Help! Duck egg has a live duckling but won't come out

Count Von Chickula

Chirping
10 Years
Jun 10, 2009
34
2
85
Winona County, Minnesota
Okay here's the scoop: We have a duck egg that is missing part of its shell. It had a bad crack in it and it has turned (with some help) into a missing section about the size of your thumb nail. We can see what looks like part of the duckling. The little guy has been peeping to us for 2-3 days, more today. It seems to be alert and is obviously breathing at this point. I've been concerned that bacteria has been invading the shell to the point it would threaten the duckling, but we're afraid of 'helping' it out. Actually I was amazed to find the egg was good and signs of life in it, despite a gross looking crack in it. The discoloration around the crack concerned us. This is a slightly undersized egg from the others.

Has anyone had experience where they had to help a duckling out without killing it? I was always told never to help them otherwise they will not grow strong enough from the struggle. How long should we wait... just leave it alone and see what happens?
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katharinad

Overrun with chickens
9 Years
Mar 23, 2010
2,585
31
181
Southern Oregon Mountains
When did it pip the shell? More then 2 days ago? If, yes I think it may be shrink wrapped and cannot zip along. I personally would start peeling the egg shell away. Next I would slowly pull the membrane back, but you must stop as soon as you see blood. No blood keep on going to about the half mark of the egg. It will at this point either jump out or sit there a little bit longer if it is still absorbing the yolk. I waited too long on a duck and it died in the egg. Missed the time frame by accident. Poor little thing. Ducks should be out of the egg within 48 hours of putting the little pip hole into the shell. Yours is probably ready, but does need help. Nothing wrong with helping.
Katharina
 
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jbear

Songster
9 Years
Feb 12, 2010
1,312
1
151
SW washington
i just had to do this.. was a nervous wreck the whole time.. there is a really good thread on here about how do help a chick hatch, I followed that pretty much. I used a syringe (or eye dropper) with warm water, kept dripping it into the shell, along the membrane---KEEP AWAY from the bill, you will drown the duckling if not careful!-- Once you start zipping--try to zip like the duckling would naturally, you will notice two separate membranes--the thick white one, and under that a thinner more clear membrane that has the blood vessels in it. That's the part that needs to be kept moist... try to leave that membrane alone if at all possible. Keep your incubator warm and humid, if you notice any bleeding at all you need to stop, and let the duck rest and for the vessels to recede or whatever it is they do when hatching starts. also--try to search out that thread--it's VERY helpful, I kept referring back to it constantly... and the whole hatch took most of the day.. I was exhausted! lol!

---> here is the link---> https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=9316

here
is during... early on.
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and several days later!
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