It is not the age of the duck itself, but the season when the ducks sit to hatch the chicks.
The color is as follows: the head and neck of the male are green, the goiter and chest are brown-brown.
The color of the female is much more modest: - brown with darker spots, and the ventral side of a brownish-gray shade with longitudinal mottles.
Mallard is quite widespread in the northern hemisphere. It nests in arctic latitudes to the north up to 70 ° N In a warm subtropical climate, nesting sites are distributed to the south up to 35 ° N in North Africa and up to 20 ° C. w. in the Middle East.
The start of the breeding season for mallards very much depends on the latitude of the place - on the southern periphery of the range it falls on February, while on the northern only on June. Breeds in pairs or small free groups.
Mallard egg laying continues from mid-April to mid-May. A female mallard lays one egg each day (usually in the evening). Hatching of the offspring begins with the last egg, when the laid ones first have an already clearly distinguishable germinal disk. As a rule, the number of eggs in the nest can vary from 9 to 13. The eggs have a standard shape, with a shell, having a white color with a greenish-olive hue. During the incubation of the masonry, the shade usually disappears.
Egg incubation time is 22-29 days (on average - 28 days). All mallard chicks hatch from eggs almost simultaneously (time interval is not more than 10, less often - 14 hours). There is such a feature: the eggs that were laid last go through a cycle of their development in a shorter period than the previous ones.
Collection and storage of duck eggs for an incubator
A high percentage of live chicks will be released only if the rules for collecting and storing eggs are observed, as well as how carefully the owner of the house monitors cleanliness.
To avoid mold, parasites and other infections, the litter in the nests is changed every day. It is more convenient to do this in the evening, and from the early morning to start collecting duck eggs for the incubator. If a fresh egg gets on a surface seeded by bacteria, in a humid warm environment all pathogenic, destructive for future chicks, the flora will penetrate through the pores in the shell.
In the warm season, when the eggs are not threatened with hypothermia and death of the embryos, they are collected every hour. But the colder it is on the street and in the poultry house, the more often the poultry breeder should inspect the laying hens.
Immediately after collection, the eggs are not washed and in no case are they cleaned by mechanical means that can damage the integrity of the shell, but they are dipped in an antiseptic solution. Until a sufficient number of eggs has been collected for hatching, they are placed on trays with the sharp end down, vertically or slightly tilted.
Storage of duck eggs for incubation in an incubator is possible only at a temperature of 10–15 ° C and air humidity of 75–80% for no longer than 8 days, otherwise the percentage of hatching will significantly decrease, and the resulting chicks will be weak. See: duck Mulardy photo!
Selection of duck eggs for incubation
Only selected eggs should be allowed to enter the incubator, which can be determined by the correct shape, the absence of any growths or sag on the shell. A duck egg should be approximately the same size, even and clean.
Transmission helps to make the right choice. During this procedure, it is easy to detect microscopic cracks, shell irregularities, and to reject unfertilized, old or non-viable for other reasons eggs, for example, with dark mold spots inside or with a spilled yolk.
In worthy of duck eggs entering the incubator at home, you can see that:
- the yolk is located strictly in the center,
- the protein does not contain impurities and is completely transparent when scanned
- the air chamber inside the egg is small and is located exactly under or near a blunt apex.
Incubation of a duck egg at home
Duck eggs in the incubator are laid out with a pointed end down with a slight slope. If the withdrawal of ducks of musky breed, then their egg is placed on the tray horizontally. This will ensure the early development of the embryo and a higher percentage of output.
In an incubator where rotation of trays is provided, it is better to fix eggs in tanks beforehand.
All measures necessary for the removal of duck eggs in an incubator at home are shown in the table. As you can easily see, the temperature gradually decreases over the entire incubation period, and humidity, on the contrary, rises.
This is because as the embryo develops in the middle of the cycle, the egg itself begins to give off heat to the atmosphere. In addition to maintaining the optimum temperature for duck eggs, the humidity level is monitored in the incubator.
The closer the nestling time is, the greater is the evaporation of moisture penetrating through the pores of the shell out. An uncontrolled process threatens the death of the embryo, and you can prevent it and cool the eggs with regular spraying.
For irrigation use pure water or a weak solution of potassium permanganate, which is sprayed from the fifth day of incubation twice a day during ventilation.
- from the 1st to the 14th day - 37.5–38.0 ° C,
- from the 14th to the 21st day - 38.0–38.5 ° C,
- from the 21st to the 26th day - 38.5–39.0 ° C.
On an ongoing basis, until the eggs are transferred to hatcher trays, they are constantly turned over. This should be done 4 to 12 times a day, depending on the design of the incubator and the incubation period.
To monitor the condition of the eggs in the incubator for hatching ducklings, at home on the 8th, 13th and 25th day they are exposed to translucency. Eggs inside which there are no signs of development, whether there are all symptoms of spoilage, are removed.
If eggs of musky ducks are loaded into the incubator, then the poultry breeder needs to know that incubation will take a little longer. Usually, ducklings in the incubator appear after 33–36 days.
The table shows the entire cycle of avoiding egg laying until the moment of hatching chicks of musky ducks.
Hatching ducklings in an incubator at home
At the first signs of biting, duck eggs are transferred to hatcher trays. Here they are laid out horizontally. The first chicks appear on the 26th day, the last most often go to the beginning of the 28th day.
When hatching ducklings started in the incubator at home, just as with hatching goslings, it is important to ensure good ventilation and compliance with the temperature regime. The emerging chicks are transferred to dry, ventilated rooms with a temperature of about 20-24 ° C. Here the ducklings have to dry. After completion of the withdrawal, the bird is sorted and, if necessary, rejected.
The weight of a duckling suitable for further maintenance and growing depends on the size of the egg, and most often ranges from 55–70 grams. At the age of 24, the ducklings from the incubator stand well on their feet, are mobile, have a great appetite and are covered with even, quality down. On examination, pay attention to the purity of the eyes and beak, the umbilical cord that has fallen away and has successfully healed and the dense, hanging stomach.