Duck egg storage question?

Nao57

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So I've only recently started selling duck eggs.

I am kind of excited about this, because I got a call for them on the first day.

But I wanted to double check, is it best for all involved to store duck eggs in the fridge or just on the counter? They last longer in the fridge, but I don't know how that affects fertility of the eggs if someone is incubating them? Could someone go over that with me?

And part of why I wanted to ask is that I had tried to incubate one batch of eggs already that was mailed to me and it didn't turn out at all (weren't my produced eggs but still). So I thought there's a chance based on that, that I should double check what others have experienced in real life more than trust google. And google technically has zero farming experience themselves.
 

Misty13

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So I've only recently started selling duck eggs.

I am kind of excited about this, because I got a call for them on the first day.

But I wanted to double check, is it best for all involved to store duck eggs in the fridge or just on the counter? They last longer in the fridge, but I don't know how that affects fertility of the eggs if someone is incubating them? Could someone go over that with me?

And part of why I wanted to ask is that I had tried to incubate one batch of eggs already that was mailed to me and it didn't turn out at all (weren't my produced eggs but still). So I thought there's a chance based on that, that I should double check what others have experienced in real life more than trust google. And google technically has zero farming experience themselves.
Google told be that ou of 12 refrigerated hatching eggs, you will get a 2-4 hatch rate. I don know if this is entirely true, but still. I you wash the eggs, they you take off the protective coating, and then they have to be stored in the fridge. If you down wash them, they can sit on the counter, but they might be dirty. Are you on BYC, backyard chickens? You should join, I learned this from there, and they are really helpful people!
 

Nao57

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Google told be that ou of 12 refrigerated hatching eggs, you will get a 2-4 hatch rate. I don know if this is entirely true, but still. I you wash the eggs, they you take off the protective coating, and then they have to be stored in the fridge. If you down wash them, they can sit on the counter, but they might be dirty. Are you on BYC, backyard chickens? You should join, I learned this from there, and they are really helpful people!
Then does that mean unrefrigerated the hatch rate goes up more than just 2-4?
 

Beekissed

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Unwashed, unrefrigerated and under 10 days old has the best hatch rate. I don't refrigerate my eggs, especially in cooler temp weather, for several days and when wanting them for hatching, I don't refrigerate at all....when you think how long it takes a duck to get a clutch she wants to sit on, you can see how long eggs can stay out of the fridge and remain viable, fresh and able to be turned into a duckling.

The eggs you got mailed to you likely had the chalaza broken from too much rough handling in the mailing process. It's anyone's guess on hatching from mailed eggs and that doesn't have much to do with refrigeration, if they've been in cold storage at all.
 

Misty13

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Then does that mean unrefrigerated the hatch rate goes up more than just 2-4?
That is what google said, but I don know if that is entirely true. Unrefrigerated will likely get close to 12 hatches, but the hatch rate also depends on your experience incubating, and of course how good of a job you do. You should alway expect 50% hatch rate.
 

Finnie

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So I've only recently started selling duck eggs.

I am kind of excited about this, because I got a call for them on the first day.
One thing that will help your knowledge base is to ask your customers to give you feedback on their hatch rates. And do a test hatch of your own eggs, too, so you can tell customers what rate you’ve gotten.

2020 was my first year hatching ducklings, and I didn’t do so well with my incubators. But my broody chicken hatched 12 out of 13, so that told me my eggs were fertile and viable. Then I was comfortable selling eggs to people, and their luck was up to them. I had a few regular customers who must have been happy, because they kept coming back for more.

Oh, and my ducks always seem to lay in random places and muddy their eggs up. I can’t stand dirt in my incubator, even though most people recommend putting dirty eggs in as-is. So I carefully spot clean them with a damp paper towel, with the hope that I’m not removing too much of the cuticle. This may be why my incubator eggs had a lower hatch rate, but I don’t believe it did, because the broody hen got the same wiped off eggs. If I have to work too hard getting the dirt off them, they go into my fridge and I do not use those for hatching.
 

Beekissed

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One thing that will help your knowledge base is to ask your customers to give you feedback on their hatch rates. And do a test hatch of your own eggs, too, so you can tell customers what rate you’ve gotten.

2020 was my first year hatching ducklings, and I didn’t do so well with my incubators. But my broody chicken hatched 12 out of 13, so that told me my eggs were fertile and viable. Then I was comfortable selling eggs to people, and their luck was up to them. I had a few regular customers who must have been happy, because they kept coming back for more.

Oh, and my ducks always seem to lay in random places and muddy their eggs up. I can’t stand dirt in my incubator, even though most people recommend putting dirty eggs in as-is. So I carefully spot clean them with a damp paper towel, with the hope that I’m not removing too much of the cuticle. This may be why my incubator eggs had a lower hatch rate, but I don’t believe it did, because the broody hen got the same wiped off eggs. If I have to work too hard getting the dirt off them, they go into my fridge and I do not use those for hatching.
Your broody hen's natural oils can help protect those cleaned eggs....if you'll notice, most broody eggs are worn kind of shiny from all the sitting, repositioning, etc. If you clean your duck eggs prior to incubating, you can recoat them with a light coat of chicken fat or similar light oil to help with that.
 

Finnie

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Your broody hen's natural oils can help protect those cleaned eggs....if you'll notice, most broody eggs are worn kind of shiny from all the sitting, repositioning, etc. If you clean your duck eggs prior to incubating, you can recoat them with a light coat of chicken fat or similar light oil to help with that.
Thank you. That will be a good experiment to try next year.
 

Nao57

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Thank you. That will be a good experiment to try next year.
Spinning of what they said...

I'd also noticed that when the duck eggs first come out they do feel a bit oily. (Literally within minutes of being lain.)
 

Ridgetop

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Ducks have natural oil coating on their feathers. It keeps them from sinking when they swim.

One thing that some people forget when incubating duck eggs is that they need a small bit of moisture on them. The duck (also geese and swans) will leave the nest to swim or feed and return wet or damp and sit in her nest. The chicken does not swim and she stays completely dry. If the duck eggs dry out too much they will have a lower incidence of hatching. The oil coating on duck eggs keeps them from drying out too much probably helping the hatch rate.
 
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