Hello from Oklahoma City

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Lisaa, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. Lisaa

    Lisaa In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2012
    Hi, Everyone. I've been lurking around for a couple of weeks and decided it was time to step out from the shadows. I'm trying to crash-educate myself about mallard egg incubation and so far have learned a great deal from you all!

    It's a long story, but if you don't mind a rather long-winded tale, here's what happened: My third grader found what I think is a mallard egg while she was walking home from school two weeks ago. It was sitting in a peculiar spot - on its end, on a tiny tree stump, with mud carefully packed around its base to keep it upright. The stump, only about 3 inches across, was right next to the sidewalk, in plain view. No idea how long the egg had been there or who put it there. The only thing I can figure is that a child might have found it somewhere and placed it there. Of course, I had no idea how old the egg was - might have been sitting in a classroom all year as a show and tell object for all we knew. There are no ponds close by, and I haven't ever seen mallards in the area. Quite mystifying!

    My daughter wanted to try and hatch it. We didn't have much to lose, though I was almost certain nothing would happen. So we left it wrapped in her jacket and set it on the computer desk, then drove to the local 4H offices and rented a hova-bator (I think it's called?) circulating air incubator. It's the kind they use in school classrooms for hatching chickens and quail. Within an hour of finding the egg, we had it warming in the 'bator. I candled it that night and it was clear inside, with the slightest shadow of the yolk floating around as best as I could tell. So, it didn't look spoiled.

    Five days later, I candled the egg again and about fell over. There were red veins radiating from the center of the egg, just like the photos here! Almost impossible to believe - but my daughter said, "I see it, too!"

    So, now the feverish research began! Proper humidity.... proper position.... temperature... misting.... cooling.... ack! :)

    We're now on Day 17. The little guy is kicking around, growing, and seems to be doing okay so far. I've got the temp reading 99.5F, and humidity reads about 40 percent, though the old gauge I'm using may not be reliable. The egg is on an automatic turner, large (air cell) end up.

    I have lots of questions for you guys, but I think the most pressing one at this point is the size of the air cell. Currently it's no larger in diameter than a nickel. It's centered at the top of the large end of the egg. The size hasn't really changed since Day 1. At about day 12, I removed all the cups of water except for one, but when the air cell still didn't appear to be growing I took it the last water cup out, too. Since the end of the first week, I've also been removing the egg for about 5 minutes each evening, misting and cooling it. Should I be doing anything else? Should all of the mist be evaporated before putting it back in the incubator? It's been pretty humid here, but I figured with the incubator being indoors where there's air conditioning, the air would be dryer.

    I'll stop here and try not to inundate you all with too many questions. And I'll keep reading - there is a load of great information here. Thanks for being here.

  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Crowing

    Dec 22, 2009
    [​IMG] . You should come join us in the Duck section! We can answer all the questions you have.
  3. Lisaa

    Lisaa In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2012
    Thanks, Kevin. I'll look for it... I found some duck info here via google search, but am still learning how to navigate. :)
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Free Ranging

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan :D
    Check in the forum under Other Backyard Poultry
  5. Lisaa

    Lisaa In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2012
    Thanks for the welcome. Will do.
  6. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms

    Sep 20, 2009
    Pride, La.
    Welcome!! [​IMG]
  7. ACargill

    ACargill Chirping

    May 5, 2012
    Purcell, OK
  8. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Hi and :welcome from Ohio. So glad you joined. :thumbsup
  9. Lisaa

    Lisaa In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2012
    Thanks, guys. [​IMG]

    I'll be checking out the incubation forums, too.
  10. Lisaa

    Lisaa In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2012
    Horse capital of the world![​IMG]

    Thanks for the good wishes. I'm reading so many sad stories about babies that make it so close to hatching and then die... this is a one-shot deal and I'm really nervous about messing up!

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