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Muscovy excitement! (and questions)

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 

Hi, I'm on day 32 of incubating muscovy eggs, just spotted the first internal pip, think I heard a peep as well! :weee


I didn't see any other pips, so not quite sure if now is the time to bump humidity? Is higher humidity mainly needed when breaking through outer shell?


I saw movement in some other eggs, but in general they are too dark inside to see anything when candling (except movement in the air cell).


They have also been losing very different rates of weight. At 25 days it was anywhere from 7.5% to 13% weight loss (average was about 10%)


At the halfway point, there was movement in all of them, but I had a heating failures which lasted maybe half a day, not quite sure whether any of them died as they were already getting difficult to candle at that point.

post #2 of 61

You're about a week and a half ahead of our first attempt at incubating Muscovy.  Just responding so I can keep this thread on my radar.  Good luck and keep us posted!!  There are other newbies, like us that look forward to learning from others.


Troy & Tina

post #3 of 61
Thread Starter 
@tmorgan46, are you having similar issues with candling and differences in weight loss?

Advice welcome regarding the humidity. I'm keeping the lid closed now so I can't really report on progress apart from what I observe through the glass, humidity is at 50% but I could bump a bit by spraying in through a vent.
post #4 of 61

@mpghm We're "flying in the dark" like the old saying goes.  I've read through just about every hatching guide I can get my hands on and have gone over pictures of candling with a fine tooth comb and I must admit, none of it is going as I thought it would.  Initially, we couldn't get the humidity high enough. I think that's more of an incubator thing than anything we're doing.  Once we learned the aspects of our incubator we're now able to get the humidity level at a level that strays from 55% to 70%.  It does not hold steady no matter what we do.  Temps have been very consistent though never moving more than a degree one way or the other from 95.5.  Our scale is very suspect as it's a cheap kitchen model so I'm not keeping as close track of weight.  We started with 25 eggs over 2 weeks ago.  There were a couple eggs at the 10 day mark that looked like they were doing nothing, so we discarded them.  The other night we candled again and much has changed in just a few short days.  We culled another 8 due to very limited or non-existent growth.  I don't mean to sound so flippant about it, but we had 70 eggs stacked up that our ducks were not sitting on.  We bought the incubator just to see how the process works out for us.  Finally almost 3 weeks into this, a couple of our ducks are starting to get broody and sitting on eggs.  I'll keep checking back and seeing how things are going with you and giving updates on our progress.

post #5 of 61
Thread Starter 
I've been at much lower humidity, in the 35-40% range, and it's been giving me appropriate weight loss. Also 99.5F temp.

If you weigh all eggs at once, a kitchen scale may be ok.
post #6 of 61
Thread Starter 

Well, the humidity crept up to 60% without any big changes from me - do the eggs start giving off more humidity close to hatch? I also increased ventilation, causing the heaters to stay on more. Perhaps that is increasing the humidity? The water in the "reservoir" (mason jar with rag hanging out of it) is falling faster than before.


What's the best procedure if I want to open the lid and candle/inspect a couple of eggs quickly? Give the eggs a quick mist before/after? This is day 33 btw.

post #7 of 61

A few days before hatch is when you want to "lock down" everything.  Stop turning the eggs and bump the humidity up to the 60% to 65% range (I'm pulling that from memory so don't hold me to task if I happen to be off on the percentage rate).  I don't think the eggs put off humidity as much as it's to give more moisture for the duckling as they begin to pip through the shell to prevent them sticking to it.  There's a great thread and I just can't find it right now, but it talks about everyday opening the lid and allowing the incubator to cool off.  Mist the eggs then and perhaps do a weekly candle; I'm not sure candling daily is necessary.  I'm pulling in @Orca5094 because he (or she, my apologies if I guessed wrong) is one of the BYC frequent hatching posters I've come to look for.  All posts strike me as very factual and authentic with lots of experience blended in.  

So now, after writing this and reading through I realize its time to go back, find and read the hatching guide and make course corrections as necessary.  :ep 

post #8 of 61
Thread Starter 

Two external pips today, one at the wrong (pointy) end, and again some chirping. I really have no idea if I'll end up with 10 or zero birds.

post #9 of 61

Yea!  But how exciting.  Now, comes the hard part I think.  Using patience and letting the little guy or gal work their way into the world.  I can't begin to tell you when is the right time to intervene.  I think a good rule of thumb is - if 24 hours goes by and no progress at all, give a little help in the direction of the next step in the process.  Doing too much too soon is probably worse than doing nothing at all.  And then there's the other side of that coin - Darwin; the strong survive and those that don't probably weren't meant to.  I don't subscribe exclusively to Darwin, but I understand what his point was / is.  Keep us posted, we're all rooting for you and your new additions!!!


Troy & Tina

post #10 of 61
Thread Starter 

wow this sure is taking forever - I spotted a third external pip yesterday with a bigger hole, this morning I saw a beak working in there. Little progress if any in the other eggs.

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