Getting my Supplies
As I waited for the Incubator to arrive, another question dawned on me. ‘How long do I need to keep them in the brooder after they hatch?’ The answer is not a matter of overall time, but temperature. You start with the temerature near the temperature of the incubator (99.5 Degrees) and decrease it by 5-10 degrees each week. If, during the process, the ducklings huddle under the lamp, make it warmer. If they are staying away from the lamp and pant, the heat is too high. A table found at http://www.duckhealth.com/housmngt.html shows optimum temperatures at specific times.
After finding the answer to my question about brooding, I waited for the incubater and brooder to arrive. The shipment came in a large box. I opened it and had several questions as I went through the supplies. The first thing that stood out to me was a large red trough with twenty-eight holes in its lid. Each hole is roughly the size of a small chicken egg, and the lid angles up in the middle. I thought, ‘What in the world am I supposed to do with this?’ After reading the instructions about the feeding and watering kit, I discovered that it was a trough for them to eat from. The overall shape and size of the trough prevents them from tipping it, and spilling their food.
I also learned that, conveniently, you do not need to regulate how much they eat, they can do it themselves. I set up the incubater and fan kit and got it running. This was not to hard and the instructions were pretty clear. The next few days were kind of difficult as I could not get the incubater stable at an ideal temperature. I kept turning the heat up and down, but couldn’t get it. The humidity was also to high. I eventually figured out that if you just let it be, it will find a spot pretty close to a good temperature after a few days. Then just make the minor adjustments needed. Also, I pulled out the vent plugs, which solved the humidity problem and helped a lot with keeping the temperature stable. I had previously tried putting plastic over part of the water tray, which helped some, but didn't do as much as opening the red plugs, which worked wonders. I haven’t yet set up the brooder.