First time hatcher - questions!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lsv313, May 16, 2011.

  1. lsv313

    lsv313 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2010
    Everett, WA
    This is my first time hatching eggs - we have duck eggs under a broody hen. It is day 21. We candled the eggs tonight and they were definitely moving around, but one of them seemed to have an air sac larger than the other - taking up about 1/3 of the egg. It is one that we discovered a hairline crack in a few days ago - we covered it with wax and it's been holding up well - still moving around 3 days later. Is it normal for the air sac to be this size? If it is not, is there something I can do about it?

    Also, after we candled tonight I saw something about keeping them on lock down when it's near hatching time - I am guessing this means I should not be candling anymore? Is it bad that I candled tonight? I am so ignorant regarding this as it is my first time. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!!
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don't do ducks, but I can answer some questions.

    Most duck eggs take 28 days to hatch, but Muscovy take 35 days. Chickens only take 21 days. For all of them, lockdown is 3 days before the expected hatch. Candling at 21 days is not a problem for duck eggs. Yours are under a broody instead of in an incubator, so you won't do anything special for lockdown, but I would leave them alone the last three days. Let Mama handle it.

    That larger than normal air sac is not good. The egg obviously lost extra moisture because of that crack. Too bad you did not notice earlier and use the wax to seal it then. I'd sniff it 3 or 4 days before hatch to see if it is smelling. That crack is a possible way for bacteria to get inside. If it smells OK, I'd probably leave it under her for the hatch to see what happens, but don't be too surprised if it does not hatch. If you open the unhatched eggs after the hatch, I'd expect to find that one shrink-wrapped, but sometimes these chicks can be real tough. It may make it. I know of absolutely nothing you can do at this stage. I think you have already done what you can.

    Good luck!

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