Get ready for a sort of long post. If you don't want to read it skip to the end for a summary.
I bought 4 pekins and 2 hen chicks at tractor supply during the spring. We took care of them and they grew into happy healthy adults. just a few weeks ago I came home from work and noticed only two ducks together outside. We were free ranging them during the day and cooping them up at night. It was still very light out when we came home so I didn't expect any fowl play. When I looked in the back yard I noticed a ton of feather everywhere.
I had lost my two beautiful laying hens and a nice laying girl duck. We know for a fact a fox took them. Now I only had 3 ducks, two drakes and a girl. The next I was home all day and didn't hear anything unusual. Go out later to check the ducks and there are only two left a drake and the last girl. I find the other drake without a head under some trees.
Well that was it, I put the two remaining 2 ducks in the coop and they don't come out any more unless I'm out there 10 yards away from them. This is why I decided to get an incubator and start incubating some of their eggs.
Fast forward to today, I have five of their eggs in a hova bator. 4 of them are internally pipping, two of which started two days ago. Two are on day 25, one is on day 24 and two others are on day 23. To my surprise one day 23 one internally pipped last night. I have absolutely no external pips yet.
I have one of the day 24 cracked. I made a pip after 24 hours of internal pip and saw beak and let set for 10 hour til morning. No progress so I pinched off the air cell portion of the egg and the chick looks happy but with a dry membrane. I wetted the membrane with a q tip and warm water and put lots of wet paper towels in there. This is where I am at now.
So from here what I understand is you wet the membrane every few hours to see if full veins are still present and when the absorb you slowly peel the membrane back and chip the shell of very carefully and stop at any sign of blood. Is this correct?
The other 3 I have not tampered with and are still waiting for a external pip. When should I intervene with these eggs and start pipping them? One is about the same time into his internal pip, about two days in and still no external pip. I am about ready to go in after that one. The other two I will wait another day or two to artificially pip them.
I think my biggest problem I working without a hygrometer. I am using the recommended hova bator fillings and actually put additional water in there originally but this still does not seem to be enough humidity. I am in KY so I thought I would be in the right humidity area but apparently not. So now I have a bunch of wet towels in there and it certainly seems to have upped the humidity.
TL:DR - First hatch, they're on day 23-25, 4 ducks internally pipped. I'm assist hatching one, have not touched other 4 eggs still haven't externally pipped. Assisted bird membrane looked dry, I raised the humidity with lots of wet towels waiting to further bust my bird out of shell. I do not have a hygrometer at the moment. Was using hova bator with recommended water reservoir filling before putting a ton of wet towels in bator.
Edited by ScottyTerrier - 9/21/15 at 7:31am