A few hatching questions


May 5, 2015
It is my first time hatching eggs. I have 9 pekin duck eggs and they are on day 23. I know they normally hatch on the 28th day. I have had them in a still air incubator at the correct temperature and humidity and have turned them three times a day. Here are a few questions I have:

1. I have heard that you should pencil in the air sac, should I do this?
2. Do I need to move them out of the incubator or lay a few towels down or anything before they hatch?
3. How long after they begin hatching will it take for them to emerge? I have heard that some may need assistance, when do I know I need to assist?
4. If some eggs fully hatch and others and still emerging, do I remove the hatched ones from the incubator?
5. How will I know when they begin to hatch?
6. What should I expect when they begin to hatch?

Thank you!
At this late in the game pencilling the air cells won't do much good because there's not much you can do to change them if you need to.
It would be fine to put paper towels on the wire rack for them to hatch on.
It is not usually recommended to help them but if they've pipped over 24 hours ago and no progress,some people break them out of the shell. Sometimes chicks that have been helped will survive.
It is usually best to wait 24 hours after the first chick hatches before taking chicks out of the incubator because opening the incubator while chicks are still hatching sometimes will shrink wrap hatching chicks when humidity drops when incubator is opened.
If your incubator doesn't have a window you will probably be able to hear them peeping.
Expect the humidity to go up when the chicks start hatching.
Don't close air vents to increase humidity.
Humidity should be 65-70% during the last 3 days.
If it gets too high decrease some of the water inside but don't open the incubator any longer than you have to.
Hope this helps.

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