How to Incubate and Hatch Goose Eggs?
The ultimate secret to expanding your geese flock is to incubate and hatch goose eggs into goslings. Unlike chicken and duck eggs, geese eggs are challenging to incubate and hatch. Ideally, you should let your hens hatch and incubate their eggs.
However, luck won’t necessarily give you a brood when you desperately need one, and thus you need to incubate and hatch your goose eggs at home to get the new goslings you want to add to your goose flock. With the proper techniques and equipment, you can successfully hatch and incubate geese eggs at home.
Incubating Goose Eggs
Hatching and incubating goose eggs is among the most rewarding parts of backyard geese farming. After all, a handful of things can be more rewarding than watching new goslings hatching from the goose eggs you have been incubating for several days.
It’s imperative to have all the basics right if you would like to succeed in incubating goose eggs. These are the notable basics of incubating goose eggs.
– Preparing Equipment
Incubating goose eggs can be easy if you have the right equipment. An incubator is an essential piece of equipment when incubating goose eggs.
The advantage of a good incubator is that it allows you to incubate many goose eggs at once, guaranteeing you a reasonable number of goslings. Furthermore, an incubator is easy to operate, and you can utilize your incubator for several years.
Prepare your incubator a couple of days before starting the incubation process for your goose eggs. One of the fundamentals of incubating goose eggs in an incubator is setting up the incubator to ensure it has the correct incubation temperature and humidity.
Ideally, you should set up your incubator at 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit at least 48 hours before placing the eggs into the incubator.
Besides an incubator, a high-quality hygrometer and thermometer are other vital equipment when incubating goose eggs. These two devices ensure your goose eggs are in the correct incubation temperatures because the wrong temperatures will frustrate your incubation efforts.
The hygrometer and thermometer should indicate the humidity and temperature readings without you opening the incubator.
Another device you must set up accordingly before you start to incubate geese eggs is a rotating device. Although many incubators have built-in egg-turning devices, some incubators don’t have these devices.
You, therefore, need a turning device to turn the eggs into the correct incubation temperatures while they are in the incubator. Place the incubator in a place with little humidity and temperature fluctuations after setting up your equipment in readiness for incubating goose eggs.
One of the perfect places to place the incubator is in your basement since they are less likely to be humidity and temperature fluctuations.
– Selecting the Eggs
Most of your goose eggs will be fertile if you already have some ganders in your flock mating with the hens. Picking the right goose eggs to hatch is the most critical step in incubating your goose eggs. Your eggs won’t hatch if they are infertile, so you should only select fertile eggs while incubating goose eggs.
It isn’t easy to get fertile goose eggs in stores because goose eggs are pretty rare. Select your eggs from a reputable seller of fertilized goose eggs to increase the chances of the eggs hatching into goslings.
Alternatively, you can get goose eggs from a farm with a large flock of geese, especially if the farm keeps geese for eggs. Your probability of getting fertile eggs from the farm is pretty high. Furthermore, you should collect your goose eggs from mature females.
Eggs from mature hens have a high hatchability rate, unlike those from younger geese in their first-laying seasons. However, you may not have mature hens in your geese flock, so you can try purchasing fertile goose eggs online.
Nonetheless, buying fertile goose eggs online comes at an additional cost because many online hatcheries will charge shipping costs to deliver the fertile eggs at home.
– Temperature and Humidity
No matter how expensive and well-set your equipment is, you won’t successfully hatch goose eggs if you try to hatch and incubate them under the wrong temperature and humidity.
First, you need to incubate your goose eggs at approximately 99.5 degrees to increase their likelihood of hatching. A slight temperature change can suppress the embryo inside the eggs, making them less likely to hatch even after incubating them, even if they are fertile or you are using the best incubating equipment.
Humidity is also vital when incubating goose eggs. You must maintain between 40 and 50 % humidity levels in the incubator for at least 18 weeks after starting the incubating process. Raise the humidity levels in the incubator to between 60 and 75% for the last days before the eggs hatch.
Many goose raisers fail to successfully hatch eggs after incubation because of incorrect incubation temperatures and humidity levels, so you must ensure the temperature and humidity levels will make your goose eggs hatch. Fortunately, you can use a hygrometer and thermometer to check temperature and humidity when incubating your goose eggs.
– Candling the Eggs
Candling goose eggs is essential because it allows you to figure out which eggs are fertile and which are infertile. Candling also assists you in knowing how every embryo in your goose eggs develops. Candling your goose eggs is relatively easy. Place each goose egg close to a light source, preferably a candle.
Check the embryos to see whether the embryos inside the eggs are developing accordingly. You can tell whether a goose egg is fertile if the embryo shows blood vessels under the light source.
The blood vessels of fertile embryos look white. Eggs with dead embryos or embryos that aren’t developing have blood rings instead of blood vessels. These blood rings develop in goose eggs when the embryos have ceased growing.
Candling will also help you identify goose eggs that won’t develop or unfertile eggs. Unfertile eggs look clear, and there aren’t any signs showing the eggs are developing. Instead of such eggs showing blood vessels or rings, they will glow when you place them under a candle or a bright light source.
Please don’t place the unfertile eggs into the incubator because these eggs are likely to rot in the long run rather than hatch.
– Turning the Eggs
A goose hen’s fuss over the eggs emanates from her evolutionary instinct to constantly move the eggs about. Geese hens frequently turn their eggs to keep the ecosystem inside their eggs balanced and increase their chances of hatching.
Consequently, you should keep turning your goose eggs to help them hatch successfully, especially if your incubator doesn’t have a built-in turning device. Consider rotating the eggs manually if you don’t have any device to keep turning them when they are in the incubator.
How Long Do Goose Eggs Take to Hatch?
The actual hatching period of goose eggs depends on the goose breed. Some goose eggs from lighter goose breeds will hatch after 28 days, while those from heavy and compact breeds may take up to 35 days to hatch. Some geese may take three days to hatch their eggs.
Overall, there isn’t a definite hatching period for goose eggs because this period strictly depends on the goose breed whose eggs you are trying to hatch.
Should You Wash the Eggs Before Incubating?
Yes, it’s imperative to wash dirty goose eggs before incubating them since dirty eggs may harbor bacteria and pathogens that will reduce the chances of the eggs hatching after incubation. You should lightly clean dirty goose eggs before incubating the eggs. Try cleaning the eggs with a soft brush or clothing.
Dry the goose eggs with a clean, soft cloth if you wash them using water. The water you use to clean dirty goose eggs should be warmer than the temperature inside the eggs. Hot water can make the goose eggs sweat or block their pores, making them unlikely to hatch after incubation.
While cleaning dirty goose eggs is crucial, avoid soaking the dirty eggs in water because it will encourage bacterial growth on the eggs. Also, thoroughly dry the clean eggs before placing them in the incubator.
Fumigate the goose eggs after cleaning, although this step isn’t necessary. Fumigation will help disinfect the goose eggs reducing their probability of carrying bacteria.
How to Store Eggs Before Incubating?
How you store your goose eggs before incubation is vital because proper storage will increase their chances of hatching. You must store your fertile goose eggs properly to keep them fertile and healthy, regardless of how long you intend to store them. Here’s how to store fertile goose eggs before incubating the eggs.
- Store the eggs with their ends facing downwards, especially if you store them temporarily before incubation. Keeping the eggs in this position will ensure their yolks remain stable and no chance of the yolks going stale.
- Store the goose eggs at room temperature because placing them in hot temperatures can suppress their embryos, increasing their likelihood of becoming stale. Moreover, storing the goose eggs in cold temperatures can make them freeze, further ruining their embryos and preventing them from hatching once you place them into the incubator.
- No matter where you store your fertile goose eggs, it’s good to keep turning them for the period you will store them before incubating them. Turn the goose eggs at least twice daily to ensure their embryos don’t stick to the membranes.
How Do You Know If a Goose Egg is Dead?
Knowing whether a goose egg is dead or infertile is simple. First, use the candling process, where you place the goose egg under a candle or a light source. If you notice some blood vessels on its embryo, the egg isn’t dead but fertile and ready to hatch.
Or, use the floating process, whereby you place the goose egg in water. If the egg floats, it’s dead but fertile and ready for hatching if it sinks under the water.
Incubating and hatching goose eggs can be a thrilling process. Nonetheless, ensure you follow the proper procedure and utilize the right equipment while incubating and hatching your goose eggs.
Fortunately, you can successfully incubate and hatch your goose eggs. If you are willing to make the extra effort you can be sure your goose eggs hatch into beautiful goslings.