Duck eggs not hatching... please help!!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jtlh12, May 1, 2017.

  1. jtlh12

    jtlh12 New Egg

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    May 1, 2017
    Hi all, we are new to backyard chickens and we were hoping to get some advice.

    We bought 12 khaki campbell duck eggs exactly 30 days ago for a science project on imprinting. The people we bought them from seemed legit... they showed us their coop and existing ducks/ chickens and promised us that the eggs were fertile. We bought an incubator, kept the temperature at 99.5 degrees fahrenheit, and kept the humidity at approximately 55 (up until day 25, when we changed it to 75). We turned the eggs 3 times each day, marking sides x and o with pencil and using gloves to turn them. On day 25, we added a wet sponge to bring the humidity up.

    About halfway through the period, we candled the eggs. About 5 eggs had visible veins and seemed to move a little if shaken. Other eggs seemed to be "yolkers." We did not see any blood spots or anything of that sort. We candled the eggs again yesterday (day 29) to see if there was movement. [​IMG]Many looked similar to the eggs at the end of this chart.

    We are not quite worried because we see no movement or pipping and the incubation period is supposedly 23-28 days (today is day 30). Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated; we don't know what we did wrong and are really stressing!! Should we try to help the ducks and poke a small hole in the membrane? We know that is last resort, but not sure what to do in this situation. Should we try a float test?

    Thanks so much,
    Juliette and Lauren
     
  2. Erka97

    Erka97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2017
    They might be dead if you don't see movement. You can try the float test, or you can break a small hole in the top of the air cell [don't break the membrane between that and where the duck should be] and look inside. You should see movement and a beak by now. If there is neither, your egg is probably dead. If there's a beak and no movement, also probably dead. If there is movement but no beak, and especially if the veins look very dark red, your duck is stuck and you'll need to carefully peel away shell until you find a beak, trying not to disturb the inner membrane where the blood vessels are as you go. Only break that membrane right where the beak is to let the duck breathe.. Note that I've only done this for chickens, and even then only one, but she's alive because I did and I assume it would be the same for a duck.
    Also if you're looking to imprint the hatchlings, I've found it to be a good idea to hold them quite a lot as soon as they hatch. Ducklings that are alone, or I guess in small numbers, also seem to imprint more strongly. I expect doing the usual "lockdown" suggested by many hatchers would cause the chicks to imprint less than mine generally do, as most end up hatching out into my hand.
    You might also want to check the accuracy of your thermometer if you've had a poor hatch, or experiment with lower humidity during the development phase of the hatch. I personally get much better hatch rates if I run the incubator dry up until hatch time, and even sometimes hatch without water, however I've only done this with chickens so far; I haven't hatched ducks since I made this discovery.
     
  3. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    I have a couple questions so we can get this figured out for you :) Are you using a still air or forced air incubator? Did you calibrate the thermometer to make sure it's accurate? How did the air cells look? 55 percent humidity for me would have been too high and would have drowned the babies, but it varies from area to area. And finally, what date did you set the eggs on?
     

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