Индоутки или мускусные утки – один из перспективных видов домашней птицы. Быстрый рост, неприхотливость и большой выход мяса – вот небольшой перечень достоинств этой домашней птицы. Искусственное выведение утят в инкубаторах позволяет в значительной степени повысить плодовитость птицы и выживаемость потомства, снизить влияние сезонных изменений, к которым мускусные утки не приспособлены, и успешно получать утят в течение всего года.
Выбор подходящих яиц и хранение
Выбор яиц для закладки в инкубатор – важнейшее мероприятие при искусственном выведении птицы. Яйца далеко не все одинаковы, поэтому перед закладкой следует провести первую стадию отбора утиных яиц.
- Следует обратить внимание в первую очередь на форму. Яйца индоуток имеют классическую яйцеобразную форму. Не годится материал с отклонениями: удлиненные либо, наоборот, шаровидные, асимметричные. Деформация не допустима.
- Далее необходимо обследовать поверхность скорлупы. Любые известковые наплывы так же надо исключить.
- Цвет скорлупы должен быть белым, любые отклонения в сторону серого или зеленоватого – признак разложения. Не подойдут и яйца с пятнистой или крапчатой скорлупой.
- Small material from young muscovy ducks has a small supply of nutrients, so the hatched ducklings will lag behind in development. The unnaturally large size of the eggs should also alert, often with double yolk. The normal size of a duck egg is slightly larger than a chicken egg. Its weight should be about 80 g.
- Dirty eggs indicate that they were culled by the ducks themselves, you should not trust nature: this is a sign of poor-quality material, including unfertilized ones.
In no case should you wash the eggs collected for incubation with water, the clogging of invisible pores will lead to the death of the embryo. If dirt is still present on the shell, it can be carefully removed with fine sandpaper.
When examining eggs, they must be viewed by light or the simplest device , an ovoscope, must be made to examine their internal structure. A regular table lamp will work for him. There should be an air chamber inside a healthy egg from the blunt end, and an embryo can be guessed in the center - a denser and darker area. Any turbidity and structural changes indicate poor quality material.
To obtain fertilized eggs, it is necessary that there are up to 5 females per drake on the farm. Ducks rarely sit on the nests at the same time, so it is not immediately possible to collect the number of eggs necessary for incubation. Collect eggs regularly, so it will be easier to determine the incubation period. Collected eggs can be stored for up to 2 weeks. We must try to create the temperature regime necessary for storage (from 10 to 15 ° C). Air humidity is an important parameter; it is optimal to maintain this indicator within the range of 65 - 85%.
Eggs selected for incubation must be turned twice a day. For storage, they are placed in one row in cardboard boxes, it is better to place them horizontally. If this is not possible, for example, due to the lack of a box or box of the appropriate size, then with a vertical layout, eggs are laid down with a blunt end. Some poultry farmers recommend marking the date of collection of the eggs on the shell to allow it to meet the deadlines. Naturally, the shorter the shelf life of the material, the greater the chance of removing a duck from it. The optimal period is one week. After 25 days of storage, the result is likely to upset the poultry farmer. The yield of ducklings is unlikely to exceed 8%.
How to choose equipment?
Incubators can be varied. There are many schemes for homemade devices. To do this, use large cardboard boxes, enameled boilers, wooden and metal boxes. There are also many industrial models. The most important selection criterion is the placement of heating devices. Their arrangement is considered optimal above the egg trays. Often, ordinary incandescent lamps are used for this, with their help you can really keep the temperature at the same level quite well. Heating elements are often less effective precisely because of problems with thermoregulation. They slowly heat up and slowly cool down, it is almost impossible to set the required temperature value inside the incubator with their help.
In addition to heating elements, the incubator must have ventilation holes. The ventilation rate as well as the heating rate must be adjustable. The holes are arranged so that they can be closed when needed and just as easily opened when needed.
Modern automatic incubators are much easier to use, but this does not mean at all that the incubation process will go without human intervention. Some of the products are equipped with a water tank to maintain the required humidity. There are also models of devices for artificial hatching of chicks not only with automatic regulation of temperature and humidity, but also with an automatic egg turning device. Such equipment, of course, significantly reduces labor costs, but its price is also quite high. For small summer cottages or even farms, the profitability of an automatic unit is very doubtful.
Timing and incubation regime
Before starting incubation, any structure must be thoroughly disinfected. In order for incubation to start correctly, the apparatus must be well warmed up immediately before laying. The eggs are laid horizontally. On one side of the shell, the mark necessary for turning the eggs must be applied. Most incubators can provide temperature control, however, one of the conditions under which incubation proceeds optimally is also air humidity. This indicator is very difficult to control, and even more so to influence it.
The table will help you to properly adjust the temperature depending on the days of incubation.
Number of egg turns per day
38 ° C
37.5 ° C
30-34 day (last stage)
37 ° C
It is important to periodically cool the masonry. At the first stage - 5 minutes a day, then you can bring it up to 30 minutes. This is the norm for birds. The duck periodically leaves the nest to warm up, eat or drink water. The clutch cools slightly, which does not disrupt the overall incubation process.
If the humidity can be controlled, it is best to stick to the following schedule: 60% - 45% - 75%. Moisture readings correspond to the same incubation periods as shown in the table. The incubation process includes the following steps.
- At the first stage of the incubation period, the organs of the duckling are formed. Eggs should be turned twice a day at about the same time.
- At the second stage, it is important, in addition to the temperature regime, to maintain the ventilation mode. Eggs turn twice a day. In addition, it is advisable to cool them a little by spraying with water through a spray bottle.
- Eggs also need to be refrigerated during the third week. The embryo is already beginning to maintain its own temperature, and overheating is completely undesirable. However, you should not overcool them either.
- The last days are waiting times. It is no longer necessary to turn and cool the eggs, but it is necessary to ventilate the incubator.
Monitoring the development of embryos
Monitoring the development of the embryo is a necessary measure. For this, a special device was invented - an ovoscope. However, with some experience, the state of the embryo can be studied by viewing it through the light. Each stage of incubation has its own characteristics.
- At the end of the first stage of development (the end of the first week of incubation), the emerging network of blood vessels can be seen in the lumen. The inside of the egg takes on a pinkish tint. If you shake the egg, you will notice the wobbling of the shadow of the embryo forming. If the listed signs of development are not detected in the egg or in the ovoscope, the egg must be removed from the incubator.
- The next study of the state of the embryos should be carried out at the end of the second week. At this stage, the formed embryo should be visible. If it is absent, eggs are also removed.
- The last transillumination is carried out 2 days before hatching. With normal development, the inner space of the egg will not shine through, only the air chamber is clearly visible. In this case, you can see the irregularities of the inner edge of the chamber in the place of its contact with the body of the formed duckling.
Conclusion of ducklings
Breeding Indo-Dogs using an incubator is a responsible business, but far from hopeless. However, this is not all. Having received ducklings, they need to be raised, and this will require no less effort. Indoor ducklings hatch from eggs at about 32 days. On days 30-31, a bite appears. Day 33 - the time of mass release of ducklings. On days 34-35, all ducklings usually appear. At home, in order to breed ducklings, it is necessary for the first time to maintain a temperature for them about 35 ° C, gradually lowering it to 28 ° C. This can be achieved by leaving the ducklings in the incubator for a while.
When they start to stand up and move around, it is better to remove them from the incubator into a prepared box with lighting and heating. Where newborn ducklings are housed, it is best to use old newspapers or other paper as bedding. Sawdust or other quickly absorbent material is not suitable for them at first. When breeding muscovy ducks, like other birds, one must not forget that a chick, which is a duckling, is already an independent creature. He passed all the preliminary stages of his development in the egg. Accordingly, having hatched from an egg, he lost not only a relatively safe shelter, but also the supply of nutrients that were spent on his growth.
Breeding birds is associated with an urgent need to provide food for the chicks almost immediately after they emerge from the eggs. Even in nature, ducklings leave the nest with their mother almost immediately after hatching and begin to actively feed. You can start feeding artificially bred ducklings with millet, chopped eggs (white and yolk), finely chopped greens.
Often, the failure of breeding musk ducks is caused by non-compliance with some basic rules. One of the most common mistakes is exceeding the shelf life of eggs before they are laid in the incubator. The poultry farmer, wanting to fill the apparatus as much as possible, lays stuck eggs. The result will be disappointment with minimal ducklings. Experts agree that it is better to run an incubator incomplete than with expired eggs. Failure to sanitize the incubator or set eggs can lead to infection and death of embryos.
The decision to breed ducklings artificially imposes a huge burden on the poultry farmer. If the farmer or summer resident is not ready for this, it is better not to start. Even a seemingly insignificant violation of the incubation regime (too high or, conversely, too low temperature, lack of ventilation or egg turning) can cause failure. Low temperatures will delay the development of the embryo and may delay the timing of ducklings' emergence. Too high a temperature is the reason for the appearance of various kinds of acquired deformities, often incompatible with life. Ducklings bred in such conditions soon die.
One of the mistakes is the uneven heating of the eggs. As a rule, eggs caught on the edge of the tray suffer from this. To avoid this, it is recommended that the eggs are not only turned over, but also periodically shifted on the tray.
When artificially rearing ducklings in the room where the incubator is located, no work should be carried out using paints and varnishes or other easily evaporating chemicals. Experienced poultry farmers, who have more than a dozen broods of duck on their account, can help with advice in this important matter.
- It is imperative to mark the eggs to be laid; it is necessary to indicate the time for collecting the eggs. The mark should be small but noticeable. It will also be convenient when turning eggs.
- If laying eggs is planned in the morning, it is better to start the incubator in the evening. This will allow you to fully warm up the equipment, and also identify possible malfunctions and malfunctions, which are best eliminated before incubation begins. The optimal warm-up time is 5 hours. At this time, it is desirable to maintain a temperature of at least 35 ° C. This will allow not only to check the serviceability of the equipment, but will also become a kind of study of the features of the heating elements and their interaction with the ventilation holes, which is also better done before laying the eggs.
- If the duck has hatched, but does not come out of the egg, you can slightly break the shell near the place of hatching. In nature, adult birds sometimes slightly help chicks to emerge from eggs.
- After hatching, you do not need to replant the ducklings immediately. They are still inactive, and it is better to leave them in the incubator to dry out and get stronger for about 4 hours.
For information on how to properly incubate duck eggs, see the next video.