Hatching duck eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Newby12, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. Newby12

    Newby12 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 31, 2015
    We are hatching duck eggs for the first time. We have had a pretty successful hatch except for one. It externally pipped three days ago. We keep helping it because it isn't making any progress and it's trying to, but everytime we do something we see blood WHAT DO WE DOOOOOO??????
  2. WalnutHill

    WalnutHill Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Mar 16, 2014
    SE Michigan
    It's possible that even though your duckling started to hatch three days ago, that it's not quite ready to join the outside world. Hatching is a process that helps the chick/poult/duckling prepare for life outside of the egg. The internal pip starts the lungs working. The external pip gives access to fresh air and allows excess heat and moisture from the shell. The effort of rotating around in the shell (zipping) helps the yolk retract into the belly. During this process, the blood vessels which line the membrane normally close off and dry.

    A chick/poult/duckling that is too big to zip will suffer challenges, which is probably what you have. The struggle of trying to get out will help the yolk retract, but there is also a risk of the chick's foot tearing the yolk during the struggle.

    If you are going to assist, which it sounds like you are committed to, have paper towel on hand, some cornstarch or powdered alum, and a bowl of water for your fingers. Work on a warm, very damp towel in a warm place or under a desk lamp.

    Gently enlarge the hole around the existing opening, removing only the shell but leaving the membrane as intact as possible. If a blood vessel is bleeding red blood, pinch it with your fingers and dab cornstarch or alum on the cut end. Maintain pressure for about 30 seconds then release. There is very little blood pressure so that is usually sufficient to seal it off. If not, repeat and pinch a minute.

    As soon as the round end the egg is open with only half the shell remaining, gently slide the membrane down the duckling to expose the wing and head. Untuck the head if the duckling doesn't do it itself. At this point, if there is no active bleeding, I generally place the chick, partial egg, and damp towel back in the hatcher. The struggle to free itself from the remainder of the shell may be enough to complete the hatching processes.

    Good luck, and please report back how it goes!

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