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Digital Subscriptions > Chickens > Ducks 101 > HOW TO HATCH

HOW TO HATCH

Use these practical tips to create more quackers.

Looking for a fun way to add to your flock? Consider hatching the eggs yourself. Whether you have fertile eggs of your own, buy some from a local farm or order eggs online, the experience of watching the ducklings develop and hatch is truly awe-inspiring.

If you opt to hatch your own eggs, choose the most perfectly shaped ones neither those too small nor too large (double yolkers rarely hatch, and if they do, both ducklings rarely survive), as well as very clean ones. In my experience, the eggs shouldn’t be washed or refrigerated; instead, gently brush off dirt with a dry sponge or paper towel to keep the bloom intact. Store the eggs in an egg carton in a cool location, such as a basement, garage or mudroom, preferably around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Eggs should be positioned pointy end down, at a 45-degree angle, and rotated several times a day to keep the yolk centered.

Fertile eggs will remain viable for about a week. After that, fertility starts to decline.

Shipped hatching eggs often have a lower hatch rate, due to jostling during shipping, temperature and humidity changes, and the time factor. Hatchability declines every day after an egg is laid. Buying from a nearby and reputable breeder who has a good fertility rate, packages securely and ships quickly becomes the first step to ensuring a successful hatch from shipped eggs.

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