Black East Indies are beautiful bantam duck with a beetle green sheen to their feathers. They make an excellent addition to a barnyard or home flock. Black East Indie hatching eggs can be hard to find, but they are worth the effort to do so! Once you have them in hand I hope that these simple instructions are helpful to you.
Why Black East Indie hatching eggs?
Black East Indies can be hard to find locally. For many people, ordering hatching eggs is the only way to acquire these birds. Ordering hatching eggs, of any breed, and having them sent through the mail is risky and I generally consider anything over a 50% hatch rate to be a great success.
If you are receiving your Black East Indie hatching eggs through the mail, unwrap them carefully and allow the eggs to rest (blunt end upward) for 24 hours before setting in your incubator.
Black East Indie hatching eggs may vary in color from a dark charcoal grey to just barely an off white color. Most ducks start the season laying the darker eggs and they gradually lighten up over the season. Do not worry, the color of the egg will not effect the quality of the duckling.
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.
Hatching Black East Indie eggs
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 Black East Indie duck eggs should be turned (either by hand or by a turner) from days 1-25 with a relative humidity of 40% or so. I find that I can have healthy sized air sacs with this slightly lower humidity.
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 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 duck eggs should look like when candled during their development.
Are Black East Indies Call Ducks?
Nope. Black East Indies are not call ducks. They are slightly larger than call ducks, have much longer beaks, and in my experience are more able fliers. They comingle well together and, if allowed, will breed together and produce black ducklings with with bibs.
The best part is being able to enjoy these bantam ducks the rest of the year! Don’t be surprised if a few of the hatchlings have a yellow tint to their bellies, this will fade away and you will still end up with beautiful black ducks.