How Long Do Duck Eggs Take To Hatch (And Why)?

How Long Do Duck Eggs Take To Hatch (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 28 Days

Much of the knowledge on incubation and hatching chicken eggs may be used to duck eggs as long as the key distinction between these two species is considered. Setting trays for duck eggs must be bigger than those for chicken eggs due to their larger size. Eggs laid by typical ducks take 28 days to incubate. Muscovy duck eggs, for example, develop 35 days after already being laid.

When massive amounts of duck eggs have to be hatched, massive commercial incubators and hatchers are used. Duck eggs can be spontaneously hatched by keeping them underneath the care of a broody duck or hen. Some ducks are excellent laying ducks, capable of laying 12-15 duck eggs. The nest cage should be placed in a dry, clean area and bedded with appropriate litter. The broody duck, as well as the ducklings after they hatch, should have access to food and water.

How Long Do Duck Eggs Take To Hatch

How Long Do Duck Eggs Take To Hatch? 

Type Of DuckEgg Hatching Time
Pekins26-27 Days
Muscovy35 Days

The time it would take for a duckling to hatch is influenced by a variety of factors. The lowest and maximum time it takes for a duck egg to incubate is twenty-six days and 35 days, respectively, depending on the breed. Raising a brood of ducklings can be thrilling, but endurance is your most essential asset. To hatch a clutch, you must be aware of the state of the eggs throughout hatching and comprehend why it is vital to turn the eggs several times a day.

You’ll have to flip the eggs by hand an odd number of times each day if you don’t have a setter, which is a feature of some breeders that automatically switches them. Because you can’t turn eggs while you’re sleeping, turning them halfway over 3 or 5 times a day reduces the chance of an embryo sticking to the same side of the egg every night.

Mallards lay their eggs early, around 26 to 27 days. Pekins, like other common duck breeds, hatch after 28 days. Muscovy ducks take the longest to hatch, taking 35 days. Because eggs aren’t all implanted at the same time, they won’t all hatch around the same time. It’s not uncommon for a mother to start incubating some eggs when others in the same clutch haven’t been laid, so there will be some variation in this list of days.

A duckling can take several hours to emerge once the hatching process has begun. Refrain from assisting them unless one of them digs a hole but no further progress after 12 hours. If this occurs, proceed to gently assist the duckling. Ducklings will be damp, but they will dry fast, sometimes even before the last one hatches.

Why Do Duck Eggs Take That Long To Hatch? 

Duck eggs require 28 days on average to hatch. However, the length of time depends on several things. Muscovy duck eggs, for example, can develop for 35 days before developing, but Pekin duck eggs and other breeds require an average of 28 days to hatch. Only a few people know the reason behind this. Muscovy ducks had a rather unique ancestor, according to the course of evolution of the numerous duck breeds.

The postponed egg incubation time is due to the evolution of Muscovy ducks. Nesting takes place in the early to mid-spring for both farmhouse and wild ducks. Duck hens lay roughly twelve eggs, which hatch after around 25-30 days. The mother ducks lie on her eggs and are said to be brooding. A brood is a group of eggs that ultimately become ducklings.

Brooding provides warmth throughout the critical incubation stage, which lasts until the eggs hatch. Ducks lay one egg daily and the total number of eggs they lay, will be around 10-15 eggs after the season. The brooding mother ducks begin incubating her eggs once her laying is finished.

She will need to stop for food and water throughout this period, but these stops will be brief. Generally, ducks sit on the eggs she lay for around 22 to 23 hours daily, with three hour-long rests in between. When the duck hen leaves her nest, she still makes sure to keep her eggs safe. Ducks cover her eggs with nesting material which helps in keeping them safe and warm while she is gone. And the process goes on until hatching. 


The incubation period is 26-27 days long. The mother ducks are away from the nest for only a small amount of time and this is why she relies on reserves to live. Small cracks start to emerge a few days before the eggs are ready to be born, and the ducklings start gazing from within their eggs. The ducklings will then escape from their eggs in 24 hours. They use their egg tooth to come out of the eggs.

After hatching, the egg tooth falls out shortly. After all of the ducklings have been born, the mother duck will stay in the nest for one more night to help warm and dry the freshly hatched brood. She’ll start taking the ducklings out to locate food and forage the next day, and they’ll be right behind her.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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