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Candling duck eggs this evening

There's going to be a fairly big deal going down at our house this this evening, when I we find out whether our Welsh Harlequin drake has lead in his pencil, or whether he's been firing blanks.
We put our first ever Welsh Harlequin duck eggs into the incubator two Saturdays ago and tonight's the night that we candle them. I managed to squeeze 23 in, so its fingers crossed as to how many will remain after tonight.

Good luck hope you have a great result  

Not too much of a chance Horace but if all 23 hatch, then it could be divorce time.  

Of the 23 eggs, six were totally clear and some of the ones that had started, hadn't developed as far as the others. I'll candle again this time next week, when I expect that I'll have to pull quite a few more out.

We candled the Welsh Harlequin duck eggs again last night.

Proceedings kicked off on the 5th of April when I managed to squeeze 23 duck eggs into my Eco 20 incubator. We candled the eggs again ten days later and discarded 6 of the 23 as being infertile.
Last night the second candling saw us lose another three, which leaves us with 14 viable eggs that look to be well and truly on the way. I'm pretty happy with that and according to my calculations, if all continues to go well, we should have some ducklings on or about the third of May.

If my memory serves me well, which it doesn't always do these days, they'll be the first ducklings we've ever hatched. My intention is to continue to treat the eggs just as we would hen eggs and add water to the incubator four days before the hatching date and stop turning at this stage too.

And I know that I'm jumping the gun a little bit but I know that ducklings are messy little beggars, what sort of vessels would folks recommend as water containers when ducklings first hatch?
Dave C

Good luck with them  

My first ever ducklings ? Here's hoping.

Well the big day looms ever closer. Later on this morning I'll be switching the Welsh Harlequin duck eggs from my setting incubator into another one, which I use for hatching.
The eggs are due to hatch on the third of May and this second incubator, has been up and running since last night, so that I get the temperature spot on. Its also had water added to it, so hopefully I'll have the humidity just right too.  
If I'm successful in hatching some ducklings, then they'll be the first ones that I've ever have hatched. Its my first ever attempt at ducks and with anything like a bit of luck, the good run  of successful hatchings I've  had with chicken eggs this year, will continue through to the ducks too ! Fingers crossed.  

Good luck

No ducklings for me this year then ! I haven't investigated the eggs as yet but of the fourteen eggs in the incubator, three of them had chipped and made sizeable holes before dying still in the shell. The others have all remained silent. I've said all along that I've never hatched duck eggs before and now I'm wondering what I might have done wrong. I've used the exact same temperatures and set up that's been very successful for me this year with the chickens. I've run the incubator dry and then added water for the last four of the 28 days. Any ideas as to where I might have gone wrong ?

Is it a still air hatcher or a blown air one you use John? I have noticed that ducks in particular seem to blast a hole in the egg then have a rest, then restart, if in this period the membrane round the hole has crisped up they seem to fail! We often give them a hand by creating a ring of chipped egg round from the hole this sometimes helps and gives the release they seem to need. It all seems very inefficient to me to get to that stage and not be able to get out of the egg.

Very sad indeed.

Perhaps your humidity was too low.

A couple of the blokes in the link below are big breeders and run really high humidity from day one.

I'm sure I've posted this link before, give rnbs waterfowl's method a go it's worked really well for me with both goose and duck eggs.;hilit=duck+eggs+humidity#p550155

Surely not too late to run another batch, or have they stopped laying?

Yes, that's what I'm going to do next time. Whether or not it'll be this year remains to be seen.  I'm thinking about it but probably not. I've allowed all the ducks back together again now and I'd have to separate out the Welsh Harlequins to get the pure breds that I was so  looking forward to hatching.
Dave C

Gutted for you mate

what about trying some cross breeds so you don't have to separate them again, just for practice.

Can you incubate them under Broodies?

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