Duckling in trouble

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Sharks and Jets, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. Sharks and Jets

    Sharks and Jets New Egg

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    Feb 6, 2016
    We have three mallard eggs in an incubator. Yesterday was the due date and right on schedule one of the eggs cracked. The duckling inside seemed to be struggling, since a half dollar sized hole was formed in the shell and the membrane was drying out. Being new to this, we tried to find an answer as to what to do and came upon information that indicated we might try to help. I think the info was incomplete, however, because advice I found later indicated that if the duckling wasn't making any peeping sounds we should probably just cover the membrane with a damp piece of toweling and leave well enough alone. We pierced the membrane, being very careful not to touch the duckling inside. There was slight bleeding in one area, so we stopped. I had trouble sleeping when I finally did go to sleep because I truly feel that what we did was probably wrong...so here's my burning question: the duckling is still moving, mostly opening its mouth occasionally and wriggling, but only making a small peeping sound once in a while. I gently covered any areas with damp clean paper towel pieces and the duckling is in the incubator. All evidence of bleeding stopped last night (never so much as to drip, thank goodness). What do we do now?
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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  3. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Once the bleeding has subsided you can try to assist again. Keep an eye on the veins if you do.
     
  4. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds! Premium Member

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    Its been a few hours since the original post, an update would be great.

    A few questions @Sharks and Jets what kind of incubator? Still air or fan? How long did you wait after the pip was made? Ducklings can pip and then rest for well over 24 hours before zipping out. Even 36-48 hours is not uncommon, so as long as it stays active and you hear chirping or see slight movements, its usually ok.

    Also, I prefer not to use the paper towels with ducks, especially with a fan, because i feel like they tend to dry out and cool quicker than without them. But if you feel more comfortable using it, by all means, do it.

    This thread is a little more active, and is a good resource for "hands on" type hatchers and assisters too, so feel free to jump over there and ask questions.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081034/hands-on-hatching-and-help/5370#post_17235532
     
  5. Sharks and Jets

    Sharks and Jets New Egg

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    Feb 6, 2016
    Sorry for the delay. It took a while for your post to come through. It's a fan type. We took the paper toweling off, but I'm concerned that the area where the inner membrane is has dried and become like a plaster cast on the duckling. The duckling still seems to be thriving, though she is very quiet. She moves as much as she is able, considering the membrane that encases her. She opens and closes her mouth, but has not peeped at all. Her heart seems to be beating strongly. I'm afraid of trying to get the membrane off her without softening it somehow because I don't want it to pull her down or skin.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    @WVduckchick
     
  7. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds! Premium Member

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    I'm sorry, I've been gone all day. Hows it doing now? If you could post a pic, it could be helpful.

    But anyway, if she hasn't hatched yet, you can take some Vaseline or ointment like Neosporin (as long as it does NOT have pain reliever in it) and soften the exposed membrane. Use your fingertip or a q-tip. Is the ducklings bill exposed? If you can find it, it would be good to get it thru the pip area, just don't get any ointment on the bill.
    If its been 36-48 hours or more, and you feel comfortable intervening further, you can chip off the air cell portion of the egg. Moisten the membrane and look for active blood vessels.

    I hope she's still doing ok. :fl
     
  8. Sharks and Jets

    Sharks and Jets New Egg

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    Feb 6, 2016
    So far she seems to be doing okay. I posted on another thread and got a response that indicated that the humidity in the incubator might have actually been too high. One duckling hatched yesterday and is doing very well, but the duckling in question still has a yolk sack and a few veins that seem to be keeping her alive. She's still in the incubator and I wrapped her with plastic wrap leaving a hole where her beak is so she can breath. Her heart is beating strongly and she opens her beak occasionally as if to peep, but no sound is made. It's day 31 of incubation. I do not have the ability to post a pic currently. I'll try to later. Thanks for following the thread and offering advice.
     
  9. Sharks and Jets

    Sharks and Jets New Egg

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    Feb 6, 2016
    She's out, but she's definitely a special-needs duck. She's peeping loudly now, but her cloaca is pooched out and might be clogged. She has a club foot on one side that we would like to splint, but the toes are so twisted and curled that it's hard to get them straight enough to do so. We are supplementing with niacin and I put vaseline on her cloaca to soften the clog. I'm feeding her small bits of softened flock raiser crumble and making sure she drinks a little water. Because of her foot, she can't stand. She also has trouble keeping her head up, which I assume is in part because of the other issues. I'm hoping with the niacin treatments, we can get her stronger and somehow manage to splint her foot. If I can figure out how to post a pic, I will do so.
     
  10. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds! Premium Member

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    Sounds like you are taking good care of her. Being delayed hatch, it may just take her a little extra to get going.
    Nutridrench is a great booster, if you have any. Her foot may also straighten on its own in a little time, so dont worry too much about it to start.

    Continued good luck!
     

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