Duck egg hatching problem?- please read! PICS

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jellybean, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. jellybean

    jellybean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2009
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    I took this duck egg from the mother maybe 4 days ago as it was spider webbed cracked around half the egg and I knew it would die. I sealed it with wax and a little nail polish and it's been doing great. The temp has fluctuated in my homemade incubator, just during a couple nights. I've been up all night off and on with this egg. I really want it to live, it's the last egg from my duck. I have a crazy goose that broke the rest of her eggs, and killed two baby geese from the other goose. Her eggs died after a rotten egg broke in the nest (I wiped off the one live egg that got goo on it, but they ALL died anyway. My ducks have always kicked out rotten eggs, so I didn't candle and do it for the goose. I know better now!) Anyway, this is the last egg alive and I'd really like it to live!

    It pipped about 13 hours ago or a little more. Then it made a few more little cracks around that about 6 hours ago. I've got the wiggler temp around 98.5, and humidity at 75% pretty steady. He didn't seem to be making any progress so I took him out and looked at him, with a warm washcloth around the egg. He had his bill barely out the hole, but it's very moist. The membrane is mostly still wet, with yellow goo on the inside of the membrane (not a lot of it though). Problem was he was blowing bubbles from his nostrils, and opening his mouth to breathe, with some moisture in the corners of his mouth.

    So I carefully broke away some shell, about the size of two nickels. I took some of the outer membrane as well, to make an opening for him to breathe. The inner membrane is open about the size of his head, and still has some veins. So I didn't take any of it away. I used q tips to wipe around his bill and the opening to get the goo and liquid away so he could breathe. I can't take any more inner membrane cause of the veins, so he's back in the bator staying warm. I dabbed his nostrils with q tips to get any liquid out I could, and there's fewer bubbles. Still kinda breathing from his mouth, and off and on cheaping a bit. He's not trying to crack the shell or do anything other than lay there and breathe heavily like any baby trying to hatch.

    My plan is to keep watching and make sure it's dry around his face so he's not breathing water or goo. Should I do anything else? I wet the inner membrane a bit where it started to dry, but it's mostly still pretty wet. Should I lower the humidity? Will he just wait a while and then try to crack more shell? I'm trying not to do any more than necessary, but I won't let him drown either.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  2. mrslb333

    mrslb333 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Sounds like you've done everything you can for now its just a case of watching and waiting.[​IMG] I had one pip the wrong end I opened it a little to let it breathe but it still had lots of big veins and the yolk still visible I kept his membrane moist and fed him sugar water for 3 days till he finally hatched he was so weak I didn't hold out much hope but he's still here strong as ever 4 weeks on and causing way too much trouble lol Hope it all goes well [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. jellybean

    jellybean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2009
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    Every time I look in the incubator he's blowing more bubbles and opening his mouth to breathe. I keep wiping away the liquid and goo, and wiping up the bubbles. And he closes his mouth and breathes from his nostrils for a few minutes. The vein on one side of his head is getting much smaller, and I don't see one on the other. I'm worried about taking away more shell, unless someone says I should open it up a little more. I can really only see his bill and a bit of wing I think. Not his eyes. The way he's crammed in there he can't move or reach any part of the shell. I don't want to help more than I have to. But I'm worried he won't be able to get at any of the shell to crack it away. The veins are shrinking, I can't see much else. There's just a lot of moisture, and some slimy clear yellowish goo that keeps coming from under the membrane.

    I was thinking, they must have liquid in their lungs they have to push out when they start breathing air. So maybe this is normal? He just seemed really weak and not breathing easily. When I wipe away the liquid and he can breathe from his nostrils he perks up and chirps and starts squirming a bit. So I guess I'll just keep doing this, keep him warm and the membrane moist and see what happens. He seems a bit stronger than he did several hours ago, or he just needed some rest.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Normally with duck eggs I say WAIT. They can take 48 hours to hatch.

    However, what you are describing sounds to me like he is drowning or close to it. This happens when the air cell fails to develop properly, which is usually an incubation humidity problem, but I don't know what would cause it in a duck-incubated egg.

    At any rate, I think you are probably right to keep babying it. If it were mine, I'd probably get pretty aggressive about helping. I've seen people take ready-to-hatch eggs and just pop the top of. I don't recommend that--it's possible to rupture blood vessels in the membrane and cause the baby to die, and often the baby is not ready to hatch. But in this case, you run a risk either way. Personally, I'd probably go ahead and zip the shell over the next hour or two, gradually, and see where that puts you. I would NOT remove the baby from the bottom portion of the shell--if it still needs to absorb the yolk, it will do it best while still contained inside the bottom of the shell. Keep the nostrils dry and keep posting your progress.

    I DON'T know if this is the best course of action. It's what I would do, based on your description and based on my one experience with a duckling who drowned because I failed to act. I have hatched dozens and dozens of babies over the course of two years, and only had it happen once, but the symptoms were exactly what you are describing. So take my thoughts for what they are worth to you (whatever that is--I won't take it personally if it's not much, lol!), and good luck.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

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    Jun 10, 2010
    Michigan
    Ducks are SLOW to hatch, in my experience. Haven't had one take less than 48 hours. But do try to keep the nose clear if you can do so without letting the membrane dry out. When you no longer see veins on the membrane, wait another couple hours, and then you can make it a zip line if it hasn't done so for itself. In my experience, when the veins retreat, they have absorbed enough of the yolk that they should be getting ready to pop out.
     
  6. jellybean

    jellybean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He was looking bad for a while, really weak, breathing water out his nose and mouth. I diligently kept drying around his bill with q tips and now he's breathing fine, barely any bubbles. He's packed in there very very tight, he can't really move his bill at all. Maybe he just grew extra large-I see a wing under his bill and a claw over his head. The air cell was at least 1/3 of the egg the day before it hatched, it didn't seem too small. Now that he's breathing, he's squirming and fighting to break out- even though he can't seem to get his bill on the shell at all to crack at it.

    He wasn't really "zipping". He made a little pip in the end, then just cracked around that a little. So there's just a hole in the end of the egg. He looks too big and packed too tight to get in a position to zip around the egg at all. I haven't seen one quite like this.

    He's acting much better, I do think he would have drowned had I not given him an opening for his bill and kept drying it. The veins are shrinking a lot, but I still see a few so will not help until those dry out and if he needs more help then I will see what happens. I have a wet cloth around the egg, humidity is staying around 70-75%. The membrane isn't drying out much, just a tiny bit right around the hole. I'm going to give him several hours and just keep on eye on him that he doesn't drown. I don't want to help any more than necessary, and he seems to have gained some strength back. Thanks for the encouragement! I was worried, he looked close to dead for a while. I think he's going to make it...
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    Sounds like you're doing GREAT!! If keeping his nostrils clear is helping him, then I think you're quite right to let him be. My ducks take a full 48 hours from pip to zip, so it's best to let him rest unless he's in critical condition.

    Good luck to him. Perhaps he will make it out on his own now that you've given him a chance. [​IMG]
     
  8. jellybean

    jellybean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2009
    Bellevue, ID
    Well, he almost drowned again. I was keeping it dry around his bill all day, and he was doing well. I went back after about 30 mins and he was blowing bubbles out his nose and had his mouth open and I could tell he was having a bit of trouble breathing. So it was back to drying his nostrils. I chipped away a bit more shell off and on. He is a pretty big baby, he couldn't even budge or barely wiggle his head in there. I made a big enough hole that he could get his head out eventually. He was like that struggling for a couple hours. I didn't want to take any more away as he still had some small veins showing. Most of them had dried up or gotten very small. I jsut looked and he has popped the top half of him out of the shell. He's laying there not struggling too much, but a little still. Most of the yolk isn't absorbed yet. Most of the shell is still there and he's half in it.

    Will he keep struggling to get out? Or just lay there and let it absorb? How long should that take? I was worried about this, but it was either help him a little or let him drown. Without making a bit of a hole he couldn't get his nostrils out of the liquid and he just kept breathing it in. Now I'm really worried. Humidity is at about 70%. Should I try to lower that?
     
  9. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Until he absorbs the yolk, it's good to have a nice high humidity. There may be something wrong with him that is causing all the trouble, but I'm with you--I'd keep trying to help him. For now, I think you might want to wrap his bottom part, in the shell, in a damp, warm cloth. This will keep the yolk from drying out before he can absorb it. Then just let him rest and hopefully he'll get it all in and get moving.

    Sorry you're having so much trouble, but I have high hopes for him. [​IMG]
     
  10. jellybean

    jellybean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2009
    Bellevue, ID
    I just wrapped the egg in a damp towel, and set it all in a dish towel inside the container he was already in. It's tight enough he can't crawl clear out of the egg I don't think. He is a very large baby it seems. I've never hatched one in an incubator, but have had many many hatch under broody ducks. This one looks extra large to me, maybe why he couldn't zip the egg or even wiggle in the shell. He couldn't even get his nose out of the fluid. A couple times today he got so much water in his nose he could barely breathe and got really weak. I didn't know what else to do but get a big enough hole for his bill to get out. Now I'm afraid he'll die anyway as he's hatched too early. [​IMG]

    He seems to want to struggle a bit more and get clear out of the shell. Is it possible he'll puncture the yolk with a foot? Only one foot made it's way out. I can't tell how much yolk is left. Maybe half? It seems like some of it is absorbed already. So frustrating.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010

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