More than anything, a post on hatching call duck eggs might be just to show off some of this incredible cuteness. I mean, it is really too much!
If you are receiving your eggs through the mail, unwrap them carefully and allow the eggs to rest (blunt end upward) for 24 hours before setting in your incubator.
Eggs may not be perfectly clean, but that’s okay. If there are large chunks of debris on them you can remove them with a fingernail. I have also used a small piece of very fine grade sandpaper to clean. The key here is to avoid using liquids that could allow bacteria to enter the egg.
Much of the information available on incubating and hatching chicken eggs can be applied to ducks, as long as the important differences between these two species are taken into account. Since duck eggs take 28 days to hatch instead of 21, you may need to adjust your incubator.
Hatching call duck eggs should be turned (either by hand or by a turner) from days 1-25 with a relative humidity of 50-55% (52% is ideal). My incubator shown here is a Nurture Right 360 and I love the visibility as the eggs hatch. If you have no idea which incubator to choose take a look at the list of egg incubators with automatic egg turning and other features our friends from Backyard Style.
For the last three days of the incubation period do not turn them or open your incubator if at all possible. During this time increase your humidity to 60-65%. Some folks will recommend up to 75% humidity but I find that this lower amount works for me.
I do like to “cool” my eggs for 15-20 minutes each day by removing the lid of the incubator for a little bit. When I put the lid back on I give the eggs a light spritz of water. I do this from day 8 until day 25.
The pencil line on the eggs that you see here shows where the air pocket is at in the eggs. I mark this right as the eggs go into “lock down” for their final three days. I’ve found that the ducklings will unzip themselves right along this line when hatching. If I am hatching call duck eggs and I see a pip outside of that mark I can keep a close eye on it to see if assistance is needed.
There is lots of information online, but I really like the details at https://www.metzerfarms.com/ They have a very nice visual of what hatching call duck eggs should look like when candled during their development.