|Candling During Incubation|
|The First Week. Getting Ready|
|What do we need?
1. Good eggs, like those we learned about in the section on candling fresh eggs
2. A good (reliable) incubator.
|Previously, in our egg…. (what happened before it was laid)
It takes 24 hours for an egg to be formed and ready to be laid. If it is going to be one that grows into a duckling, it must be fertilized, and the only time that can happen is after the yolk is released but before the white goes around it. (see How is an Egg Made? picture 3) During the 24 hours it takes the egg to make its way to the outside world, the germ (which will become the duckling) grows from a single cell to several thousand. You still can see it without a microscope though.
|image||Development: Where are the eggs now (what stage)?
When the egg is laid, the development of the embryo (at the blastula stage) stops. Once the egg warms up past 21 C (70F) for long enough (more than an hour), development will resume. The rate of the development depends on the temperature, and prolonged exposures to temperatures above 37.5C (making it grow too fast) and below 37.5C (making it grow too slow) can harm the embryo.
|image||Warming the Eggs.
Whenever possible eggs should be warmed slowly for a few hours before being placed in the incubator. This can be done by placing them on top of the incubator for a while before putting them inside.
|Setting the Eggs
Ideally, eggs should be kept still for the first 24 hours. If this is the only batch of eggs in the incubator, simply don't turn them for the first day. We use an incubator that holds several hundred eggs, and add a new batch each week, so it is not always possible to shut the turner off. We have not noticed a big difference in how well they hatch, but in general the more you can do to copy the natural conditions (i.e. a real mom duck), the better off you will be.
|How is an egg made?|