Mother duck sitting on eggs

How Long Does It Take for Duck Eggs to Hatch? Duck eggs typically take around 28 days to hatch, though this can vary slightly depending on the species.

This incubation period is crucial for the development of the ducklings inside the eggs.

Understanding the Incubation Process

  • The Incubation Period: Most duck eggs incubate for 28 days, though species like Muscovy ducks may require up to 35 days. This period involves crucial developmental stages essential for the growth and health of the ducklings.
  • Temperature and Humidity: For successful duck egg incubation, maintain a temperature of 99.3°F to 99.6°F (37.4°C to 37.6°C) and keep humidity at 55% for the first 25 days, increasing to 65% for the last three days.
  • Turning the Eggs: To ensure even development, the eggs need to be turned several times a day. This mimics the natural behavior of a mother duck and prevents the embryo from sticking to the shell.

For more detailed guides on how do ducks reproduce, check out our other articles.

Preparing for Ducklings: Hatching and Care

Signs of Hatching

As hatching day nears, look for signs such as pipping, where the duckling creates small cracks in the shell, and peeping, where soft chirping sounds can be heard from inside the egg.

Allow the ducklings to hatch on their own, as intervening too early can be harmful.

After Hatching Care

Newly hatched ducklings require a warm, safe environment, ideally in a brooder with a heat lamp set to around 90°F (32°C).

They should be fed a non-medicated starter feed that meets their nutritional needs, providing the right balance of proteins and nutrients.

Additionally, always ensure they have access to clean, fresh water in shallow dishes to prevent drowning.

For more detailed information on the incubation process, refer to Wikipedia.

Common Challenges

Duck with a baby duckling

In some cases, not all eggs will hatch due to infertility, which is a normal occurrence.

Consistently maintaining the appropriate temperature is crucial but can be challenging for the optimal development of the ducklings.


Successfully hatching duck eggs requires careful attention to temperature, humidity, and regular turning.

By providing the right conditions and monitoring the eggs closely, you can help ensure that your ducklings hatch healthy and strong.

Explore our articles on how do ducks mate for more tips and solutions.


Using a standard chicken egg incubator for duck eggs is possible, but it requires adjusting humidity levels and ensuring proper egg turning.

If a duckling is having difficulty hatching, observe its progress closely and intervene only if it shows signs of distress after several hours without making progress.

To determine if an egg is fertile, candling can be used to inspect development. Infertile eggs will appear clear, while fertile ones will exhibit signs of growth.