The call duck is a small bantam duck breed. The tiny duck, which looks somewhat like its relative, the mallard duck, weighs less than 0.907 Kilogram and is typically used for ornamental or pet purposes. Poultry hobbyists can start their own backyard duck family by hatching fertile call duck eggs. Raising call ducks from eggs helps the animals to become tame and comfortable around humans, and the ducks will often bond with their human caretakers when raised from such a young age.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Fertile call duck eggs
- Refrigerator or cooler
- Broody duck or chicken hen
- Egg incubator
Get fertile call duck eggs. Due to its popularity, this type of duck breed's eggs are common and easily obtained from feed stores, local breeders and mail-order or online duck hatcheries. After purchasing them, the fertile call duck eggs can be stored for up to 10 days in a cooler or fridge at 14.4 degrees C until you are ready to hatch them.
Hatch the fertile call duck eggs under a broody duck or chicken hen. If you have such a broody animal, this is the best option for a low-effort method of hatching. A call duck can sit on up to a dozen duck eggs, while a broody chicken hen may comfortably sit on three to four eggs. The hen will do all the work for you, incubating and turning the eggs as needed until the call duck eggs hatch in three weeks.
Hatch the call duck eggs in an artificial incubator as an alternative to using a live broody duck or chicken. Plug the incubator into a power source and fill its water well. Set the temperature to 99.25 to 99.75F, and its relative humidity to 55 per cent.
Take the eggs out of cold storage and allow them to sit for six hours to bring them up to room temperature. After six hours, place the call duck eggs into the incubator on their sides.
Incubate the eggs for 23 days. Turn the eggs on their side by 180 degrees every eight hours. This keeps the duck embryo from sticking to the eggshell's membrane, a fatal situation for the developing call duckling.
Increase the temperature to 96.6F on the 23rd day. Also, boost the internal humidity to 90 per cent in preparation of the eggs hatching. During this time, you can stop turning the duck eggs.
Watch the call duck eggs hatch. Call ducks take 26 to 27 days to hatch after being placed in the incubator. Remove the ducklings 24 hours after they've hatched and place in a brooder to keep them warm.
Tips and warnings
- You can help remember how far to turn the eggs by marking one side of the egg with a felt-tipped marker. Watch the marked area to keep track of how far you've turned the egg.
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