Help me! My duck eggs were rocking and I think I killed them in lockdown!!


In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 24, 2012
My Broody hen (chook) chucked my 5 duck eggs out from under her last night, I had the incubator up & running (testing it out, it's new) so I chucked the eggs in there... Then the confusion came...

I googled rocking eggs and almost everything I read said to up the humidity to 70% - 80% and wait (Lockdown) and I did that, I waited and watch for 2 hours and saw a few rocks and since all was steady & it was midnight I went to bed. When I got up today I did some more googling and have discovered that humidity shouldn't go up till external pipping has happened....

So what do I do now? My eggs are not rocking and I am worried that I have killed my babies and I am desperate to open the incubator and candle the eggs but don't want to just in case they are sleeping (fingers crosed)
Can anyone help me please!!
humidity is increased for lock down. ducks take 3 days to hatch on average, they dont pip, zip and hatch all within hours. Did you candle the eggs to know if they were alive, if they had internally pipped?
Thanks for the reply!! Yes I did and all were alive (we did have 1 infertile egg and 1 underdeveloped egg around week 3 so we removed them)

Also there was no internal pipping when I looked... Gosh I hope I haven't killed them now...

Is there anything else I can do? I'm not exactly sure of their age as their mum is a chicken that decided she wanted to sit on them and I didnt notice what day she sat on them (I might be a day or 2 out)
Duck eggs can and will often take 3 days from start to finish and will lay still showing no signs of anything making you think they are dead or need help. RESIST the urge to open the bator or help them hatch.
I'm so new to this!! I wish my chook was a little more patient!!

I opened the incubator earlier, I did a swift open, grab and close maneuver and didn't lose much humidity or temperature, I quickly candled the egg and put it back with similar precision and (remembering I'm a total novice) I didn't see any internal pipping but there was movement in the egg so am I jumping the gun for lockdown?!? The egg was rocking yesterday...

I hope that when I get up tomorrow there is a fluffy little duckling looking at me from the left corner peep hole and I can stop worrying about it!!
STOP OPENING THE INCUBATOR! You do more damage than good messing with it and the eggs at this point and time. More hatches are compromised by human "error" than helped. You will loose far more humidity than you think by opening. The egg also looses moisture when removed which can lead to shrink wrapping and no hatch. If you did not calibrate the hydrometer then you arent positive on the humidity level inside the bator.

wiggling is normal, the egg wiggles some as the hatchling moves around inside the egg. They shift into hatch position and rest, rest and rest more.
There has been no movement in any eggs for over 36 ours now... I'm 99% sure they are dead..

As the incubator is new I figure it's pretty close to being right, but I was only running it for a day or so before the hen chucked the eggs out and I didn't have time to calibrate much at all... I don't know how old they are I just know they were rocking... So I presumed there was only a few days to go.... The hen chucked the eggs out earlier in the day and they were pretty cold by the time I got to them (I only check the coop a few times a day) but they were all still moving around in the eggs so I chucked them in and hoped for the best... so they didn't have a great start anyway...

I'll leave it 1 more day about 5 pm today is the end of day 2 so I'll wait till day 3 is over and then if there is still no movement and no pipping then I guess it's all over... :(
I wouldn't give up so easily just yet
. Sometimes they can be a day or two late as well especially if you're unsure of how long your hen was sitting on them. I usually wait at least 3 days AFTER the last date they should have hatched just incase. I've had several surprises happen that way!

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom