I like to use broody
ducks to incubate eggs. The breed I prefer are the Muscovys. And yes I do
use them for call eggs, not to mention the heavier breeds. Iíve also used
Blue Swedish. There are other breeds that make good mothers.
I like to separate my
Muscovys so they each have their own nesting spot. Itís best if itís dark
and private. I allow them to lay their own eggs and go broody. There is no
mistake when a Muscovy hen is broody. She will make high-pitched pips and
walk around with her feathers ruffled. She may do this for a day or two
before she is ready to sit full time.
I allow them to sit on
their own eggs for 4-7 days while I collect fertile eggs that I want them to
I return to the nest
area after dark and remove the eggs she is sitting on and replace them with
foster eggs. They are much calmer when it is dark.
I return at the 7day
point at night and candle the eggs.
When placing bantam or
call eggs, I usually put 10 eggs under the hen. I have found that with only
10 they can step around the eggs and donít put their feet on them. If Iím
replacing the eggs with a larger breed of duck, I usually go with 15. That
way I know the duck is covering all the eggs.
The above method doesnít
always work. Thatís when I use method 2 for hens that abandoned their nests
after I placed foster eggs under them.
I know my hens and know
which method works for the individual duck.
I allow them to lay
their own eggs and start to get broody. Sometimes it takes a couple of
days for them to decide to sit full time. When I first spot the broodiness,
I take their eggs and replace them with the foster eggs.
The only problem with
this is that they can lay 3-4 more eggs after they go broody. These eggs
must be removed if they are given bantam eggs or if their eggs are not
fertile. The size difference in the eggs will cause uneven heating.
I usually try to candle
the eggs, and then remove any eggs the duck has laid of her own.
If the hen is incubating
bantam eggs, I either remove them 1-2 days prior to hatch and place them in
my hatcher, or allow them to hatch and remove the ducklings before they
leave the nest.
I can usually get 3-4
hatches per hen by doing this.