Day 29 duck egg...


14 Years
Jul 11, 2008
Gila, New Mexico
I have one egg in an incubator. My kids picked it up off the side of the river and we are assuming it's a mallard. There doesn't seem to be much duck variety at our little bitty river here in southern New Mexico. We put it in a borrowed incubator, and today is day 29. I've read online that mallards are supposed to hatch in about 26 days. We have been on lockdown since last Wednesday, expecting it to hatch on Friday, but it didn't. So tonight we took it out of the incubator and I can feel and hear it moving in the egg. No peeping noises, but tapping noises. It's back in the incubator now.

At this point, what do we do? I don't want it to get tired and die in there, because it is obviously still alive at this point. But I don't want to help it and kill it. I know a lot of people say don't help at all, but I have successfully helped many chicks who were struggling to get out of their eggs. So I'm not necessarily too anxious to just wait.

I want opinions and advice. I've never had an incubator before, just mama hens...

I didn't do anything with it last night. Put it back in the incubator to wait until today. I checked on it this evening when I came home from work, and it's pipped! I can hear baby peeping in there. Come on baby, come out and play! Now to all sit on our hands and wait.

Everybody keep your fingers crossed!

I'm seeing a very narrow little bill in the pip. Looking at common waterfowl we have around here, I'm wondering if it's a merganser. I hadn't even heard of them, but we do have a few as permanent residents here. The egg was in the rocks right on the edge of the river, all alone. Maybe mama was new and just couldn't get back to her nest in the tree on time?
It finally hatched today! It is definitely a common merganser. It is starting to get fluffy tonight and has already eaten its first mealworm. I'm so excited! What a cute baby!



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