Growing geese and ducks for their meat or just to having a flock means you have to buy several ducklings and goslings. One practical way to buy several of these baby birds for a cheaper price is to actually buy fertilized duck and goose eggs and hatch them yourself. You have several options in hatching them and it will depend on how many eggs you need to hatch and how much budget you are allocating for your venture.
- Determine your budget. Buy fertilized duck and goose eggs directly from a farm or a dealer. Some farms might not sell you eggs if you will just buy a handful. Consider buying from a dealer for only a few fertilized eggs. Ask for referrals to make sure you will be dealing with a reputable seller.
- Depending on your budget, decide on the hatching method that you will use. If you are going to hatch eggs on a regular basis for a business, then investing on a forced air incubator will be worth it. This incubator will automatically turn the eggs and regulate the temperature and humidity. You do not have to worry about the schedule of turning the eggs and watching the temperature all the time.
- If hatching the eggs is more of a hobby or an experiment, then incubating the eggs using manual methods is practical. The interesting way to incubate eggs is to have broody hens sit on the eggs to hatch them “naturally”. Take note that hens can sit on eggs they do not “own”, as long as you keep them near the eggs and feed them properly. Build a nest for the eggs and for the hen to sit on them. You will have to turn the goose eggs manually, though, because hens may not be able to turn them due to their bigger size compared to chicken eggs. When feeding the hen, keep watch over the eggs and let the hen come back soon to avoid cooling the eggs. They need to be kept warm at all times.
- You can also choose to incubate the eggs using a spotlight or a still air incubator. Here, you will have to watch the temperature and humidity, as well as manually turn the eggs three times a day.
- Hatching will happen within 28 to 35 days, so you will have to wait patiently and keep watching the hen and the eggs. Keep track of the schedule and for the last week before the eggs hatch, sprinkle them with lukewarm water to keep the shells moist. On the last day before hatching, place the eggs in warm water, and put them back in the nest. Keeping the eggs moist is a way of simulating a wet goose sitting on them. During this time, the goslings should start popping out the eggs.
- Once the goslings have gotten out of the shells, transfer them to a box with cloth to keep them warm. Feed them with chopped leaves like lettuce or commercial feeds like chick starters.
The goslings will grow and learn to walk by themselves, and you will be on the next step in taking care of goslings until they reach adulthood.