First time to incubating eggs "PLEASE HELP"

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Triplell, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Triplell

    Triplell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 29, 2011
    Brainerd, MN
    I am new to incubating and on the 27th I start lockdown. I will start my hatcher today to start regulating. Question is on all my eggs duck and chicken the air sack should be getting smaller shouldn't it? I have my heat at 100 degrees and I did a dry incubation until today when I started to use more humidity and its up to 60%. I have heard of the duckling or chick drownding in its shell when they try to hatch. Is there a way I can fix it if I have truely messed up? Please help!!!! I don't want to loose all my potential babies, were talking about 7 duck eggs and 35 chicken eggs all in one batch. I do have a seperate incubator that I will be using for my hatcher.

    Thank you for any advice possible

    Triplell
     
  2. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    100 degrees is just a little high- you may find that they will hatch a bit early. How big are the air cells now? Air cells too big can also be an issue- just as ducklings can drown when there has been too much humidity- they can also become shrink wrapped by the membrane if they do not have enough moisture at hatch time. You may need to separate the duck and chicken eggs for hatching since ducks need much higher humidity for hatching generally. I usually have mine around 80 % for hatching.

    Staying calm about the whole process is important now- and not worrying too much. Some losses are common, and there is at times nothing you can do to change that by the time you are so close to the end.
     
  3. duckdad

    duckdad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 4, 2011
    I can;t help with the chicken eggs, but I can tell you a little about ducks...

    Humidity is extremely important to the hatch process. if too low for too long the membrane inside the egg is like leather and the duckling cannot break thru it. The conditions during the 28 day wait are very important and its easy after a few tries to see and know whats going on. I candled almost everyday to watch the growth and see the development and to learn about what to look for. The size and shape of the air sack is important and tells you how healthy the egg is. Drowning in the eggs takes being underwater almost....its a LOT easier to be too dry. Many folks use a plant mister spray bottle each day to wet the shell besides any water container that's in the 'bator. I'd rather have a duckling that's got a soft membrane than one that has to have a chain saw to cut thru ....The shrink-wrap can be fatal as the duckling gets exhausted trying to tear thru the plastic like membrane that's just too tough and they die before getting their head out. Once they pip, they are on the clock. Times limited.

    This gets very tricky since this is when you need to make a judgment call. To help or not.

    IF you decide to help and I use a min of 18 hrs of little or no progress as a guide, then it has to be done with great patience and a delicate touch.

    get a dental pick and look closely at the egg where the duckling has its beak. The first thing out should be the beak so it can breath,,,next the head. Pick away small, TINY flakes of shell to help free the beak and head. The membrane will still be around the duckling and hopefully it will be able to tear thru that. That's the hard part because the membrane is still full of blood and if you tear it in the wrong way it can bleed out....
    IF you do have to cut membrane do so slowly and wait. Cut until you see ANY bleeding and stop and wait for that to end and dry out...several hours usually. As that portion of the membrane dries you can cut more in a slightly different area (to give more time to dry where you previously cut) and chip away more shell. Once the beak and head pop out you;ve pretty much got it made,.
    When the whole bird emerges, do NOT do anything at that point...the duckling will still be attached to the membrane sack by the cord which you do NOT CUT>...let that dry on its own and it will break away after a few hours. The duckling will struggle and be weak but that's part of the process. Provide shallow water and allow the ducklings to dry out on their own. Keep them warm at around hatch temp of 99 degrees. After the hatch I used a heating pad under a container to be the brooder-box where they stayed warm and on soft bedding. If the duckling is too weak to get to the water....I use an eye dropper to place a single drop on its beak. It will open its mouth and allow the moisture to enter. If it does, add another drop until it does not open anymore. The first meal can be hard boiled eggs...mashed to a mushy consistency. Ducklings are able to eat solid food from day one but I like to start off gently and give them what they are familiar with....egg protein.

    The trick to helping a hatch is not to get in too big of a hurry. It takes 24 to 48 hrs sometimes. If the humidity or temps were not perfect then it does have an effect but its not disastrous. All you have to do is go slow and most important of all, be patient and do not cause bleeding of any sort...just pick away a little bit, cut a little bit and wait. Its like painting the wall and after each brush stroke you wait for that to dry before you can paint the next stroke....slow and tedious.

    There are few things that bring more joy than watching life begin....it can be as exhausting for you as it is for the ducklings but worth every minute of work.

    have fun!
     
  4. Triplell

    Triplell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 29, 2011
    Brainerd, MN
    Thank you for your advice. I will try to remain calm.....its hard though.
     
  5. Triplell

    Triplell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 29, 2011
    Brainerd, MN
    The air sack is like the size of a quarter or slightly bigger on some. I am starting my hatcher today, can I put the eggs in alittle earlier than the 25 days? Some say 23 days and then some say 25, I'm alittle confussed.
     
  6. duckdad

    duckdad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I doubt that a day will make any difference either way. Remember, a lot of what yopu read is opinion. If you think about it, in the wild the temp is not perfectly regulated, neither is the humidity and the hen does not sit for the entire 28 days and some eggs do not wait 28 to hatch...when they (experts) write of specifics I believe that they advertise the avg in the hopes that folks will come close..Cause I know that I've had wild temp swings from 95 to 101 with varying humidity....its never perfect, we just hope to get as close as we can to prevent losses.

    When ever I encounter different info, I just split it down the middle and see what happens......either I'll be right or one of the 2 opinions will be. No way to know until you do it and you can;t sit there and worry over what may happen...just do your best and wait & see. If something goes wrong then learn something from it and do better next time.
    You'll be fine..

    The sac will change over the next month. As air gets used and as air transfers thru the shell it changes against what the embryo is doing. As long as the sac is well defined and where it needs to be thats what matters.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  7. Triplell

    Triplell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 29, 2011
    Brainerd, MN
    Thank you for your reassurance. I guess I worry just like a real momma would do. I am all set for my hatcher and am now building a brooder. Thanks to Home Depot who cut all my pieces for me. So here I go and it will be 24wx36lx18h I think this will be big enough for at least 20 chicks or 15 ducklings. Wish me luck.
     
  8. bexnd

    bexnd Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2012
    we stared our single stange hatchers at 100.2 and throighout the 4wks on specific days changed it down to finish at about 98 and our multistage where set at 99.25
     
  9. Triplell

    Triplell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 29, 2011
    Brainerd, MN
    I have never heard of a stange hatcher and a multistage. What was your humidity level at?
     
  10. bexnd

    bexnd Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2012
    single stage sorry . These are industrial incubators i used single stage would have eggs put in on 1 date and the multi stage would have trollies in from different dates hence them being set to 1 temp and humidity i think the humidity on multi stage was set at 73 again multi stage was changed on different dates
     

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