First time hatching! Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by NikkiCole5, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. NikkiCole5

    NikkiCole5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    356
    17
    83
    Mar 4, 2015
    I just wanted to post this because I'm new to BYC, although I always come here for advice!
    I decided to hatch a few ducklings because I'm very fascinated with genetics, I have a golden 300 hybrid and giant Pekin :)
    So these babies are a mix. They are on day 28 as I type this, I made my own incubator and do not have a hydrometer? If that's how it's spelled. I have been guessing pretty much, I did not have to spray them at all throughout incubation, I put a small bowl of water in the incubator during lockdown, to see if it helps any. I am trying to be patient, but it is so hard since none have even internally pipped. I have been opening the lid maybe twice a day, to check on them. They are getting a small brown spot on the shell, do not smell and I can see them pushing on the membrane. I kept the temperature at about 90 throughout incubation and now it is at 95, I had them on 97 or 98 but that caused one to die early in incubation, day 7. I have three that have made it this far, starting with 5, the one that died early and the other wasn't fertile. I am excited and nervous. These are my pictures I have taken, I also took videos throughout incubation. I am trying to be patient, but it is definitely hard since I would hate for any to die this late in incubation. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    These last images are of my "incubator" and the brown spots
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Any suggestions or comments are most welcome :)
     
  2. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,704
    228
    138
    Jul 26, 2014
    Sweden
    Ok, first of all you need to stop opening your incubator this late in incubation. For duck eggs they should be put into lockdown around day 25. That means adding all the water you can and then not opening the incubator again until they have all hatched (unless you absolutely have to to add more water). This is to keep the humidity up so they can hatch out without drying out their membranes. If the membranes get dried out during hatch they will dry onto the ducklings and they won't be able to hatch and will die in their shells.

    Does your incubator have a fan in it? If so the temp should be around 98.5 during the entire incubation, if it does not have a fan it should be around 101. 90 is far too low. The egg that died during the first week was most likely from something else, certainly not the temp being "too high" at 98. I'm rather surprised they are still alive with your temp as low as it was, actually. Eggs can be pretty resilient sometimes though.

    The brown spots on the outside could be where they are trying to pip, I have seen that before on a couple of my eggs. If that is the case, you might have a problem with at least one of them (the one with X1 on it) since it looks like it could be trying to pip on the wrong end of the egg.

    It's good you are seeing them pushing on the membrane now, but please keep that incubator closed now! They are probably going to be a bit late hatching due to the low temperatures, but it's a very good sign you see that movement inside. Good luck and keep us updated, ok?

    Oh, and welcome to BYC! :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  3. NikkiCole5

    NikkiCole5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    356
    17
    83
    Mar 4, 2015
    Thank you, but how can people see the internal pip without opening the incubator, I don't have a real incubator, I'm using a Styrofoam cooler with a water thermometer, I ordered an incubator but it came broken, they would not refund or replace so I haven't been able to buy another one. I cannot raise the temperature to 100 because I'm not home to keep track of the temperature, last time I tried the temperature raised to 110, which is definitely bad, I read on Metzer farm that it's better to keep the temperature lower rather than too high. I am going to buy a still air incubator next time I go to town, for a next batch of eggs, but these are my trial ducklings.
    Oh and the "dip" of the air cell is right above the brown spot on my x egg, like how I drew on the picture below

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  4. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,704
    228
    138
    Jul 26, 2014
    Sweden
    Ok, thanks for explaining a little more about your incubator. :) That's true it's better to be a little cooler than too hot, so I see why you did that. And good to know the current air cell position is closer to that brown spot. It's still pretty low in the egg, but sometimes they hatch out just fine anyway. Other times they might need assistance later on, but we'll just have to see what happens over the next day or so.

    We don't really need to know when they're internally pipped, which is why most just put them into lockdown and leave them be. It's nice to know when they do so you have a better idea on when they will hatch and if everything is ok of course, but opening the incubator during lockdown typically causes more harm than good. And handling/candling the eggs during the last few days can also interfere with the ducklings getting into the proper position for hatch. They are moving around in there and trying to get into position, but if they are being constantly moved and disturbed that can cause problems for them.

    Your little guys are likely running behind anyway though due to the low temps, so no harm done thus far with the opening the incubator since none of them are externally pipped. If they are pushing on the membrane as you've said, internal pipping should come very soon. You should absolutely not open the incubator at all once they have externally pipped. That is when the humidity level is crucial and they can dry out very very quickly.
     
  5. NikkiCole5

    NikkiCole5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    356
    17
    83
    Mar 4, 2015
    Thank you again! I'm excited as well as nervous, I definitely will not be opening the lid once they pip :)
    Is there a point in which I should give up hope for them to hatch?
    Oh and is there a way to tell humidity without the hydrometer? I have just been watching the "mist" on the plexiglass lid

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  6. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,704
    228
    138
    Jul 26, 2014
    Sweden
    Unfortunately, no way to know the humidity without a hydrometer. But if there is condensation on the plexiglass, that is good so you know there's ample humidity going on in there.

    I would give them a few more days and see what happens. If there is still no external pipping by then I would definitely candle them again real quick to see what's going on inside. Hopefully they're just delayed a day or two and will hatch out just fine for you. It happens. :)
     
  7. NikkiCole5

    NikkiCole5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    356
    17
    83
    Mar 4, 2015
    Egg two, the middle egg has slightly externally pipped!
    There isn't a complete hole yet, but I can see where it is pecking at the shell!
     
  8. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,704
    228
    138
    Jul 26, 2014
    Sweden
    That's great!! So exciting! :D
     
  9. NikkiCole5

    NikkiCole5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    356
    17
    83
    Mar 4, 2015
    Duckling cracked the egg instead of zipping, is this bad?
    It is breaking the shell up instead of around

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,704
    228
    138
    Jul 26, 2014
    Sweden
    I wouldn't worry too much yet, it's just getting started. Hopefully it'll start turning and zipping a little later on. It can take up to 24 hours from initial pip to hatch, sometimes they do silly things during the process but come out just fine. For example, one of my ducklings last year did a complete zip around her egg, but didn't break through the membrane enough to pop off the top of the egg. So, she did another complete zip around the egg before popping out, alive and well.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by