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Call Duck Egg wont hatch! Day 29 - moving and tapping but still no pip

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by laurenh, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. laurenh

    laurenh Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2013
    Bransgore
    Hi all
    I have 12 Call duck eggs in the incubator. One pipped on Monday then made no further progress... I helped it out of the shell yesterday morning but it seemed to still be attached to the shell. It was very weak and didn't make it.
    I have tried floating the other eggs in warm water - I've heard that the live ones bob around in reaction to the slight temperature change. I have one egg that is definitely bobbing around, it has been doing this for about 2 full days now. I can hear it tapping and cheeping in the shell but it still hasn't pipped. This is day 29 now,
    I know there is no problem with the incubator as I had 4 Bali Duck eggs in there as well which all hatched easily and are doing well.
    So with this last egg... should I try and help it. I don't know whether you can try and help them out if they haven't even pipped yet, but I'm concerned it will die anyway if I leave it much longer?!
    Has anyone else had this problem with incubating Call Ducks. they seem to all have developed and just wont hatch!!
    any help would be appreciated!!!
     
  2. annanimal

    annanimal Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. Dissonata

    Dissonata Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2013
    Hello. [​IMG] I am by no means an expert with call ducks, but happened to be on at this time when not many are around, so I thought I would share what I know.

    I have always heard that call ducks can be hard to hatch, and this is because they often have difficulty externally pipping due to their small bills. All things considered, this is not the most dire situation you could find yourself in. If they are not externally pipping after a while of being internally pipped, there is no harm in creating a small window in which to watch their progress. What I always do is gently wet the membrane with a wet (preferably with warm water) q-tip and observe the veins on the membrane. Never tear the membrane or they could bleed out. Then, keep a close eye on them until they have absorbed all of the veins on the membrane, as this would mean they have likely absorbed their yolk, and there's no risk of haemorrhage of course. At this point, if they have made no progress externally pipping, you can help them out, preferably freeing them just enough that they can push themselves out -- I find it's good if they can get themselves out even if they needed to be helped most of the way.

    From your description, it is possible your baby was just connected by the umbilicus. Was it just a string attached to the navel? If there was no yolk, the baby was not too early in coming out. From the sound of it, the baby either would have then died from some kind of genetic weakness or infection, or you may not have helped soon enough. They can become weak and dehydrated if left in the shell too long. But the most important thing of course is not helping too early. I think there are some excellent resources on this site for assist hatches.

    In any case, I would suspect your problems are due to them being call ducks, as I've heard it's very common, and I think if you are very careful and follow the great advice on this site for assist hatches, you will be able to help them.

    Actually, I just found the link I had in mind: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/step-by-step-guide-to-assisted-hatching

    I have done a lot of assist hatches and this is always how I have done it. This is great advice and it is all very easy to understand.

    Good luck! Hope you find success.

    Oh, and I just now saw that your eggs actually have pipped, but just don't progress further than that. That could be due to the same issue, or many others. There are just so many possibilities: high humidity during incubation, low humidity during incubation, low humidity during hatch. (By the way, what is your humidity at?) High humidity during incubation can cause chicks to be swollen and unable to move in their eggs or get properly positioned (lots of malpositioning is due to high humidity), low humidity can 'shrink wrap' them so that they also cannot move. Probably having small beaks can make that difficult as well. There are a lot of factors but either way, creating a window and observing the membrane will allow you to know when they are ready to be out, so that they are not in there too long.

    If you help them out and they are too weak to make it -- well, there was nothing you could do anyway, and at least you did all you could.

    Again, best of luck!
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  4. laurenh

    laurenh Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2013
    Bransgore
    Well I just had a go - it had pipped internally but that was all. As soon as I made a small hole in the air sac end of the egg it pushed its beak out and started chirping. I have now put it back in the incubator on a damp paper towel and will see if it does anything over the next few hours ( although Im doubtful as it hasnt done anything after 3 days) so I may end up helping it further, but we'll see what happens!
     
  5. annanimal

    annanimal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does the membrane look really tough and white or is it sort of see through ?
    If it is tough and thick than the chick is most likely to be shrink wrapped in the egg it is easily fixed be wetting the membrane with some water!
    Good Luck!
    Don't worry even if he doesn't come out on his own you can help him out and he will be fine! :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  6. annanimal

    annanimal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will post some pics of one of my chicks shrink wrapped, before and after!
     
  7. annanimal

    annanimal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    Before





    [​IMG]
    After


    The second picture is when i put some warm water on it.
    As you can see i had a hard time finding the beak. [​IMG]
    When you add water it helps to see if the chick is ready to come out, if you see dark red blood vessels than it is not and it is still absorbing its yolk sac, see this chick was really close to being ready to hatch, he started hatching on his own but was to exhausted to finish so i helped him out a little.
    He died five days later, long story.
     
  8. Dissonata

    Dissonata Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2013
    Finally managed to get my internet working enough to respond.

    annanimal gives good advice if the chick is shrink wrapped, which is a possibility. Also, wetting the membrane is the way you'll be able to gauge where the duckling is as far as absorbing its yolk. If it's been in there for three days I feel that it's probably already ready to be out, or nearly. My advice for you would be to definitely wet the membrane and take a good look to see if you see any active blood vessels. If the baby didn't pip at all, it's very unlikely it will be able to progress any further now.

    However, you did the right thing in making a little window for two reasons: you are now able to monitor the duckling and ensure that it isn't in its egg too long, and you have given it oxygen that it probably desperately needed. The latter is the reason I would especially advise you to do the same with all the other eggs that have internally pipped. Of course, make sure you make the hole where the beak is in the air cell. If you wet the membrane and there aren't any active blood vessels, you should start opening up the shell the way they do, along the air cell line. As you do this, get a better look at the membrane.

    If there are no veins on it at all, there may come a point where you will be able to pull the duckling's head out of hatching position -- or it may do this on its own, as many do because at this point they can be anxious to get out of the egg -- and then have the ability to look down the duckling's belly to see if there's any yolk. However, if the veins are all absorbed it's very likely the yolk will be too. Sometimes there's still a little left, however, but even if you end up pulling the baby out with a small amount of yolk unabsorbed, it isn't necessarily dire as they can absorb that out of the shell. The most important thing of course would be that there aren't any active blood vessels remaining. Three days after internal pip they should be hatching, so I think you will arrive at that point pretty soon. But if they cannot pip, possibly just because they're calls, you will need to do the hatching for them.

    Also, should be said that you can candle the eggs and check for veins that way. With a good flashlight in a dark room it should be obvious when there are and aren't veins -- red colour and visible blood vessels if there are, and quite a different yellow or white colour with no visible blood vessels, or just the thin remnants of them, if there aren't. But definitely inspecting the actual membrane works well too.

    Also, you should try to keep the humidity in the incubator very high as you open up the eggs. While you are probably already in the position where you'll have to completely assist all of these eggs, high humidity will prevent the membrane drying out and also prevent dehydration which is always a good thing.
     
  9. laurenh

    laurenh Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2013
    Bransgore
    Thanks for all the advice!
    I am now at the stage of having opened the end of the egg, there seem to still be some blood vessels in the membrane. I am dampening the membrane every few hours so I can monitor their progress and see if they are being absorbed - it seems to be a slow process! I don't know how long this can/should take?
    I have managed to push some of the membrane carefully away from the duckling with no vessels breaking. Its head, wing and foot are mostly out. The duckling seems fairly keen to come out but isn't making any productive movements - I have a feeling its going to have to be an entirely artificial hatching!
    Any advice on what to do now... should I keep checking and trying to gently push back the membrane? I don't want to leave it to long so the duckling is too weak, also don't want to act to soon!!!
    Help!
     
  10. Dissonata

    Dissonata Out Of The Brooder

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    You're doing a good job so far. I would definitely keep up what you are doing and keep a watch on the membrane. It could take many hours for the veins to be drawn in. If the baby is vocal at this point, don't worry if it's not making any efforts to get out on its own; with blood vessels, it's still too early. I'm sure he's just happy to have more oxygen now. The most important thing right now is that he's left to rest and absorb everything. As long as you periodically wet and check the membrane you probably don't have to worry; by the time he's ready to hatch it should be very apparent that the blood vessels are gone.
     

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