Hatching and Saxony question

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by trailhound, May 30, 2010.

  1. trailhound

    trailhound Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2008
    This is my first year with hatching ducks and I have had several batches so far. I have had several hatch in the incubator, and a lot of problems I contributed to incubator issues and my own mistakes. I also had some chickens hatch out some duck eggs and that went a little better, but still had the same main problem- tough dry membranes that the ducklings couldn't get out of, again, I figured it was a humidity issue. I now have eggs hatching under my Saxony duck, and of course I am fretting about what to do. I figured they would be fine since they were under the duck- she is going to do a better job with the whole thing than an incubator or chicken. However, it has been a good 48 hours since some of the first eggs pipped externally, and I am still determined to leave those alone, but am looking for some confirmation (aside from the 'to help, or not to help' issue (I have read up on this, and read the stickies) on this. Here is something influencing my decision- I just went out to check the situation and noticed one egg had about 2/3 of the shell off, but the membrane was still intact, with a tiny, tiny hole from last night. I made the decision to help, which was clearly a bad choice because the duckling still had a pretty good hunk of yolk sac. I left it half helped and put it back in the nest, but could pull it and put it in an incubator or under a light- there wasn't any active bleeding- I was careful. I am keeping my fingers crossed and thinking good thoughts, but pretty sure I screwed that up [​IMG] . Which leads to a few more questions...

    This is this ducks first hatch and I have her in her own pen with food and a 2 gallon bucket of water close at hand. I got worried that since she couldn't bathe, the eggs didn't get enough humidity from her wet body. Hopefully, she was able to preen and splash enough, and I put a pan of water in for her today- but have a caused a problem with this water situation? If I decide to intervene with the eggs that pipped over 48 hours ago, what would be a reasonable time frame to decide about that. I can't really hear any peeping to monitor sounds because they are outside with the duck- other noises around make it hard to hear, plus, I want to leave the duck alone and not keep chasing her off her nest.

    Also, I would like to get into breeding and selling several rare breeds. I like the Saxony's, but have noticed that they have had a harder time with a thicker, tougher membrane and I have helped a lot. I know there are a lot of opinions about helping, and I respect the whole spectrum of opinions. My thoughts are that if I am trying to start a breeding program, I don't want to breed for birds that can't hatch independently. However, I have helped, whether it was a good idea or not, because I felt like the hatching problems were caused by me, not the genetics of the birds. Is this typical for the Saxony breed? Should I keep trying with this pair (from Holderread's)? Many of these are likely mutts anyway, I have an Appleyard drake that kept escaping, and then after a while gave up on keeping everyone separated so these could be crosses either way.

    Bahh! This hatching is stressful business! I hope I get all the kinks worked out better next year- live and learn right?

    Thanks for any advice you have.
    -Andrea
     
  2. trailhound

    trailhound Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2008
    Yep, screwed it up. Dead. Drat. Wonder why the shell was off?
     
  3. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Just went through a hard hatch with my Saxony ducks too. Lost one because I was to late to help. Only 2 out of 11 made it by themselves. The membranes were just hard as leather and my humidity was running at 85%. My last hatch didn't have that issue. Not sure what was causing it, because it was the same incubator with the same settings. Must have been something with the eggs themselves.
    Katharina
     

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