of the legs and drink/feed then you have an alternative way of hatching the eggs. You could also see if anyone you know has a broody hen and then if your duck decides to leave the eggs you could put them under a broody hen as they generally have good success rates at hatching eggs.
I hope this information is helpful.

Kind regards

Sara from farmingfriends

If anyone has experience of Campbell ducks hatching eggs or leaving the nest then please leave a comment.

Hatching Muscovy Duck Eggs

I have a mucovy who has been laying for 5 almost 6 weeks I have candled the eggs and 6 of them are dark with an air sack but I don’t see vessles like some pictures I’ve seen.How long do I let her go If I’m not exactly sure when she layed them? If they are not good will she leave them or do I take them. Thank You, Brandyn

Hi Brandyn,

Muscovy duck eggs usually hatch around 35-37 days but they could be a week late. The duck will start to lay a clutch of eggs, usually 10-15 and the egg laid on the first day will hatch at roughly the same time as the other eggs as the incubation doesn’t begin until the last egg is laid before the duck settles down on the eggs.

You say that it has been 5-6 weeks, if the duck is still sitting on the eggs then this is a good sign as it is my belief that ducks and hens do not leave the eggs unless they are certain that the eggs are not fertile or they are frightened away by predators. In the latter stages of egg hatching, I believe that the duck can feel the ducklings moving around and this keeps them sitting on the eggs, although the duck may get up for food and drink once or twice a day. if your duck is still sitting then I would wait to see what happens.

If the duck has left the eggs then I would be inclined to recandle them and feel for movement and then take them and place them in an incubator that I had had running for 24 hours before taking the eggs. At this stage you can only wait to see what happens.

I hope this information helps. Let me know how you get on.

Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

Incubating Call Duck Eggs

hi,my call duck has been sitting on her eggs for nearly 3 weeks,when candled 2 days ago there were movement in them all,this morning i found one out the nest which was very cool to the touch,i didnt no what to do as this is a first time for me,as she has always been a pet,so i just placed it back in the nest with the others,on looking this evening,it was warm again but there all very dark inside now so didnr no if it was moving or not,what do you think?,alive or dead,also with them all being so dark when candled still with movement and large air sack,how long do you think it will be till hatch,thankyou,kind regards,Sandy.

Hi Sandy,

Thanks for leaving this comment. I think you did the right thing putting the egg back in the nest, it may have just rolled out as she was turning her eggs.
Call duck eggs take about 26-27 days to hatch, but I have read on the Call Duck Association site that they can be difficult to hatch, although it also says that call ducks can make good sitters.
If your call duck continues to sit then just keeping waiting for the hatch which could be anything up to a week late. If she decides not to sit anymore then I would get the eggs in an incubator.
I wish you luck with your call duck eggs. let me know how you get on.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

 Hiya Sara,just to say daisy now has 4 sweet little ducklings,2 did’nt make it,but the 4 doing well,the thing is i had to take them out are duck house away from her as they were getting out and we have a big problem with crows coming in the garden,so i done it for there safety,i took daisy in the shed to the brooder to see them as i just feel worried that she thought she had lost them.during the day she never bothered to go in the main duck house to check em,and tonight i dont no if i have done the right thing,as i dont want them to really be away from her,and feel like mum has gone away and left them,but im scarred the crows are going to kill them,as they are getting out themselfs and its risky,also having 4 pet cats on the prowl,plus its so cold with heavy rain for next couple of days,please tell me iv done right!,feel so wrong,the brooder is a good size,they have plenty of food and water and the heat lamp is giving good warmth,in the main house with mum it was colder and i think mum and the others were eating there grub,please can you tell me if iv done ok,thankyou again,Sandy.


How To Identify A Duck And A Drake

how would u know a duck from a drake i got them 8 weeks ago they are starting to get there feathers and i am curious to know. Marcella

Hi Marcella,
My ducks are coming up to 5 weeks old, so I should soon know myself whether I have ducks or drakes or both.
Apparently you may be able to tell the difference by their tail feathers and it is the male that has curling tail feathers. Some breeds of duck the male are more brightly coloured. Also some breeds show a different colour in their bills from about 6 weeks between the male and female, where the females is usually darker.
I believe that drakes usually have larger bodies and heads and a softer quack, whereas the female has a louder more distinctive quack. The distinction by call can be made from 5 weeks onwards.
I hope you find this information useful. Let me know what breed you have and how many males and females.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

Hatching Guinea Fowl

Guinea fowl eggs take approximately 28 days to hatch.

Hi, A dog recently found where our guinea fowl was sitting on her nest, scared her away and broke a few of the eggs. Three of the remaining eggs we put in our incubator and the rest we put under a neighbours broody chicken.

A week last sunday one of the eggs in the incubator hatched and we now have a small week old keet in the brooder, who appears to be thriving.

None of the other eggs however, have hatched. We’ve left them in the incubator and under the chicken. They have been their for 20 days now. Is it likely that we’re only going to get one lonely keet from these eggs or is there a chance that others may hatch in the next few days?

If we do only have the one keet, although we have 5 other guinea fowl, will they shun it and he/she will just be very lonely?

Thank you!

Hi Gill,

Thanks for your enquiry. I hope that your guinea fowl keet is doing well. The incubation period for a guinea fowl egg is 28 days but it could be up to a week later and is sometimes earlier depending on the conditions in the incubator.

If you only have the one keet the others may ignore it as I have noticed that my guinea fowl often hang around in their age related groups, that is until the males pair off with the females. It could also depend on the number of females and males in your group. Guinea fowl tend to pair off or go around in a small group so if you have more than one male then the dominant or subordinate male may adopt the new guinea fowl as his own when she is old enough, that is assuming the keet is a female. Male guinea fowl tend to have a ritual of chasing each other in front of the females to win their attention, so if it is a male it could pair off with one of the females in your group of 5!

You may consider getting some day old keets or hatching some more in your incubator if you think that the keet may be lonely, or you could chance it with the group as guinea fowl aregenerally social creatures and like to hang around in a group.

I hope that more of your eggs do hatch off and that your keet does well. Let me know how
you get on.

Best Wishes

Sara @ farmingfriends

if you have any experience of hatching guinea fowl eggs then I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment.

Identifying Male And Female Guinea Fowl

I am often asked how to identify male and female guinea fowl.

Once the guinea fowl are starting to call out it is easy to identify them although it is not so easy to distinguish them by looks.

Hi, can any one advise me on sexing my guinea fowl? I have been given 6 adults and find an egg each day in the run but cannot decide which are the girls!

Hi Bob,
Once the guinea fowl are adults and have a voice it is very easy to sex them.
There are a number of ways to tell if a guinea fowl is male or female.

Females make 1 and 2 syllable calls .V. Males only make 1 syllable call.

Females hang lower to the ground .V. Males have more upright posture.

Females have smaller wattles .V. Males have longer, larger cupped wattles.

Females have smaller helmets .V. Males have larger helmets.

Here is a link to a video clip of the female guinea fowl call.
Hope you find this helpful. Let me know how many of each gender you have.
Sara @ farmingfriends

If you would like any help identifying your guinea fowl then just leave a comment.

Disappearing Guinea Fowl

Guinea fowl sometimes disappear and do not return at night. This could be because:

the guinea fowl are new to the habitat and cannot find their way home.
the guinea fowl have been spooked or frightened.
the guinea fowl have been taken by a predator.
the guinea fowl hen is sitting on a nest.
One always hopes that the reason is because the guinea fowl hen is sitting on a nest somewhere.

Elize sent me a comment about her guinea fowl that have gone missing.

I raised two guineafowls. They bred twice but after the second time, (their hatchlings are a few weeks old already), they have both disappeared. Is it possible that they flew away or did something catch them? (Since they were tame and like pets). I don’t know a lot about their behaviour but I thought they would stay or at least come home every night because they were hand raised and very tame. Elize

Hi Elize,
Thanks for visiting my website and leaving this comment.
I am so sorry to hear that your guinea fowl have disappeared. If you have had your guinea fowl for a while and they are used to their surroundings and environment then it is not likely that they have flown off as guinea fowl do not like to fly unless they are underthreat from a predator or get spooked.
If the guinea fowl where new to the environment they they may have got lost and can’t find their way back. Over the past 4 years of observing guinea fowl I have found them to be creatures of habit that follow a routine. Although they can range far and wide if they are able to they do seem to have a pattern to their ranging and will return at the end of the day.
The only time that my guinea fowl haven’t returned is if the hen is sitting on a nest, if they have been frightened and have either flown up high or are hiding in the undergrowth or if they have been taken by a fox.
If i cannot find my missing guinea fowl on any nests and in the trees above then I start to check the hedgerows. On two occasions I have lost guinea hens to foxes and on both occasions I have found a pile of feathers that indicate that they have been taken.
As you say, your guinea fowl were hand raised and were tame so they are likely to come back if they haven’t been frightened by anything.
I hope that a predator hasn’t got you guinea fowl. if they do come back, do you lock your guinea fowl up at night? if you do not I would train them to go into a hut. Mine have all been trained to go in a hut at night and in the Spring and Summer when the threat of foxes is greater I get the guinea fowl in a little earlier than nightfall so that they are safe. if they roost in trees, they are more at risk to predators especially in the summer.
I do hope that your guinea fowl return safely. let us know if there is any good news and let me know how the hatchlings get on.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

Have any of your guinea fowl disappeared and then returned? Let me know your story.

Incubator Problems For Hatching Eggs

Hatching eggs in an incubator is not always easy as there are many variables that can affect the hatch.

I recently had 38 duck eggs in my incubator but have only 7 ducklings and only one hatched out without any help. I am not alone in finding hatching eggs in an incubator difficult.

My incubator is an ecostat incubator. The thing is i have never hatch any eggs yet i have put about 50 eggs in it. This is the second time this has happened. The eggs are fertile yet they do not hatch. I have cracked the eggs open and there are chicks fully developed. I opened the eggs a 5 days after the 3 weeks in incubation as there was no sigh of them hatching.
I don’t know what is wrong but it is really annoying me.
Anyone know what might be the matter ?

Erin left a reply comment:

Why don’t you let the hen sit on the eggs? I’ve just had a batch of lil us today to our surprise!! Our hen has been broody for a while and very angry towards to rooster. We let nature take over and sure enough the hen knew what to do. Lovely waking up and hearing little cheeps! Erin

I think that Erin is right in that a broody hen is often more successful than the incubator at hatching eggs, as nature should be!

But some of us do use an incubator to hatch eggs and it is useful to try to find out the reason why hatching is not successful so that incubation conditions can be improved and a successful hatch achieved.

Hi Conor,

I am sorry that you are having problems with your incubator. I know exactly how you feel. I had 38 duck eggs in mine and now have only 7 ducklings. Infact if I had not intervened I would only have 1 duckling.

There are many reasons why the chicks do not hatch:
Improper storage of eggs whereby the eggs become too cold.
Eggs not turned correctly.
Temperature incorrect – too low or too high.
Humidity incorrect – too low throughout incubation.
Improper ventilation.
Infection or disease.
Poor diet or poorly conditioned breeding stock.

Click on this link for more information.

If you do have a broody hen or know someone who has and is willing to let their hen sit on your eggs then this is the best way to hatch eggs.

Hope this information is useful. Thanks for commenting. I hope you get the incubation sorted.

Sara @ farmingfriends

If you have any advice about using an incubator for hatching eggs then please leave a comment.

Peafowl and Peachicks

Problems With Peachicks Hatching

Hatching poultry, game bird and waterfowl eggs is not easy as Sylvia and I well know.

I have lost 3 peachicks so faor. They are pecking out but they seems so weak. They have never stood and they just die. They are fully developed but I much be doing something wrong. Could someone help me?

Hi Sylvia,
Thanks for visiting my site and leaving this comment. I am sorry to hear about your peachicks. it is terrible when you see the chicks have hatched and gone to all that effort of piiping the egg shell and then they don’t make it. You are certainly not alone in experiencing this as I have experienced this with guinea fowl and ducks.
I don’t have much experience myself with peachicks but I can say that there are a number of reasons why chicks hatch and then die if they have hatched in an incubator.
Temperature incorrect – check the correct temperature for different birds and at different stages of incubation.
Humidity incorrect – check the correct humidity for different birds and at different stages of incubation.
Improper ventilation – make sure incubator is positioned carefully.
Infection or disease – disease may come from the breeding stock so check that the breeding stock are healthy. Ensure that the incubator is thoroughly cleaned before each use.
Sylvia you do not say if the eggs are in an incubator, if they are it sounds like they are struggling to get out and then are too weak to survive. Click on this link for information about hatching peafowl eggs.
Are they hatching early, late or on time as this could affect why they are not surviving?
If you peachicks are hatching under a hen then ensure that the chicks have access to food and water, although chicks can survive over 24 hours without food and water as they still have their food sac from inside the egg, the sooner they get food and water the stronger they will get. If you do have access to the peachicks then you may want to try to get them to drink something by holding them to the water and food if they are too waek to stand themselves.
I hope this information is useful. Good luck with the rest of the hatch. Let me know how you get on.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

If you have any experience of hatching peachicks and can offer Sylvia any advice, then please leave a comment.


Pigeon Eggs Found

hi, last night i found 2 pigeon eggs on my balcony, they had only been there for a couple of hours, there were no pigeons around so i brought them in and wraped them in a blanket and put them under a lamp to warm them back up, does anyone no if this was the right or wrong thing to do or of they are even still alive, and is there anything i can do to help them servive and hatch?
Any help is welcome

Hi Sam,

Thanks for leaving a comment.
I think that you did the right thing in keeping the eggs warm. If you cannot see the nest then taking the eggs was the right thing to do as it is unlikely that the pigeons would be able to get the eggs back to the nest. If you can see the nest and it is possible to place the eggs back in the nest then I would do this. If this is not possible then I would candle the eggs to see if they are fertile and have pigeon chicks inside.

Candling is a way of checking the fertility of an egg and the development of the embryo, with the use of a light source in a darkened room. In a darkened room, carefully hold the egg up to the light to observe the contents of the egg.Here is a link for more information about candling eggs.

If the eggs are fertile and have chicks inside then I would incubate the eggs or find someone who is able to do this, or keep the eggs under the lamp and regularly turn them.

I would probably contact my local animal santuary or RSPB to find out advice from them.

Hope this information helps.
Let me know how you get on. Good Luck.

Kind regards
sara @ farmingfriends

Incubating Rhea Eggs

Does anyone know if geese can incubate and hatch rhea eggs successfully as Rick would like to know?

Hello this is Rick from Wisconsin….I have three rheas fro a bout threeyears… this is first year they are laying egggs good… i have two greyfemales and one 4 year old Male breeding with them…eggs in incubator look fertile and are developing….for a week i found no eggs and now found five of them under one of my BigWhite embem goose hen in her nest..the rhea was lkaying them next to the gooseand goes in by the goose like they are friends…. do you think the goose willincubate those eggs or will the eggs get too Hot??? what do you think ..ever here of a goose hatching rhea or emu eggs??? just curious to leave them or
put them in incubator,,, or will male take them over..he seems like hes protecting the shelter but has made no real nest…he kinda tried making a nest last week by moving straw around but now hes just protecting the gooses nest…what is yoru thoughts??? any one thinks thay can help me feel better about her being on the eggs?? thank you

Hi Rick,

Thanks for visiting the farmingfriends website and getting in touch. I hope all is well with your rhea eggs and the goose and male rhea.

I have never heard of a goose incubating rhea eggs although I am sure it may occur. The temperature and humidity levels are different for goose and rhea eggs so this could be a cause for concern, particularly the humidity levels as the rhea eggs need a humidity of 35% until day 33 whilst goose eggs need a humidity of 55% until day 27. If the goose gets off the nest the male rhea may get on.
As you say that you have eggs in the incubator, I think if the eggs were mine I would leave the other eggs under the goose and see what happens. I know that the success rate for brrody hens hatching eggs is much better than eggs hatching in an incubator, so maybe it is the same for the goose.
I am sorry that I cannot be more helpful but I will post your question onto my website and if I get any advice I will let you know.
I would be interested to hear how the eggs get on.
Best of luck.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

If anyone has had any experience of geese incubating and hatching rhea eggs then please leave a comment.

Hatching Chicks

How Long Can You Leave A Chick In The Incubator Once It Has Hatched?

All chicks can be left in the incubator for up to 24 hours before being moved to a brooder.

Hi 4 of my japanese quails have just hatched this morning how long do i leave them in the incubator for? Shane

Hi Shane,
Congratulations on the hatch of your quail. They are lovely little chicks and look abit like bumble bees!
You can leave the chicks in the incubator for 24 hours without food and water as they will still be feeding on the feed sac from the egg.
When they hatch out their down feathers are damp and it is good to let them completely dry out and fluff up.
It is also good to keep them in the incubator for up to 24 hours after hatching if you have other eggs in the incubator as not all eggs hatch at the same time.
I have left quail, guinea fowl and ducks in the incubator for 24 hours before transferring them to the brooder. I make sure that I have the brooder set up before I take them out and have the lamp on so that the temperature is coorect once they are removed fronm the incubator.
I hope this information helps.Let me know how your quail get on.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

Rearing Partridges And Pheasant

Heat Lamps In Brooders

Rearing English partridge from day old all set to go. Heat lamp should it be a Red glowing infra red lamp or white?
These birds are just to be released to the open in a no shooting area.

Hi Roger,

It is my understanding that a red heat lamp calms down the birds. When I have raised guinea fowl in the past few years I have used a white lamp and this has always been fine. My father in law found a partridge chick one year in the yard so the chick went into the brooder with the guinea fowl chicks and was successfully raised into adulthood when the partridge was then released back into the wild.

When I put quail chicks in the brooder this year I put a red heat lamp as this was recommended in the books I read. As I said it was recommended as the quail are quite skittish and the red light is supposed to keep them calm.

Hope this helps.

Sara @ farmingfriends

Hi, how long does it take for English Partridge to hatch out under a broody bantom? I’ve got 10 eggs off of a friend who has a pair of English Partridge and im going to put them under 1 of my broody hens.
Many Thanks
Scott. Can you write back asap please. Thankyou

Hi Scott,

Thanks for visiting my website and leaving a comment.

Partridge eggs take 23-24 days to hatch out, but when I am incubating eggs I always leave
them for a few days longer, especially if the hen is still sitting. I believe that when a
hen lays a clutch of eggs the first egg laid will still hatch at around the same time as
the last egg laid as the incubation conditions do not begin until the hen begins to sit.

Good luck with your eggs and let me know how you get on. Partridges are great little
birds to watch.

Kind regards


I received a comment asking about rearing pheasant and partridge chicks and how long to leave the lamp on in the brooder.

I am thinking of trying to rear some pheasants and partridge this season for my small shoot.I have not done this befor so i just need to know how long i leave day old chicks under the lamp befor moving them out into a night shelter and then runs.befor putting them into the release pens.

Hi Daryll,

Thanks for your enquiry about rearing pheasants and partridges.

I don’t have much experience of rearing pheasants and partridges. Only that we found a young partridge chick and I raised it with the guinea fowl keets that I had in a brooder at the time.

It is recommended that the lamp for pheasants and partridges is a red lamp to keep the birds calm. My partridge was raised under a normal heat lamp though but then I only had 1 partridge and a dozen or so guinea fowl.

I keep my guinea fowl under a heat lamp for the first 6-8 weeks depending on the temperature outside.

For guinea fowl keets the temperature should be 95-100 degrees fahrenheit for the first two weeks and then decreased by 5 degrees fahrenheit each week after that. Watching the behaviour of the chicks will also help to determine if they need the lamp. Huddled under the lamp is usually a sign that it is too cold, all away from the lamp too hot. A good indication that the temperature is right is if the chicks are just even spread out under the lamp. I usually start to turn the lamp off during the day by week 4-6 depending on the weather outside.

I have read that game birds need to be kept in indoor pens until they are fully feathered and mature and then they can placed in outdoor pens.

I have also read that when the game birds don’t need the lamp for heat so much then a 40-60 watt lamp can be placed above the feeders and drinkers to signal for them to eat/drink at night.

Hope this information is useful.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

Humidity Levels In Incubator

Raising The Humidity Level In the Incubator

Different bird’s eggs require different humidity levels in the incubator. Sometimes the humidity levels get too high and need to be decreased and sometimes the humdity levels get too low and need to be raised. Marcia and her son have turkey eggs in the incubator but need help to raise the humidity.

can you tell me how to raise humidity in incubator for turkey eggs. we have a homemade incubator that measures approx. 36″ tall, 36″ deep and about 24″ side. It has 3 tray levels.
My son is trying to hatch turkey eggs and is having trouble getting humidity about 68. Any tips will be appreciated

Hi Marcia,
I believe that low humidity is caused by high temperatures which dry out the water trays in the incubator and help the humidity in the atmosphere evaporate. If you wish to increase the humidity levels in the incubator then add more water to the water trays in the incubator. You could also try to increase the humidity levels in the room in which the incubator is. You may also need to regulate the temperature in the room in which the incubator is in so that the temperature in the incubator doesn’t get too high.

I hope this information is of use and that the turkey eggs hatch out ok. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

If anyone has any tips on raising the humidity levels in an incubator then I would like to hear them, so please leave a comment.


How To Tell If A Sow Or Gilt Is About To Farrow

There are a number of signs that help you identify if a pig is about to farrow.

can u tell me how would i know when my pigs are ready to give birth as i got two girls that are pregnant when i got them i have no idea how long they have got left to be mothers thanks for any advise from claire

Hi Claire,
Thanks for visiting the farmingfriends website and leaving your question. What a great question it is.
The gestation period of a sow or gilt is 3 months 3 weeks and 3 days or approximately (112-115 days.) but if you don’t know when the sows were served this information is of little use. Have you got in touch with the previous owners and asked them when the pigs were served?
There are a number of signs to look out for when a sow or gilt is about to farrow.
Restlessness. The sow or gilt will pace up and down or circle round and round.
Nesting. The sow or gilt will pull or the bedding material into one area and create a nest. They do this by carrying the bedding in their mouths and moving the straw with their feet. This usually occurs on the day of farrowing and it is an amazing sight to see as all the bedding that was previously covering the barn floor will now all be neatly in a nest shape – this happened when Cagney, my Saddleback sow, had her first litter. I went in to feed her and she was laid on her nest and not one piece of straw was anywhere else in the barn!
The size and shape of the stomach will increase before farrowing. I try to get into the habit of feeling the sow’s stomachs when I feed them so that I am aware of any changes in size and that the sows get used to me touching this area.
The size of the mammary glands will increase as they bag up with milk. I also try to touch the teats so that the sows get used to me doing this so that I can check for milk production before the onset of farrowing.
Milk production. Just before farrowing the sow or gilts milk will be released. You can check this by squeezing the teats and if milk droplets come out then farrowing is close.
The vulva becomes larger and reddens. The muscles around this area slacken before farrowing takes place. This is not always easy to see to the untrained eye but once your gilt and sow has farrowed once or twice it is easier to identify. it’s amazing how often a pig breeder spends looking at the animals bottom!
Laying down and stretching out the back legs will occur as farrowing begins. This is not always the case as some gilts and sows will stand to farrow. My saddleback sow Lacy did this when she was a gilt and had her first litter.
Heavy breathing. As farrowing begins the gilt or sow will start to blow and puff as she strains.

You need to separate the pigs before farrowing either into separate penned areas if they are outdoors or in different barns if indoors or in the same barn in farrowing crate which are sometimes used so that the sow doesn’t lay on the piglets as they are born.

About a week before farrowing the sows/gilts need to be wormed. (Noromectin can be injected.)

Before farrowing some owners will wash the teats and udders.

I hope this information is useful. Let me know how you get on. What breed are your pigs? Let me know if you have anymore questions.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

Do you have any tips to tell if a pig is farrowing?

Garden Snails

we found a garden snail and brought it home to keep it safe, even though the shell is broken, none of its body is at sight and hes still alive and well. my daughter named it Gary. I was wondering if we find him a new empty shell will it move in or thats just not possible?
van & lilo

Hi Van & Lilo,
I am pleased to hear that your snail is alive and well despite it’s broken shell. What a great name for the snail. I believe that the snails body is attached to the shell so removal of the shell would damage the snail’s body and it would also dry out and die. Since the snail is attached to the shell, I don’t think that it will move into another shell. Thanks for such an interesting question. Hope this helps and hope Gary the snail is ok.
Sara @ farmingfriends

Hi I was just wondering if i could gather snails from my garden and eat them? And if so how would i go about ensuring they were cleaned out ?

Hi Craig, What an interesting question that I am sure many people have wondered.

I have done a bit of research and found that the Caferouge website states,

“There are many different types of edible snails in the world. The most common are:
Helix aspersa: also called the “small grey snail.”
Helix pomatia: also called “the Roman snail.” If you’re cooking snails it’s advisable to buy them from the supermarket or from another reputable snail retailer…..Garden snails can be eaten, but you have to be very careful that they have not been near harmful pesticides. It is also important to clean and prepare the snails correctly.”

I also found an interesting recipe which explains how to prepare, clean and cook the snails on the bbc website in a food and drink article for BBC Somerset.

“Mendip Wallfish Recipe
This version of the recipe is by Pat and Bob Reynolds

Collect snails, Helix Aspersa, the common brown garden snail.
Put into a container in which they can be kept moist and can breathe.
Feed them on bran or lettuce or cabbage leaves for 7 to 10 days. This cleanses them.
Put in a sieve and dunk them in boiling water for a few seconds to kill them.
Take the snails from the shells with a small fork, wash them off and then cook.
To cook about a 100 you need a pint of water, ¾ pint of cider, a large carrot and an onion cut into pieces.
Make sure the snails are covered in liquid.
Bring to the boil and simmer until tender for about an hour – it may take a little longer.
Rinse in hot water to clean off the bits of vegetables.

The snails need to be fed lettuce for 7-10 days
Meanwhile put the empty shells in a saucepan with salt and water and bring to the boil.
Boil for a few minutes then rinse in cold water.
Do this 3 times more to make sure the shells are clean.
Dry shells in the oven.

Now to the snails.
You will need a pound of butter for 100 snails.
If the butter is salty you will have no need to add any more salt to the recipe.
½ teaspoon of each of the following,
Chervil, Dill, Fennel Seed, Basil, Sage.
1 teaspoon Chives
3 teaspoons Parsley
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper.
You can use dried or fresh herbs for this.
Grind up all the herbs together and add them to the butter and mix in well.

Take a snail shell, put a little bit of the herb butter into it, then a snail and seal off the shell with more herb butter.
To serve, put the snails on a tray and put into a hot oven.
When the butter bubbles they are ready to eat.
Serve with cubes of bread to mop up the herb butter.”

This recipe sounds great. I don’t know if I am brave enough to eat garden snails but I would certainly purchase the commercial eating snails as I have tried snails in France and enjoyed them. Let me know if you have a go as well.

Hope this helps.

Sara @ farmingfriends


Choosing An Incubator

I would like to buy an incubator with my 40th birthday money. We have a smallholding that is very new, so we don’t want anything massive, something suitable for pure breed chicken eggs (maran, light sussex etc) and ducks. We inherited some geese who we were told have rarely hatched anything themselves so maybe goose eggs too? It would need to have some automatic features but I wondered what people in the know would recommend – there seem to be so many options,
Thanks Lisa

Hi Lisa,
Happy 40th Birthday.Thanks for visiting the farmingfriends website and leaving a comment.
I have the Hova Bator Model 1592 Incubator from GQF with the GQF Automatic Egg Turner which holds 42 eggs from quail to duck eggs.
I have had some good results with the incubator although sometimes the eggs have been fertile and have not hatched out. I am not sure why this is, as there are many factors that can affect this that are to do with the incubator, eggs themselves or indeed the breeding flock.
The egg turner is very useful as this means that the eggs are no longer reliant on you turning them.
This incubator and egg turner are run on electricity and can be placed neatly in a small corner of a room.
I hope this information is useful to you.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

If you have a farming or animal related question that you can’t find the answer to, then leave a comment.

45 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Hello,

    My duck laid one egg on Sunday the twentieth and I’m not sure if she laid on it at all on Sunday, is there still a possibility that it might hatch? She then laid one today (Wednesday the 23rd)! She has been laying on them now! If she continues laying eggs through fall and winter do you recommend getting a incubator?

  2. i have two baby ducks about 5 days old and the past 5 days they seemed extremly healthy till this morning i woke up and one of them is limping and its beak seems a pinkish pale color and the other one seems more darker im wondering if its sick??? its been eating and drinking just fine for alittle while it was breathing through its mouth but stopped is it goen to be ok?? could its leg be broken? what should i do??

  3. Hi I have Aylesbury duck eggs in my incubator for 30 days know they are beginning to crack and have this ok

  4. Hi Heidi,

    Congrats on the hatch. I have added your enquiry to my forum here

    One member Katy has replied saying,

    Hi Heidi,
    it sounds as though she has had enough, sitting for 6 days and then 22 days. It’s enough for her. If the chicks are still alive but she is abandoning them then they need to be put somewhere warm to finish off. If you don’t have access to an incubater you need to try and keep them around 37degrees.
    They can survive for a while if they are cold but not indefinately. You may be able to reintroduce them to her once hatched. Bantams are usually good mums.
    Good luck

    Hope this helps.
    Let us know how you get on.
    kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

  5. Hi, I have a broody bantam who has was broody for a week before I put 6 fertil eggs under her. She hatched one on day 22 and one on day 23, now she keeps getting off the nest to eat and leaving the eggs on their own despite cheeping and pipping from two of the remaining eggs. Its now day 25 and think maybe sh has had enough. Do I finish these eggs off to hatch under a heat lamp? I dont know what to do as none of my other 8 bantams are broody. HELP PLEASE!!

  6. Hello,
    My husband and I are wanting to find out if the five Canadian goose eggs we retrieved from a nest that the female had built on an island in the river and left after the river rose over it will survive if we incubate them. I believe the eggs had been submerged for at least an hour before we could get to them.

  7. I had a ginnie she was laying eggs so we got a male she keeped laying but now when we find eggs it looks like one of them has peecked a hole in it. Is their a nest some were or what is going on why are they doing this? Thay have the run of the farm during the day and thay are trained to come in at night were we lock them up for the night to keep them safe

  8. hello every one………. I have a pair of fantail pigeon who has recently layed eggs…….. But the problem is they have layed 2 eggs but bothat some distane within cage…….. Male sit on one egg and female on the other……… My question to u all is why dont any one pigeion sit on both egg to incubate…………. And some times the male pigein kicks the egg on which the female sits…….. Although he dosent do that intentionally but is it ok????? Plzz help me guyzz…………. Waiting for your all answers…………..

  9. Hi Sara

    my neighbour brought me a goose egg and she told me its about 3 days old. The rest of the eggs was gotten rid off because here is to much geese.I have hatched duck eggs before but I am not sure if it is the same way with geese. I don’t know if it is firtilized. do you have some advise for me?


  10. Hi Allie, I hope that your sow will be ok this time. I put your question onto my forum and Shirley from Canada who has experience of raising pigs said,

    “If she was really young, she was probably upset when she farrowed, and didn’t let her milk down. I would consult your vet, as he/she can give you some oxytocin if the same thing happens. Sometimes sows can farrow with mastitis and that can inhibit milk production also. We used to give them a shot of banamine with the oxytocin after she was done farrowing. Hope this helps.”

    Let us know how she gets on.
    kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

  11. my pig is haveing a litter of pot bellied piglets and last litter her milk didnt come in (acidental litter). i woke up and heard skweeling out side and i looked and piglets!!!! any way she is due for halloween and i realy dont want to bottle-feed 4-10 piglets. last time only one lived. the runt which was skinny at birth so bottle feeding started at 1 hour old. the others we didnt relize until later where eating hay. are there any ways to make sure that her milk comes in. (i’m only eleven and i have three younger brothers. they where crushed when they woke up in the morning and there 3 favorite piglets had died when they where sleeping) i have been giving her tons of vegies. will that help or should i do something else? i dont like staying up till 5 a.m. and then getting up again at 6 a.m. please help

  12. Why are our turkey eggs disappearing out of their pen? We have no dogs, and pens are very well enclosed. Every few days, a couple eggs will go missing.

  13. need advice…..have Muscovy ducks and given some others that i do not know what they are…i have collected to incubate some eggs left on edges of the pond but don’t know who left them, Muscovy or others, so how long to incubate?? Muscovy go 35-37 days i believe…but if the eggs belonged to the other ducks should i change the ventilation earlier in case but then there is the turning of the eggs…help…they have been in incubator for 8 days now and need to figure out what to do before the day to stop turning comes…..ALSO…can i set a second group of eggs in for later hatch date or will the ventilation change be bad for that ;possibility?? HELP!! FIRST TIMER!!

  14. Hi Kwame,

    Wow 38 guinea fowl, you have alot of guinea fowl, I hope they are all ok.

    Guinea fowl can start to lay as early as from 16 weeks old

    If your guinea fowl are used to being kept inside their pen then they will lay inside, it’s a natural instinct for a hen to lay eggs. I would make sure that the females have a dark area to go into in their pen to lay their eggs where they feel safe and secure. Guinea fowl are ground nesting birds and like to nest in hedgerows and think nettle bushes, so I would add some tall vegetation to the pen to create a natural habit at for egg laying.

    I am in the uk and my guinea fowl free range around the farm during the day and then go into a hut to roost at night so they are safe from predators.

    I have added your enquiry to my guinea fowl forum.

    Kind regards

  15. Dear Sara
    i have 38 guinea fowl which i rear inside a cage at my backyard .The birds are 14 weeks old.I want know at what age my guinea fowl will begin to produce /lay eggs provided i give the right type of feed.
    Some have claimed that guinea fowls do not lay eggs when kept in confinement.In my country,Ghana guinea are kept on a range and allowed to look for their own food.

    Wisdom Kwame

  16. Hi Chloe,

    You asked about breed of duck with chocolate coloured beak, there are lots of ducks with this coloured beak, what size is the duck and what colour are the feathers, also do you have a photo of the duck as this would help with finding the breed.

    I have posted your query on the farmingfriends forum here

    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

  17. Hi

    My sow missed to be served when should I expect it to be on heat again and how does the heat period last?

  18. Khaki Duck sitting on eggs.

    My 9 month old duck started hiding and then we found her nest 17 eggs! I removed 6 eggs and put them under our very good bantam mother thinking well the duck wont sit tight at least we shall get some from the hen. The duck became very fierce and sat extremly tight. They all started hatching on day 26ish and after 3 days we had 15 ducklings all together! The duck was very protective but inclined to stand on her brood as she tryed to keep me away. After 7 days i let the duck and her 10 ducklings out for an hour as she was desperate for a bath and fed up with a shallow bowl to wash in. She was good to start with but on day 3 of being out had lost a duckling after being out for 3 hours ,and the same the next day , also she was inclined to stand on the ducklings and at times was very greedy over food and wouldn’t let them eat first like a hen would. I lifted the remaining 8 ducklings and my bantam was delighted to take them even though they couldn’t all fit under her. We now have 13 huge 5 week old ducklings and 1 very mystified bantam when the garden hose gets turned on. My duck has started to lay again but is not nesting so far. Result = may be that is why she had so many eggs as in nature very few ducklings would have survived. Advice = allways use a good broody if you want quite ducks.

  19. Hi,
    I supposedly have 5 female italian quail which I bought for laying. 3 of these have a speckled chest (black speckles on cream). The other 2 are more golden with no black speckling on their chest – more of a light and dark tan speckle. Their heads have the same colouring – do you think there is a chance they are male? They don’t have the very chestnut colour on the sides of their heads that I have seen in males.

    Also one of these lighter birds has started pacing and trying to jump upwards (when I am around at least). I have put foliage, cabbage hung from the roof and cuttlefish to give it stimuli which has helped. I have 1 quail who has had the feathers taken off her head by one of them – I am suspecting this agitated one. Their house is approx. 170 x 70 x 70 cm – is this too small? What floor space and height is advised?

  20. Ok am day 3 now I hear cheaps and the have pipped the shell but nothing else is happening ? the frist one pipped about 24 hours ago ?

  21. Ok I am in day 2 of lock down with my duck eggs when do I lower the temp ? to 95 degrees? oh my eggs are moving about cool to watch.

  22. Hi
    My little runner ducks came today…. =D
    they are pretty cute…
    thanks for the information

  23. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for visiting farmingfriends and leaving your question. Yes you need to take the eggs out of the turner tray and lay them in the incubator otherwise the ducklings will struggle to hatch. Hope that helps.
    Just to let you know that I have a free forum with a section on ducks and lots of active members who are enthusiastic duck keepers.
    Let us know how you get on.
    kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

  24. I am hatching duck eggs I have An auto turner now on the 25th day when I turn off the auto turner do I take them out of the tray and lay them flat or leave them in the tray?

  25. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for your question regarding washing pheasant eggs before incubation. There is a debate as to whether you should wash eggs or not.
    Many poultry breeders don’t think you should wash them:
    * You can wash bacteria into the egg as the shells are porous. It is not advisable to wash eggs before incubating as bacteria can be transferred into the egg which can affect the growth and development of the chick/duckling, cause illness, defects in the chicks or even chicks not hatching.

    Eggs have a protective coating and if you wash them or rub them then you may remove the protective coating.

    Here are some tips on storing and choosing eggs before incubation

    Some people do say that you can wash eggs and they say if cleaning eggs then use water that is warmer than the egg.

    I have had a look in my copy of incubation at home by Micheal Roberts. He is an advocate of not washing, but says if you have dirty eggs then you could scrape off the soil/muck with a clean kitchen scourer. He also mentions Virkon which I believe is a sanitiser and washing in water that is 35 degrees..

    I have had a look at my copy of Incubation: A Guide To Hatching & Rearing by Katie Thear and she suggests brushing them clean with a dry nail brush. She also mentions washing the eggs in water warmer than the egg which has had a sanitiser added.

    Some people do wash eggs before incubation.
    If you are going to wash the eggs then wash them in warm water, dry, then wipe with a special disinfectant. The water needs to be warmer than the egg so that the dirt doesn’t get through the porous shell and don’t rub too hard as this will rub off the protective layer on the shell.

    Hope this helps.
    Let me know how you get on.
    kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

  26. Hi Franzi,
    Runner ducks can go swimming, they like water and will swim given the chance.
    Have you got some runners to go with your campbells?
    I have 7 khaki campbells and they love our pond especially when it has fresh water in it!
    Just to let you know that I have a free forum with a section on ducks and there are lots of duck enthusiasts on there too. I will ask your question there too.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

  27. Hi Sara
    do you know if Runner Ducks Gob swimming???
    Because our campbells love to swim; and we don’t know if The Runners will swim too:

  28. Hi Laura,
    Thanks for visiting farmingfriends and leaving your comment. I am sorry to hear that you have had a powercut.
    Were the eggs still warm when you discovered the power was off? If so then you may still get the eggs to hatch. Lots of things can affect the hatch.
    The temperature in the incubator would take abit of time to cool down and also if a duck was sitting on the eggs the duck does still get off the eggs for periods of time so if the eggs didn’t cool down too much then you may get some to still hatch.
    Once they have got back up to the correct temperature for a day or two you could then candle the eggs.
    I have added your question here to see if any of the forum members might be able to help.
    Good luck with the hatch and let me know how you get on.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

  29. Hi
    my duck eggs are a week from hatching, i came home to find a powercut it had been of for nearly 7 hrs,,, will my eggs still be ok

  30. Hi,
    I’ll get some runner ducks
    And I’m gonna go to fair with them …
    Is there anything special that I need to know???
    Do they eat anything special?
    When can we let them go to the older ducks and chickens?
    And I have a Question about my other ducks.. okay we have the chickens and ducks all together in a coop and it looks like that they don’t get enough food
    My mom says that they’ll be alright the soonest we get ritt of our roosters.
    Can I do anything to help them until the rooster are gone?
    Thanks Franzi

  31. Hi Charlie,
    Thanks for visiting farmingfriends and leaving your comment.
    The chinese painted male quail have a white bib under their chin which the females don’t have.
    The females are slightly larger than the males with a plumper body.
    Mannerisms, the male tend to walk taller than the females.
    Hope this helps.
    Let me know what your quail chicks are.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

  32. Hi Naomi,
    I am glad that the eggs arrived quickly and safely. If the temperature is lower in the incubator then this can cause problems with the hatch such as the eggs will hatch later. I have read that there is a chance the eggs may still hatch at a slightly lower temperature but it may be that they take longer. The temperature outside the incubator can affect the temperature inside so this may be a possibility, you could place the incubator in a hotter room inorder to increase the temperature.
    I have tried to find out on the internet how to increase the temperature in an incubator but there doesn’t seem to be much information about this.
    Do you know anyone who has abroody hen who could sit on the eggs?
    Sorry I can’t be more helpful.
    I hope you get your incubator temperature increased to the right temperature.
    Kind regards
    sara @ farmingfriends

  33. hi
    i recevied from eggs from this site.
    great packaging came really quick thanks:D
    But i have a problem because the incubator i have has a limit of 33.8 C and it has been on for a few hours and still hasnt even reached 30 C
    It does not go high enough for the recomended temp for incubating and i wanted to know if it was still possible that the eggs would hatch at 33.8 C if the incubator will reach that temp. and also is there any way i could make the temperature in the incubator raise??
    thanks you

  34. Hi Stan,
    Thanks for visiting farmingfriends website..
    A great place to get pig equipment is the Machinery sale at York Auction Centre. The next sales are:
    Here is a post I wrote on my website about pig fencing.
    If electric fencing is to be used then the pigs will need to be introduced to it otherwise the pigs will find a way to get through it or will get in a panic. You need to educate the pig about the electric fence and when doing this place an electric fence in front of a wall or stock fence so that you can contain the pigs as you train them. Once the pig has touched the electric fence a couple of times they will realise that they don’t want to go through.

    When you do take the electric fence down you may find that the pigs will not want to go over the area where the electric fence was so try putting straw down where the fence was and the pigs should cross the line or tie ribbon to the electric fence and then when the fence is removed the pigs will realise they can cross as the ribbon has gone.

    Electric fences can be mains operated or battery operated if you are not close to an electricity supply. The mains electric fencing is more reliable and stronger. If just using electric fencing then the pigs will need to have 4 or five wires to keep them in.

    Hope that helps. Look forward to hearing about your pigs when you get them.
    Kind regards
    sara @ farmingfriends

  35. Hi All,
    Sorry if i have posted this message in the wrong place, Im going to get some piglets ive got a big enough garden and i have checked all the law and ive got my RPA number now, We have 5 chickens and 2 ducks haha i hear you laughing.
    We live in Leeds in West Yorkshire, and ive tried every where to get hold of some things but there is not many pig farms around us theses days.
    Im looking for Galvinised or metal gates so pigs wont get through the fences, any information about electric fences would be greatfull.
    You can contact me on 07543886102 or email me
    Thank you for reading this.
    Regards Stan.

  36. My mallard ducks have laid a few eggs which have a very soft shell how can I get the shells where they are hard? Thanks

  37. HI friends
    i tried hatching my guinea fowl eggs with a home made incubator.I dont have a thermostat so i had to control the temperature by turning off the heater which is an incandescent 60 watt bulb on/off.On unfortunatley, on number of occasions ,i over slept and the temperature sometimes went as high as 44 degree celcius.This destroyed most of the embryos and out of 100 eggs, i got only twelve chicks and half of them had deformed legs.Please can anyone help me with an old thermostat which is no longer in use which is still in good condition?

    p o box co 2185 Tema.
    Ghana – Africa

  38. hi, i have a candain goose at home who is about a month old now.i have read it is illeagal to keep and care for this abandoned bird, i have also read that if i hand him over to a wildlife refuge, he may not receive the best care. i’ve heard that many peolpe care for abandoned or lost goslings, and they grow up to be good pets. i dont know if these peolple had permits or licenses to keep them thouugh, i want to keep my goose Charley at home and raise him as a pet, and hopefully give him the chance to interact with the many canadian geese that have nests down at out dug out and so he will be able to fly south for the winter. i only wish the best for my families new member, and i would appreciate it if you could inform me on the best way to ensure a happy life for my goose, as well as respecting the law. please, i need some advice. thank you

  39. Hi,
    We have about 17 chickens and they have started egg eating. We have tried seperating them and can ot seem to find one in particular that is guilty of starting it.
    We have tried staying by the pen waiting for a chicken to go in to the laying box and then taking the egg of her, but it is not practical everyday.
    Any advise would be greatly appreciated on who to stop this bad habit.
    Thank you, Charlotte

  40. Hi, we found three duck eggs in one of our garden potted plants yesterday, we do not know exactly how long they were left there so we left them out for most of the day hoping the mother would come back, she was not seen all day and no other ducks came to the pot. We bought the eggs inside, put them in a small shoe box, wrapped them in a blanket and put them in our airing cupboard to warm them back up again. Was it the right thing to do to bring them inside and what can we do to hatch all three ourselves as the mother duck still hasnt returned. Please help!

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