Parent rear or hatch in the incubator?

Parent rearing in a mixed collection can work really well if the stocking density is not too high. In fact, parent-reared geese tend to fare better as the balance of power tips in their favour. You’ll need to make sure the parents feel safe showing the youngsters where to feed. It can be a problem when other birds associate you with the ducklings and a free meal.

Lifting the mother and brood from the nest into a separate pen should only be done where she cannot see where she came from, as she will pace the wire trying to get “home”. The ducklings will instinctively follow but will be worn out and trampled.

Once the young hatch it is not so easy to swap from one regime to the other, so we suggest you plan ahead. Of course, if you made a mistake with the dates, the choice will be made for you!

Mother Bufflehead leads her new brood
Mother Bufflehead leads her new brood
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