Help!! Duck egg hatching with troubles


9 Years
Jun 6, 2010
I'm a first timer at this and know very little, but what I have read on various postings.

*Started incubating the duck egg March 10th
*Kept temp at 99.5
*Egg was set in an automatic turner
*Kept water in the bottom of the incubator for a good share of the incubation period.
*Friday June 4th, the duckling was pipping, tapping on the shell, and cheaping.
*If I count the first day of incubation, the 4th is 26 days
*I moved the egg from the turner to the bottom of the incubator
*Also, I did try doing some things to increas the humidity (not sure how effective they were, I have no real way of measuring it)
*I checked the egg again on the morning of the 5th, no progress
*I checked the egg again on the evening of the 5th the duck had made a cracked bump in the shell
*This morning early (5ish) there was no progress, duck, still cheaping, based on the some of the reading, I decided to help it by taking the cracked bump off. I made the hole just a little bit bigger.
*By noon today, still not progress. I'm thinking this guy isn't going to make. I need to help a little more. I carefully pick more shell away, only in the air sack area. The little guy is still alive will make noise everyonce in a while, but dosen't really seems to trying to get out (he seems tired). Also note: the membrane sack that's exposed seems to be thicker than it should be. It also has some vains in it. As it drys, it turns white. Since I exposed more of the membrane, I've been spraying the egg and membrane area with warm water every few hours.
*It's been 4 hours later and the little guys is still not trying to come out.

I'm not sure what to do. Do I leave it or do I give more help?

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Overrun with chickens
9 Years
Mar 23, 2010
Southern Oregon Mountains
It may be shrink wrapped. You need to get the membrane peeled back. Do this slowly and stop when you see blood. If it bleeds put it back into the incubator and wait 6 hours. Then try again. The duck will be a good to go if you can get it back to the halfway mark of the egg, even if it does not come out. Do not pull the duck out, because it may be still absorbing its yolk. A duck usually needs 24-48 to hatch after pipping. Waiting beyond 48 hours can cause the duckling to die in the egg. I just had a hard hatch, where only 2 made it out themselves. The rest needed help and one died in the egg, because I was to late.



9 Years
Feb 5, 2010
Mary Valley QLD.
If you can see blood vessels it is not ready to come out yet, it has a hole to breath so it will just rest untill all the blood from the vessels and the yolk are fully absorbed, you will know when it is ready as when you peel bits of shell off the duckling will wriggle to free itself, and there will be no blood at all. I have 6 call ducklings hatching now, The first one hatched and literally jumped out of the egg!!!! It is sooo strong, on the other hand the second one I helped a bit and it is much weaker! Shouldn't have touched it! Anyway keep us posted and good luck.


9 Years
Jun 6, 2010
I'm going to keep the humidity up in the incubator so the membrane doesn't dry out, let the duck go over night and hope for the best.

Thanks for the info.


Apr 19, 2009
Valdez, Alaska
This is what I did with one like that. I peeled back as much as much as I could that wasn't fastened to the membrane. Then I took a warm damp paper towel and wrapped it around the egg. I took a Q-Tip and added moisture to the dry membrane that was exposed. Not dripping wet, but enough to moisten things up a bit. I did all of this under a heat light so the little guy wouldn't get too cold. Then I placed the egg back into the incubator and she got out on her own in a few hours. It is hard to know what to do... but that seemed to work in this case. Good luck!!!
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I am Batman
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
just help him out. sometimes that happens, and as long as you donthave a problem with it, take him out. be very gentle though, and if the membrane does happen to dry out, try what tia suggested, that a great idea.


9 Years
Jun 6, 2010
Here's an update....

I helped the duck out of his shell early this morning, 4ish am. I thought for sure we wasn't going to make it.

As the day as gone on, he seems to be getting stronger. He'll walk around in the incubator (I still have the duck in the incubator) some and then go back to sleep. He seems to sleep a lot, but when he needs to, he can move quite quickly. I've been giving him water with a droper every couple of hours. He seems to take the water just fine.

When I give him water, I take the lid off the incubator. Everytime it seems as the duck tries to get out. If I don't watch him carefully, one second he's take water from the droper and the next he's jumping out of the incubator. I'm keeping the incubator temp at 99. Is this ok?

It's strange, one second he's moving around and the next he's layed his head down and is layed out sleeping. It seems as though he has short bursts of energy and then he's out. Someone had suggested that we give the duck a little sugar in the water to help it recover faster. We started doing this, this evening.

I've bought non medicated duck starter. When should I move the duck to the ben with the light? When should I start trying to feed it? Do I mix water with it's food at first?



Enslaved by Indoor Ducks
11 Years
Nov 20, 2008
Chicago, IL
if you are having trouble with humidity and thick membranes, I just read a post here today about wetting a Puppy pee pad and placing it over the eggs... Let me see if I can find it for you... Not sure if it will help...

edited- Oh wait, lol, just read that the duckie is out now... silly me
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