Beware too much humidity in the incubator
QI tried to hatch some duck eggs this summer and although most of them were fertile, none of them hatched. What do you think may have been the problem?
AVictoria says: If you were using an incubator, it is likely to have come with instructions to add water at the beginning of the incubation period. The manufacturers have to cover their backs. However, here in the UK we live in a generally damp climate and while people think that waterfowl need a more humid atmosphere to develop than, say, chickens, this is quite wrong. A fertile egg must lose 13% of its weight in order to hatch. The weight loss is mainly moisture and if there is too much humidity in the incubator from the start, the ducklings are too large to turn around to break out of the shell and they die. The shell membrane needs moisture to remain pliable for the duckling to break it and get into the airspace before hatching. That is when the humidity must rise to the maximum.