What Is the Incubation Period for Duck Eggs?

What Is the Incubation Period for Duck Eggs?
••• antpkr/iStock/GettyImages

To incubate means to maintain a set temperature. Incubation of a duck egg is the time period between when the egg is warmed to the correct temperature after laying and when it hatches. Incubation is the period of development of the embryonic duck inside the egg.

The Facts

According to the Department of Animal Science at Oklahoma State University, most domestic duck species, such as Pekin duck, incubate for 28 days to hatching. Muscovy ducks take 35-37 days.

Time Frame

Wild ducks also incubate their eggs for about 28 days. Since it takes the female duck several days to produce all her eggs, she will not begin "sitting" on the nest to incubate the eggs until the last egg has been laid, to ensure they hatch around the same time as each other.

Considerations

Melvin L. Hamre, an animal scientist at the University of Minnesota Extension Office, says that the eggs must be turned 3 to 5 times daily, up to three days before they hatch. Duck eggs may require higher humidity than chicken eggs while incubating, and may do well with a daily sprinkling of lukewarm water. This increases the loss of moisture across egg membranes, allowing for a larger air pocket inside the egg.

Theories/Speculation

Some experts say duck eggs hatch better in stiff-air incubators than in forced-air incubators.

Expert Insight

Duck embryo development can be put on "hold" for about a week prior to incubation by keeping the eggs at 55-60 F (13-15 C). Embryo development does not begin until the egg is warmed to the correct temperature. The incubation period begins once the egg reaches the proper temperature of 99.5 F (37.5 C).

Related Articles

How an Incubator Works
How to Float an Egg in Water
Science Projects With Chickens
Facts on Ducklings
How Do Chickens Fertilize Eggs?
Science Project Egg Experiments
How to Make a Egg Shell Dissolve for a Science Fair...
The Steps for a Science Fair Project on the Rubber...
How to Write a Hypothesis for an Egg Drop Science Project
How to Make a Homemade Incubator for Duck Eggs
Adaptations of a Macaroni Penguin
Life Cycle of a Cricket
Bandage Adhesive Science Fair Project
Why Does an Egg's Shell Dissolve When Put in Vinegar?
How to Package to Protect an Egg for a Science Project?
How to Nurse or Care for a Wild Baby Rabbit
How Do Crickets Go Into a Hibernation State When Cold?
Successful Egg Drop Ideas
Mallard Duck Nesting Habits
Egg Drop Experiments