Developing duck egg has air sac at wrong end

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by kiwichiks, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds! Premium Member

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    My last hatch, I had one that the air cell had drawn down significantly more than the others, half of the egg looked empty. It ended up hatching first, and is a couple weeks old now and doing fine.
    Your level of comfort assisting needs to be your guide. Do you want to help one that may be deformed and shouldn't have hatched? Many will say yes, I say no. So its up to you! I did assist one and left one, they that had gone 36 hours after popping. They both eventually hatched by themselves. Its a tough call. Assisting too soon often causes more problems, but going in too late... Well.. You can figure out what happens.
    Trust your intuition and do what is comfortable for you.

    Its very hard to wait and let them do their thing, so we are here...
     
  2. caesargirl

    caesargirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any updates?
     
  3. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds! Premium Member

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    X2 :pop
     
  4. kiwichiks

    kiwichiks Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry for the delay - it's been a bit difficult getting to the computer with all the Christmas busyness!. Yes, there is an update - and not a happy one unfortunately. After using the float test and waiting a further day to absolutely ensure no movement in either egg, we did a post mortem yesterday on the 2 eggs and this is what we found:

    1. 'Good egg' with the liquid and black 'floaties': we discovered a small, partly grown duckling floating amongst lots of fluid and a large yolk. I'm guessing it probably died 10 days or so prior to hatching, but I have no idea why it died.

    2. 'Special needs egg' with the air sac at the pointy end and large vertical space: we were incredibly surprised to find a beautiful, fully formed and mature duckling which had been the dark area that we saw on candling. We hadn't thought that this dark area was big enough to represent a fully formed duckling! The large clear area that we saw on candling proved to be an air cavity which took up over half of the egg, lengthwise. The duckling and the cavity were separated from each other by the chorioallantoic membrane which ran the length of the egg.

    The duckling was orientated so that it's face and beak were tucked down into the centre of its body and pressed sideways against the egg shell, with the membrane and large air space running alongside the duckling's back, where I think it would have been impossible for the duckling to reach.

    So we figured the poor duckling didn't have enough space to orientate itself into a 'hatchable' position and drowned. Even if we had artificially pipped the egg shell at the side of the air cavity, I don't think it would have been possible to find the beak without breaking the whole membrane and extracting the duckling, so we feel a little comforted by this - that it was a fault of nature rather than something we did or didn't do! Rather upsetting though, to find that we had been so close!

    I can upload photos of the little ducklings, but not sure whether this would be considered too graphic or offensive...

    The lady who supplied me with the Magpie duck eggs has a commercial incubator with a number of Magpie and Welsh Harlequin duck eggs due to hatch on January 5th. So my daughter and I will try and purchase a couple of 'ready made' ducklings once they have hatched! I'll probably be back on the forum to gather more wisdom on how to successfully raise ducklings then!!

    Any feedback is very welcome and thanks so much for your wonderful support!
     
  5. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds! Premium Member

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    Very sorry for your loss. Sounds like you did everything you could have done. Good luck getting some ducklings very soon!
     
  6. caesargirl

    caesargirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm curious about the incubator you made... How were your stats throughout incubation? Temps, humidity, turning? Stable,spikes? Good luck getting "ready made" (that made me laugh!) lings! Have you had lings or ducks before?
     
  7. kiwichiks

    kiwichiks Out Of The Brooder

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    Actually, that's a good point. Perhaps our incubator affected the embryos' development somehow. We made our incubator out of a large styrofoam bin, complete with light bulb, fan, thermometer, hygrometer etc. It worked brilliantly for the first 10 days, keeping a stable temperature of 99.5F and 55% humidity. We needed to keep the heat output of the light very low, to counter the heat given off by the fan, and ultimately because of this the dimmer switch we used stopped working properly. Over the subsequent 3 days our temperature was rather unstable and we had a few temperature spikes up to about 102F for short periods.

    We candled the eggs just before placing them under the broody hen on Day 13 and both eggs looked completely normal with an active embryo and appropriately sized air sac. The only abnormal thing was the egg sac being at the pointy egg on our 'special needs egg', as it had been since the beginning.

    We also turned the eggs 5 times a day by hand, until they were placed underneath the hen.

    No, we have never had ducklings before and we're so excited! We have set up a brooder in the same styrofoam box with plastic sheeting as a liner and wood shavings on the bottom. We have separated the lightbulb from the rest of the brooder with some chicken mesh, so that the ducklings don't get too close to it. We hope to get a Magpie duckling and a Welsh Harlequin, but we'll have to wait and see what hatches. Only 5 days to go!
     
  8. caesargirl

    caesargirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had hatches go wrong because of incubator fluctuations...and those were the fluctuations I saw. I can't imagine the ones I missed. So, perhaps that's a place to start looking?
    Ducklings are great fun, just super messy!
    Good quality ling food, niacin, and a waterer they can't drown in. (I had one drown in an inch of water) Depending on how big the styrofoam bator is, you might be better off with a Rubbermaid tote... If you want info or help, just ask!! There's lots of people here with great info!
    @Debs Flock @[email protected]
    Hay Deb, mag pie and welshie lings!!!
    I didn't add much here, you guys have any suggestions?? Or the duckling 101 link?
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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  10. kiwichiks

    kiwichiks Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, I think if we incubate eggs again, we'll connect a thermostat so that we don't suffer any temperature spikes or dips!

    Thanks so much for the links and duckling information. It's so great to be in contact with people who are so knowledgeable and share our enthusiasm! One thing we haven't done yet is find a source of niacin to add to the duckling's feed. We'll do this before they hatch in 5 days' time.

    We'll definitely be back for more advice I'm sure! And we'll post a pic once our babies arrive.
     

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