How to care for duck eggs? 

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “how to care for duck eggs?”. We will also discuss how to tell if a duck egg is alive or not. In the end, we will discuss how to hatch duck eggs without an incubator.

How to care for duck eggs?

The duck eggs should be cared for by cleaning them to avoid any bacterial spread. Cold temperatures can result in the death of the embryo, whereas increased temperature can initiate hatching. 

Electric lighting can speed up duck production and reduce molting time (when birds have a pause in production). Artificial lighting for around two weeks before setting eggs can accomplish this. Provide artificial light and sunlight so that birds receive 15 hours of total light.

When the ducks reach 6-7 months of age, they should be laying at a rate of nearly 90 percent within the first five weeks. English breeds maintain greater than fifty percent output for approximately five months. 

Pekins begin laying eggs at approximately 26–28 weeks of age and can be kept cheaply until 40 weeks, at which point they will have laid 160 eggs.

Egg production and general performance are maximum when breeding ducks are kept in groups of no more than 250 individuals. After the eggs have been placed, it is necessary to replace the nest’s litter regularly. 

How to tell if a duck egg is alive or not?

It is important to discover whether the duck egg is alive or dead. Some embryos die in the eggs, or the eggs become putrid or diseased due to the growth of germs.

Using a technique called candling, a duck egg can be examined and identified whether or not it contains a living embryo.

For this process, turn off all light sources in the room. The candling process can only be performed in complete darkness.

Hold a small flashlight just above the egg’s shell, so that the light shines over it. Examine the egg for veins beginning on the seventh day of incubation. Typically, the presence of distinct veins indicates that an egg is alive. 

After 12 days of incubation, a light aimed at the egg may reveal the movement of a living embryo. On days 26 and 27, you may observe the duck’s beak moving within its air sac.

Note any bleeding rings or spots within the egg. These traits are typically symptomatic of dead or never-developed embryos. 

In addition, the absence of veins is typically symptomatic of a dead egg. Diseased eggs are typically black and spotted. Remove any egg that is infected or dead from the incubator.

How to hatch duck eggs?

For hatching duck eggs, place them in the incubator with the pointed end facing down and put it in an area that is out of sunlight and away from children and noise.

For 28 days, duck eggs are incubated at a temperature between 99.3 and 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The relative humidity should be between 45 and 55 percent for the first 25 days and then increase to 65 percent for the final three days. 

If you are manually turning your eggs, you should do so at least four times a day, rotating them 180 degrees so that they spend every other night on either side. This inhibits the embryo from adhering to the shell as it develops.

When you candle the eggs after five days of incubation, you should be able to observe veining and development. 

By the tenth day, candling will reveal significant growth of the air sac at the egg’s blunt end and the development of an embryo. 

If you observe a reddish ring within the egg, this indicates the presence of germs, and the egg should be removed. Eggs that are contaminated may rupture and contaminate other eggs.

Remove the incubator’s lid and leave it off for thirty minutes. Then, spray each egg with cool water and close the lid. 

This resembles a mother duck leaving her nest each day to collect food and perhaps take a quick dip before returning wet to her nest. According to studies, this can significantly enhance hatch rates.

On day 26, the eggs should be given a final turn, cooled, and misted, and the incubator’s dampness should be raised. The ducklings will move into the hatch position, at which stage the eggs should not be disturbed.

On day 28, tiny holes in the shells will begin to appear. The duckling will then make its way out of the egg, and a new duckling will appear. This entire procedure can take up to 48 hours.

How to hatch duck eggs without an incubator?

Artificial incubation is the most efficient method for hatching duck eggs, but it is also the most pricey. There is also an efficient organic incubation method to use.

By using a brooding bird, a tiny number of duck eggs can be successfully incubated until they hatch.

Find an egg-laying duck or hen. Brooding birds are those that incubate their eggs.   Due to their ability to hatch up to fifteen duck eggs, it is recommended to use Muscovy ducks as the ideal setters for duck egg incubation. Depending on the species, duck eggs should hatch in about 28-37 days.

At night, place the eggs beneath the brooding bird. If the eggs currently being incubated by the bird have reached capacity, you may need to replace them. A bird that lays eggs can only incubate as many as it can cover.

Put water and food nearby the nest. The bird should not have to travel too far to find food, but neither should the food be so accessible that the bird does not need to leave the nest. 

Brooding birds need exercise and will contaminate their nests if they are not obliged to leave them for food.


In this brief article, we answered the question “how to care for duck eggs?”. We also discussed how to tell if a duck egg is alive or not. In the end, we discussed how to hatch duck eggs without an incubator.