Hatching duck eggs.... internal pip?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Feb 18, 2011
North Port, Fl
Let me start by saying that I have been peeping around (pun intended) this forum for the last four weeks or so and have found it incredibly informative! You all are a fantastic group of people! Anyway, growing up we hatch ducklings all the time and I remember loving it so now that I have two beautiful little ones of my own I got the hatching itch and we are on day 25 of incubation. We have 5 eggs that made it past the first week and they all seem to be doing fantastic when I candle them. I couldn't tell you what breed they are as I purchased the eggs from a lady that has free-roaming pkins, harlequins, runners and blue/black sweedish(es) but the mystery just adds to the fun as far as I'm concerned (I can tell you that two of the eggs are light blue if that narrows it down at all).

Anyway! I was just wondering if someone could tell me when it is normal for them to pip internally and how you can tell? Obviously I don't remember being as I having done this since I was maybe 10 and my parents said they never bothered to candle them so I'm at a loss :)
The internal pip refers to the bill breaking through the inner membrane of the egg. This can happen anywhere from day 25. Generally after breaking through the membrane they will rest for a while- before starting to tap away at the shell and break through , it can take a further 24 hours between each breakthrough. After that it it usually another 24 hours before they start to unzip and finally hatch.

You can tell by candling the egg- it is quite easy to see the beak moving around in the aircell- but for that you need to open the incubator- day 25 when going into lockdown is ok- but after that especially once they externally pip- opening the incubator will allow escape of built up humidity within the incubator. You should be able to see the eggs rock or wobble by now though depending on what they are laying on in the incubator. While it is not purely an indication that they have internally pipped- at least you know a wobbling egg still contains a living duckling.

Good luck with those eggs- Im sure your kids will enjoy it just as much as you did as a child. Oh..and Welcome to BYC.
Thank you so much! I have seen the eggs wobble, and infact have had to turn them back over to the side they are supposed to be on (have marked an X and an O on the sides to tell the diffference) because they've rolled themselves 180 degrees, but maybe now that you've stressed the importance of the built up humidity I'll just let them be. I was planning to put them on lock down tonight but since they've been moving around for a couple of days I think i'll just not open it anymore until the hatch is over...again, thank you!!!

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