Help Help Help! Hatching emergency and I need info!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by reaver, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. reaver

    reaver Out Of The Brooder

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    My ducky mom has been sitting on her first nest (and I have not hatched ducks before, this i smy first time so of course I'm being a freaked out first time mom!). She has been sitting on her eggs for about 30 days so we were expecting babies anytime. This morning we came out to feed and noticed one of the eggs was out of the nest (almost 4 feet away) and was broken open a little bit. It is hard to tell wether something broke the egg, or if the duckling is trying to hatch (again, we are inexperienced and theres a lot of small breaks in the shell so its hard to tell if they were broken into or out of).

    So my questions:


    -We had to go to work today, so we brought a heat lamp and a bowl with a rag in it for the egg to stay in, so we can keep it warm and monitor the hatching. Was this a good idea, or was it better to let the egg stay outside? We got worried because the egg was not warm to the touch on the shell, so we figured he may need some heat during this proccess.


    -The egg was outside of the nest....does this mean that mom rejected the egg? Or that it just got moved somehow? Or maybe a pest got in the nest and tried to move it and break into it? With the egg out of the nest can the egg survive and hatch healthily?

    -the egg membrane is open where the egg is open, and there is some blood. I read online that you need to leave the egg as is, and give them more time to absorb the blood before hatching. I also heard that it is not uncommon for the duckling to take 24-48 hours to hatch. Is this true?

    -The duck is alive! There is a little toe from the foot that you can see just on the edge underneath the break of the shell, and we do see small slimy movements. We have not heard peeps, and not seen large movements. Is the baby ok? Or is this a sign that the baby could be underdeveloped?

    Basically I am just scared! I don't wanna lose our first baby!
    I attached a pic of the egg as we found it, and as it has pretty much stayed for the last hour and a half. Please help me! <[​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
  2. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Somerville, AL
    When my runner eggs started hatching I noticed the same thing. One egg out of the nest. I stuck it back under her and it hatched fine. I would try to take it back out b/c without experience, you can have lots of problems. I lost 2 of 3 late hatchlings trying to do it indoors. Good luck

    Here is the link to my hatching Q's

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=537503
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    Oh my, somebody has torn into that egg. The baby is close to hatch time, but may not last long in that condition. My ducks, runners, will sit on eggs up until close to hatch and then suddenly kill them--I think they hear them peeping inside the shell and freak out. Silly ducks. In your case, it looks like the baby is undamaged, and the blood is from the ruptured membrane, which is good news, though still traumatic and potentially dangerous.

    I suggest you bring the rest of the eggs in as well and keep them under a heat lamp as close to 99 degrees as you can. Also, provide them with humidity. This is going to be challenging without an incubator, but can be done successfully, and it looks like you may lose more to your ducks if you don't.

    For this one, add some humidity to its environment straightaway. Warm wet washcloths under the heat lamp with it are a good start. If you can keep it in a plastic container while still keeping the heat on it, it will help you retain humidity and temperature. Measure the temp--anywhere from 98 to 100 is fine, but it needs to be close to that range.

    Meanwhile, let the little one rest for a while. If it is still active after a few hours and the bleeding has stopped, you may want to begin helping it get out of the shell. This may be a laborious and dangerous operation, but there is a strong chance you'll have a live baby out of it.

    The danger lies in the fact that there is still blood flowing in the membrane, and blood loss can be fatal to the little one. You will want to begin your work in the air cell to minimize the loss of blood and also give the little one room to breathe. He may not be able to reach the shell with his bill to poke his own hole in the air cell, which is where he is breathing right now. You'll start with a hole in the air cell and then let him rest. Then you'll gradually work around the outside of the shell to help him hatch out. I don't have the links handy, but I know there are several good threads here about helping to hatch--they may be in the sticky (anyone have the link to post?). Check those out and keep us updated. Good luck!
     
  4. reaver

    reaver Out Of The Brooder

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    San Diego
    So i'm jus tpanicking over nothing then? It is an outside nest, so putting it outside and putting it back in the nest with other eggs that have not pipped is not gonna be a problem??

    My main concern is that he is gonna get bonked around or something, but again thats prolly just me being a worried mom. Also was concerned because the egg was so cool. So should I put it back outside or keep it inside where it is warmer?
     
  5. reaver

    reaver Out Of The Brooder

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    San Diego
    .....also is it a problem that our male is still in with our two hens? We have the ability to seperate them form the laying mother, so should we do that for the eggs that are still outside?

    OH NOES! I am at work for 6 more hours and wont be able to move the eggs until then! I will do my best with the egg here at work to keep him humidified and warm under the lamp! Will be posting updates all day. The guy is still moving which makes me hopeful, but scared too <XO
     
  6. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would definitely seperate your sitting hen. The others could kill/injure the babies when they hatch. I seperated mine about 1.5 weeks in she was in the run but I put a doghouse around her. The other ducks may have gotten to the first egg.
     
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Take a deep breath. [​IMG] The eggs at home are probably fine. And yes, when you get home, separate the male if you're planning to leave the eggs out there. In fact, that may be a good plan of action. I was suggesting removing them based on my experience with my runners, but it may have been your males that did the damage and separating them may solve the problem. I'd give her another go.

    Personally, I would not, however, return the broken egg. It may still be able to hatch on its own, but if it is attacked again it may be killed. On the other hand, I have experience in helping with hatches, so my odds of being able to help it successfully are pretty good. Of course, you don't get experience without trying it first, so maybe this is your chance to start getting experience.

    That was a helpful and decisive piece of advice, right? [​IMG]

    Sorry. Unfortunately, this is going to be a judgment call on your part. Either way may work better than the other, and it's very hard to say. Personally, I'd want the damaged one in where I can supervise and investigate and maybe help it along. The fact that it's moving a lot is a great sign. Has the bleeding stopped?
     
  8. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, also, is it peeping or making other vocal sounds? This will tell you whether it has poked a hole in the air cell or not.
     
  9. reaver

    reaver Out Of The Brooder

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    There is no peeping/sounds being made. Is he ok then?

    I think this guy will be better off staying inside where I can supervise him. Just because of the fact the he was pushed out just doesnt make me comfortable putting him back in the nest. I shoul dbe able to stay home from work tomorrow too (since I have to take a mandatory day off eveyr week anyway) so I can stay home and help if necessary!

    Regarding the blood, how do I tell if he is bleeding as opposed to just being covered in blood? The pic above shows exactly what he looked like when we found him this morning, where he has blood on him (and not thick mind you, we can see the feathers and such) but is he technically bleeding? I know you have to let them have their time to finish absorbing the fluids/blood before they fully hatch, but should I do anything to help him with the blood?

    Also regarding spraying to help him stay humid... I know a lot of people spray with spray bottles. Is this a good idea with the shell being open? The top of the shell membrane that is exposed is drying out under the heat lamp, so should I spray that to keep it moist or is it supposed to dry out throughout the hatching proccess? I already have a wet rag underneath the egg right now for the humidity.


    So if I DO have to help him hatch, how to I help him with the air cell in particular? Again, Reaver=n00b, so I need all the detailed help I can get! Thanks again for all the info, its been very settling!

    I'm gonna run to the store on my lunch break and get a small thermometer and a spray bottle if necessary to take care of the little guy.

    Also, I am not sure if she has an incubator that will work for ducks, but my neighbor raises and hatches baby parrots. Would it be a good idea to give all of the eggs to her and have her incubate them over the next few days? Or do you think I should just leave the rest of the eggs outside with the mom?
     
  10. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If that is all the blood you've seen, then the baby is in great condition. If he were still bleeding, you would see fresh blood continuing to ooze out. So far, so good!

    Yes, please keep him moist. Drying out will get him stuck in the shell, which will only complicate matters. HOWEVER, because the shell is open and possibly some blood vessels as well, cleanliness is a priority. Make sure the water you use, the sprayer you use, and any cloths or sponges you use are cleaned thoroughly and, if convenient, sanitized with super hot water before use.

    Your neighbor who hatches parrots is probably a terrific resource. Parrots are way harder to hatch than ducks, and she probably has seen it all. Get her help if you possibly can.

    Otherwise, start when you get home by candling the egg to find the air cell. It will probably be in the large end of the egg, which in the picture appears to be on the right. When candling, it will appear as a clear white space that light shines into, versus the darkness of the rest where the baby is. It may have a duck bill in it. When you get home, go ahead and poke a thumb-sized hole (carefully and slowly) into the air cell from the outside. You'll be able to look in and see if the baby has stuck its bill into the air cell or not. If not, all you'll see is membrane and you'll have a harder road ahead. You could open the membrane, but that's iffy--if the baby's not ready it won't do any good and if the membrane has blood vessels in it you could cause more bleeding. My guess, however, is that you will see the top of the baby, including the bill, and you'll be clear to begin the hatching process.

    Keep in mind that in a natural setting, hatching takes up to two days. You may want to move quicker than that, but be aware that the baby may not have time to absorb the yolk, and that could cause it problems. So take it slow.

    When you get to this point, post and ask for further instructions. You can PM me if I don't respond immediately--I don't always check the boards, but I'll get an email if I'm PM'd. Alternately, there are LOTS of people on this board with as much and more experience than I, so one of them can help you too.

    In the mean time, try to relax and think about other things. There is not much you can do, and at this point the baby is probably fine. There's a good chance you could frankly just open the shell and have a baby in your hand. But of course it's better to be cautious. [​IMG] I just wanted to make the point that the baby is fine so far, and there's no need to be stressed. I bet it will all be just fine. [​IMG]
     

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