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Have I Stuffed Up?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Sunnyducks, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. Sunnyducks

    Sunnyducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello - feeling a little despondent tonight and hoping for some advice from you good people.

    I have 8 duck eggs incubating. I started incubating them on the day I picked up egg no 6. I then had to leave town, leaving my husband 'in charge' and he decided to add the eggs laid on day 7 and day 8. I then returned. So - the first six eggs, placed in the incubator on day 6, were weighed (59g) and marked with an X and an O and had been turned each day while I was storing them prior to incubating. Eggs 7 and 8 aren't marked or weighed.

    My incubator is an unbadged forced air plastic sided incubator with egg turner, holding max of 8 eggs, bought online (I don't know where from) for about AU $150 so not a great model. It has displays for temp and humidity but there are no vents that I can see. The instructions are in English, but state the humidity should be around 55-75%. I ran it for several days, to check it didn't misbehave. Because I had not found the incubating advice on here, I heeded the advice in the instructions. I checked the temperature and I believe it does maintain the temperature it claims to be.

    The eggs are white, so guessing I should be able to see inside with the candling torch but I must confess I floundered a bit and to be honest I couldn't really make much out at all. I have done heaps of searching online and not sure why I can't see much, but hey ho. I then found the instructions on here, and for the last week have been running it dry because I was concerned that the air sac was too small. Everything I found on Youtube suggests that I am right in that. One week later, the air sacs haven't grown.

    We are now at the end of Day 22. Humidity is at 20% and has ranged from 20-28% since I started running it dry.

    Candling - I think one has a blood line - like a broken red cord running almost unbroken around the egg.

    The others - not really sure I can (or ever have) seen veins. Each egg has an air sac and a dark shadowy mass, but that only takes up maybe half to two thirds of the entire egg. I assumed by now it would have filled the entire shell apart from the air sac. Am I right?

    I have not seen any sign of movement. The dark shadowy area isn't smooth, and there are kind of dangly bits dangling down into the clear part of the egg (not the air sac, I mean the bit of the egg that isn't dark, and isn't air sac).

    Please can anyone advise me - have I really stuffed up my incubation, or is there still a hope? Sorry for being so daft.

    Thank you in advance
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Hi @Sunnyducks Welcome to BYC..

    I know nothing about bators [I use the real thing]my ducks when wanting ducklings but we have some on here who can help.

    @WVduckchick is one hopefully she'll be on this morning.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
  3. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds! Premium Member

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    Hi! And welcome!!

    First, what kind of ducks? Muscovys take longer, and Call ducks shorter, so I will assume they are regular mallard-derived ducks of some breed.

    Does sound like a bloodring in that one. But that's ok! It happens. The others partially filled by day 22 sounds ok too. They do grow a lot in the final few days and you have close to a week to go.

    They definitely need ventilation, so I really hope your incubator has one somewhere that you are just missing. Does it have a fan or not? If fan, temps should run 99.5-100. Without a fan, you need to run closer to 101-102. An independent thermometer and hygrometer would be best, if you can get one, and verify them for accuracy. There are tests you can find online, depending on the type you get. Or I can help, if you have one, The incubators are notoriously inaccurate. Also, maybe your light needs new batteries? Duck shells are usually very easy to see into, for veining and even swimming around. Although by day 23, you won't see as much.

    Here's a candling chart for ducks.
    [​IMG]

    So #1 is Don't Panic! You've asked for help early enough, that we should be able to make adjustments and get some ducks out when it is time!!

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Sunnyducks

    Sunnyducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the welcome, WVduckchick. Sorry for the delay in replying, not helped by the time difference (I'm in Oz)

    They were sold to me as KCs, probably honestly, but I've been told by the knowledgable people on here that they aren't, and could possibly be all or part Welsh Harlequins. They lay 59g white eggs. I guess they are pretty average ducks, then! So - I'll dispense with the one that has the blood ring, as I'm sure you are right there. I feel so much happier after your comments and the really helpful image chart. First time I'd seen that. I don't have a hygrometer, but I've checked the temperature with a (calibrated) thermometer and it seems to be essentially accurate. I'm worried the humidity is too low, so I've just put some water in one channel, and I'll increase it to around 75% at least, in a couple of days. Do you think that's a wise decision? I haven't weighed the eggs since I first collected them but I will do when I candle them tonight, as I have a much better idea what I am looking for now, thank you. My light is actually a new one - I think it's more likely operator ignorance! The eggshells are normally really thick and hard to crack (maybe that's just the difference between duck and chicken?) so I wondered if that was why.. My incubator doesn't have any vents of any kind that I can see, and nothing is mentioned in the instruction booklet. Oh dear! I'm really happy that DH bought it for me, but unfortunately I didn't have any 'say' in what he bought or where he bought it from, and it's not actually the one I'd wanted, so I'm in a bit of a tricky situation there if you catch my drift! It's really kind of you to offer to help me - I'll take any advice you are kind enough to give me. Thank you in advance!
     
  5. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds! Premium Member

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    Sorry, missed your post. But I think I get your drift :)

    I also had a plastic incubator, but it had the fan mounted on top a grid for air release and a couple of holes near the bottom for air intake, but I drilled more. I've never seen one without vents, so you may do some google searches about the importance of ventilation. Maybe its your area, but I still can't think it would be any different there.

    Now to air cells. The previous chart doesn't really do justice to what air cells should look like. Air cells play the biggest part in your humidity settings. If they are too big, the duckling doesn't have room to rotate and zip. If they are too small, then the ling can grow too big, and not have enough room to get out either. So, I realize you are close to the date, so not much to do now, but if you hatch again, monitoring air cells is a good thing to watch. 75 will be a good number for hatching. I use anywhere from 70-80. It will rise as they start hatching, so don't be alarmed.

    As far as when to increase... Day 25 is standard, but Look at your air cells and the area just below the air cell. If you see much clear fluid, then you can put off a day. If they look really full and dark, then go ahead and raise the humidity. Then be patient!! Ducklings can break the shell (pip) and then still not hatch for 40-48 hours! They normally pip around day 27ish They test our patience big time!! They may even pip again, next to the first one, and rest again. But watch for rocking and listen for chirping.

    Here's a chart for air cell size to see if you are on target.
    And best of luck!!

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Sunnyducks

    Sunnyducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you again. Well now I'm a bit worried again, having seen your chart! The air cells in my eggs, now on Day 24, are more like the chart for day 10! Oh dear! They have increased a very small amount from last weekend (which is when I reduced the humidity to the 20s). Then I panicked yesterday and put it up again and it's low 70s now. The only light at the end of the tunnel is that I got my husband to help me with the candling last evening, and two of them have movement! I also weighed them and he did the calculations for me to get the percentage weight loss, but unfortunately it's only 8.8% in one of the movers, and 7% in the other which I realise is nowhere near enough. I'd hoped the reduced humidity would have helped but it seems not. Oh dear, I'm thinking this is going to have a bad outcome. I haven't had a chance to investigate other incubators and hubby is a bit precious about this one as he bought it for me and was so chuffed to have got me something I'd really like ... I didn't know about air vents, and he certainly didn't. Thank you for any help - maybe you can work miracles from afar! :(
     
  7. Sunnyducks

    Sunnyducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I do have a quandary now - after getting a couple of definite wrigglers on Saturday, everything has changed. Several other air cells have increased including those containing Saturday's wrigglers,and also the size of the dark shadows inside a number of eggs has hugely increased since then. What I'm finding such a challenge is that one of the two eggs my husband put in (trying to be helpful) while I was away, is now wriggling well and there's a spot-on air cell. Trouble is that it is either one or two days different in incubation time, as he didn't realise that it was important not to add eggs once incubation had started. Nor did he mark the date on the egg, so I don't know if it's one or two days younger.

    I should be heading into lockdown tomorrow, upping the humidity, removing the egg turner and keeping it all shut up - so how do I manage this late egg, which needs another two days? I am sorry to overload you with questions, but I am stumped, don't know what to do, and hoping you might generously be able to help? I feel I'm so near yet so far! Thank you in advance!

    @WVduckchick
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    @WVduckchick @Sunnyducks if you tag the person who has been helping you it gets their attention quicker.
     
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  9. Sunnyducks

    Sunnyducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Miss Lydia, thank you so much! So I would just type an '@' followed by the person's name? (Actually I just tried that and it seemed to work!)

    @Miss Lydia
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
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  10. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds! Premium Member

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    First, don't panic! [​IMG]

    Its good that your air cells have grown. They do seem to grow a good bit in the last few days. The 2-day difference isn't too critical. At this point, I would focus on the "majority" of the best looking eggs, and hope for the best for the others. If you feel the air cells are too small, you can keep the humidity low, and wait one extra day before increasing it. That would actually put the 1st "extra" egg on the perfect schedule, and be a day early and a day late for the others, and also give a few slow ones a little extra time to catch up.

    Are these eggs upright in the turner? I mean, air cell pointing up?
     
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