Ducklings not pipping externally (Please Help!! This is my first time incubating eggs)

Steph21

In the Brooder
Oct 2, 2020
17
32
33
I put my Pekin duck eggs on lockdown yesterday because they had started pipping internally. All of them were alive and I could hear them tapping on the shell. I checked them today and I haven't seen any progress. I have read in different sources that if there isn't an external pip within 24 hours, you need to create an air hole so they don't suffocate. I did this earlier today, which would have been 24+ hours after the internal pip. They were all alive and tapping when I did this and also chirping. This has been the only time I opened the incubator during lockdown. As of now, it's been 48+ hours since the internal pip and I'm still not seeing any signs of an external pip. I've been keeping the humidity between 70% and 80% during lockdown. Before lockdown, I kept it between 50% and 55%. Do I need to intervene? I'm afraid to open the incubator but I haven't seen any progress. Is it supposed to take this long to externally pip? When I was making their air holes, I noticed that the eggs were really hard. I know duck eggs are tougher than chicken eggs but could this be a problem? Again, when I made the air holes today all ducklings were moving and tapping the shell and most chirped. Please help! This is my first time incubating.

**Update 1: Is it possible that they are treating the air hole I made as the external pip and so now they're in the rest period (breathing, absorbing yolk) before they completely hatch?

**Update 2: I just checked on them and I can see movement in one of the air holes and a few eggs are moving a little.
 
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Steph21

In the Brooder
Oct 2, 2020
17
32
33
Do it now. It doesn't matter how many times you open the incubator. I've hatched almost a thousand eggs in my life and I open the incubator whenever I need to.
I just shined my flashlight into the incubator and I noticed some movement at the air hole for one of the eggs and another egg was rocking a little. Should I still open up the air holes a little more or wait? I'm just scared of causing the humidity to drop again.
 

BirdsBeesTrees

F.R.O.G.
Premium Feather Member
Mar 10, 2019
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The humidity is just for them to hatch through the egg. If you open the hole big enough for them to push through you are effectively hatching for them. So the humidity would not be a factor at all. 😉
 

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