How to tell if my duck eggs are fertile

Discussion in 'Poultry, Domestic Livestock, Pets, & Bees' started by Krystal, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. Krystal

    Krystal Active Member Premium Member

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    Hi everyone, i seen a post about how to tell if duck eggs are fertile before incubation and it looked pretty straight forward but i have since incubated my pekin girls eggs... im on day 6 and none are fertile so im a bit confused....
    She is with some other girls and a few drakes. I actually purchased her with a drake and they dont stray far from one another. He even sits with her while she lays her egg which i think is so cute haha
    Anyway i was starting to think that either she was infertile or noone liked her like that haha BUT today i seen her drake-friend having a good go so would it be safe to say tomorrows egg would be fertile? I will upload some pics of current eggs with no development.
    Egg with writting has been incubated and other egg is fresh today.
    Thanks in advance for any insight on this and i hope i made a little sense.
     

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  2. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Hi Krystal, determining if a duck or chicken egg is fertile before incubation is really difficult unless the embryo has begun the growing process (in which case incubation has already started - even if not artificial).

    Those eggs in the images (6 days into incubation?) look pretty clear but I would wait another 4 days or so before determining them to be duds.

    Personally, I don't candle eggs much (call me lazy or indifferent) but when I do want check if the eggs are indeed alive and growing I generally check them at about the 10-day mark during the incubation process.

    At 10 days, you should see some development such as blood vessels and/or a darker patch which usually means the egg is growing.

    If you see little or no development and a clear egg during candling at around the 10-day mark then it's likely the egg failed to trigger or was infertile in the first place.

    Candling eggs is a good practice to do because it allows you to check and discard any bad eggs as these bad eggs have the possibility of contaminating the rest of the batch or even blowing in the incubator making a mess. However, I have to say over the past decade since I have been incubating eggs the worst that has happened to me is a few smelly eggs failing to hatch at the end of the incubation process.

    Having said that, it still is good practice to candle the eggs at around 10 days and discard the ones not growing and then candle again towards the end of the incubation process just prior to the hatching stage. A good time to candle at the end is when it is time to remove the eggs from the auto rocker (if you are using one) because you are handling the eggs anyway so might as well candle them and remove any that have obviously stopped developing. That way, when the others hatch out they won't inadvertently break the bad eggs and make a stinky mess.

    Some people can get carried away with candling eggs too often and this has the possibility of disturbing the natural incubation process due to over handling leading to eggs not developing so I would recommend keeping candling eggs to a minimum preferably twice as suggested.

    It's a good sign that they are mating! :p If it was the first time they have mated "tomorrows egg" may not be fertile because it is probably already formed and in the process of becoming the next egg to be laid (I'm no duck reproductive expert so if anyone has a better answer feel free to give your input) but I would think yes future eggs should be fertile if the male has good sperm.

    I hope this helps answer your questions about how to tell if your duck eggs are fertile but feel free to keep asking more and discussing further in this thread.

    Here's a nice little video showing candling of duck eggs and what to look for - it saves me making a video :D
     
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  3. Krystal

    Krystal Active Member Premium Member

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    Thanks Mark. Ill give the eggs some more time to see if anything happens. I just assumed they were no good as another girls eggs are showing alot of obvious signs and they were put in the incubator at the same time.
    As for my girl in question, she has not layed an egg today which is a little strange for her.
    I will keep you updated.
     
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