[Graphic Pictures!] The mystery of the missing egg - solved!

Sep 2, 2018
Big Chimney, WV
My Coop
My Coop
Hi friends,

this is a spin-off thread of »Charleston we have a Broody here!«. - In a nutshell: Katharina, one of my Indian Runner ducks managed to hide a clutch of eggs from me and was suddenly sitting on nine eggs. Seven cheeky ducklings hatched, one egg was a stinker and one was missing. Two days ago, on Sunday i solved the mystery of the missing egg: It was crushed in a very late state of development. An eggtopsy revealed an almost completely developed duckling which hadn't pipped yet.
Before showing the pictures, a few questions:
  • Does the duckling looks normally developed?
  • Was it just unlucky or malpositioned in the egg?
  • Was there anything i could have done to save its life?
This is how the egg looked like when i retrieved it from deep under the duck-nest:

The white feathers are from mom, not the ducklings down.

I started to peel away the outer shell and discovered that there were actually two membranes around the duckling:

No idea if it is normal to have a thick, rubber-like outer membrane and a thin, fragile inner membrane.

I freed up the tail feathers of the unlucky little thing and found the unabsorbed yolk, that dark yellow mass in the top-left:

The ducklings bill was tucked away under the left foot:

I managed to pop its head out:

You can see the foot with the tiny claws still stuck inside the egg.

Tiny little left winglet:

More pictures here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/gallery/albums/crushed-duck-egg-dead-duckling.7429012/

After the eggtopsy i gave it a proper burial in the compost-pile.

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