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Incubating, Hatching & Brooding Ducks

Hatching Ducklings

Articles and guides to help you hatch duck eggs and successfully raise ducklings.

Table of Contents:

Articles are grouped in topics as follows:

  1. Incubating Duck Eggs
  2. Raising Ducklings
  3. Duck Hatching Eggs
  4. The Kit (used in this category)

Incubating duck eggs isn’t that different from chicken eggs. Many back garden poultry keepers, like me, start by hatching chicks and then find an interest in keeping ducks, so they incubate some duck eggs.

When I first started incubating duck eggs, I had terrible hatch rates. It can indeed be more difficult to hatch ducklings, but I have found the difficulty is mostly cheap incubators with temperature variations between eggs and incorrect humidity settings.

I tested several different incubators, measuring them with a FLIR Infra-Red camera for temperature distribution. In most cases, you get what you pay for with incubators. I will be publishing a guide to incubators after completing my evaluation this summer.

If, like me, you had reasonable success hatching chicken eggs, then poor results hatching ducklings, I suggest you start by reading my article concerning Incubation Humidity.  Humidity is crucial when incubating duck eggs. If you still run into difficulty, then a great way to check you have the right humidity for duck eggs is to use the Egg Weight Loss Method.

Enjoy hatching your ducklings!

Featured Articles:

Incubating Duck Eggs

Incubating duck eggs is similar to incubating chicken eggs, except the incubation period is longer at 28 days and the humidity is slightly higher. There is an overlap with the Incubating Hatching & Brooding Chicks category, so a few of the articles talk about chicks, but the principles of incubation are the same.

Setting Up Incubator

Setting Up Your Incubator

Success using an incubator isn’t guaranteed, especially with some of the cheaper models available. Getting good results at hatch time won’t just depend on your

Incubation Humidity

Incubation Humidity

What is the correct incubation humidity for hatching eggs, and how do we measure it? How to get the right humidity for chicken, duck, goose & quail eggs.

Candling Eggs

Candling Eggs

What will you see candling eggs? Pictures and videos of candling chicken eggs at 7 & 14 days of incubation and a useful air sac development chart.

Related Category

Incubation Hatching & Brooding Chicks

incubation and hatching category

Incubation, Hatching Eggs & Raising Chicks

Articles about incubation & hatching eggs artificially in an​ incubator, raising chicks, and hatching as Mother Nature intended using a broody hen.

Hatching eggs with a broody hen

Hatching Eggs with a Broody Hen

A step-by-step guide to hatching eggs with a broody hen. Selecting the right breed and setting up a broody coop for her to incubate fertile eggs.

How to help a chick hatch

How to Help a Chick Hatch

In this guide, Gail Damerow will help us to understand why a chick can’t always make it out on its own, why it’s not usually a good idea to intervene, and if you do decide to assist, how to help a chick hatch.

Weighing an Egg

Egg Incubation Weight Loss Calculator

The porosity of eggs varies with size, age and as the season progresses. This article describes egg incubation weight loss for setting the right humidity in your incubator.

Raising Ducklings

In many ways, ducklings are easier to raise than chicks, although if you use the same techniques, you will find they create far more mess because they spend a lot of time emptying both food and water containers into the brooding area!

The articles below will give you a head start. From feeding and raising domestic ducks at home, to caring for wild baby ducks that you might find without a mother, here is everything you need to know to raise ducklings.


Raising Ducklings: A Complete Guide

Raising ducklings at home is relatively straightforward. They are more tolerant to disease and with the right equipment, are easier to brood than chicks; however,

How to Care for Wild Baby Ducks

How to Care for Wild Baby Ducks

Note: This article on how to care for wild baby ducks pertains to wild Mallard ducklings only. Domestic breeds of duck require different types of

Imprinting in ducks

Stop Following Me! Imprinting in Ducks & Geese

Ducklings and Goslings will follow the first moving object they find after hatching. They treat it as their mother. So even if it’s a large man with a big hairy beard, he becomes ‘mum’!

Duck Hatching Eggs

Under the correct conditions, you can store duck hatching eggs for two weeks and still maintain good hatch rates. I have shared my experience of storing eggs before incubation on my smallholding.

Should you clean dirty eggs before incubation? There are different opinions and I have tried incubating both washed and unwashed eggs. If you have some good birds, you may want to sell some hatching eggs. I have put together some tips for selling hatching eggs. 

How to Clean Eggs for Incubation

How to Clean Eggs for Incubation

Do you need to clean hatching eggs? Experts disagree on whether it is necessary. I only wash very dirty eggs. This is how to clean eggs for incubation.

Selling Hatching Eggs

How to Sell Hatching Eggs

How to sell hatching eggs online. What can you earn? Where are the best places to sell and what guidelines should you follow? Includes tips for buying eggs.

The Kit!

Equipment I've used that you will see in this category

RCOM SURO Incubator

RCOM Suro Incubator Review

My review of the RCOM King Suro 20 Incubator, which compares features for the price with other incubators in this category.

RCOM 20 Incubator

RCOM 20 Incubator Review

Review of the RCOM 20 Incubator, available in three different models. I tested the RCOM with both chicken and duck eggs, and here’s what I found.

Ducks: Categories

Where would you like to go now?

Duck Breeds

Duck Breeds Pages

Photos and breed profiles for every domestic duck in the British Poultry Standard.

keeping ducks general thumbnail

Keeping Ducks

General articles, guides, and information about raising ducks at home or on an allotment.

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Incubation, Hatching & Raising Ducks

Articles about incubating, hatching duck eggs and raising baby ducks.


My recommendation

If you’d like a good book, here are my recommendations.