HELP Need Advice! I NEED To Go Into Lock Down Early


9 Years
Aug 28, 2010
Cedar Springs, Michigan
I’m very close to lock down!! There is one egg I put up to the stethoscope and it was just moving like crazy and practically rocking and rolling in my hand. I THINK I’m beginning to see a small external thinning in one spot of the shell. Maybe I should do lock down tomorrow morning at the latest, I just candled them, and I HAVE to go into lock down tomorrow for sure, there are 2-3, especially 1 that is very much anxious to start rocking and rolling and piping. There are 2-3 that I'm sure that have eternally piped for sure, they are very much into the air sac and close to the surface of it and I can really make out the bill/egg tooth and possible toe or something, and I can feel them wiggling on my hand. So, I think we may have a couple early birds! The dented one has not eternally piped yet, but it's alive and well, so in a way I just hope I don’t wake up to any surprises to soon in the morning, especially with egg #14, that is the most anxious one to get out. I'm a bit nervous because I don't want it hatching on the turners. I’m trying to stay neutral and not excited with what happened last week. But the air sacs are very much nice and bright shining through with such detail of the bill/egg tooth not all funky and off and discolored like the last one was. I did get the hatchery up and running today to make sure I am ready for lock down and I don’t have to keep tinkering with the temps and humidity. I’m nervous about # 14 tonight, I don’t see the shell denting upward, but I’m seeing something faint and thinning where it might be piping externally.
Do you think I'm safe to keep them in the Genesis tonight until I wake up at 5:45am, especially with the really active one close very much in the air sac and close to the top and then go into lock down with all of them, even if maybe 2-3 aren't quite eternally piped yet, but close? Tomorrow will be day 25, actually 6am tomorrow morning will be day 25. What if that one has an external pip by morning, am I safe to quickly move it to the Hova Bator Hatcher??
They are ready for lockdown when they start to move/roll on their own egg. You can keep them in the genesis over night. It's not that they jump out of the egg the next 24 hours or make a mess otherwise. They first make a tiny hole and then take 24-48 to get out. Very often I saw a hole and then nothing happened for the next 24 hours. They do take their time.

Now to the internal pip. You can see the bill move up and down well before they actually pip internally. They have piped internally when the head moved into that space, but not when you see the bill move up and down.

If you think they are ready move them to the hovabator and turn them every 8 hours until you definitely see them rock. Then you increase the water and go into full lock down. The humidity will got up fast if you fill with 100 degree water.

You are not that early with the eggs going into lock down. They are one week older then the other egg and that one you put into lockdown on Wednesday or Thursday, if I remember right.
Yes, you remembered right. I can't visually see it rocking in the racks because I secured them as you instructed at the beginning because they were roll and kind of banging on the sides, but boy I couldn't mistaken the wiggle worm when I put it in my hand or held it. When I candled Tuesday night I could see the bill retracking up/down, last night it stayed up and didn't move away or down. Last week, when I said I saw a thinning area that I was going to keep my eye on, when I opened the egg and found the pip hole in the membrane, it was right at that thinning spot. So my eyes weren't deceiving me. I may wait until tonight until lock down, give it closer to the day 26, however I read on Metzer Farms that Mallards(Rouen) can hatch as early as 26.5-27 days, and Runners 28.5 and all others about 28 days. So I have Rouen/Runner mix, so I guess it could be as early as tomorrow they hatch, to latest Sunday. I just don't want to screw things up and do to little to late, or to much to late. KWIM? Especially with a couple that didn't show the bill in the air sace so clearly, but then again, neither did these other 2 and how much 12hrs makes, I wonder what 7-8hrs did last night.

Thanks Katharina, I'm hoping for the best but not so much that I'm being a spaze about it like last time. I am preparing myself for losses. It was just hard to hear the peeps then to a dead duckling
Just candled 7-8hrs later, and 2 out of the 5 are most definite, the other 3 are very questionable, almost like they haven't absorbed the yolk yet, but the other 2 they are certainly inside the air sac and they start tapping at the top of the air sac when I put the light to it.
I also forgot to mention because I had to get my boys to school, that even though I'm not seeing the other 3 in their air sacs yet, their air sacs don't seem to be shaped like the 2 that are in their air sacs are, they are almost more side ways then at the top, kind of like how my one last week that died was. And I'm seeing what may be either not absorbing the yolk, or fluid, I'm not sure yet. But the 3 are definitely making me go "Hmmmm"
I was thinking of putting the 2 that I'm feeling very optimistic on and clearlyl are ready to go sooner rather then later, in the still air incubator, and keeping the other 3 in the Genesis until either tomorrow or Saturday then removing the egg turner and put them in lock down to see what happens. I'm very, very optimistic on the 2, I clearly do not see what could be unabsorbed yolk, the air sac is absolutely beautifully formed where it should be where the babies should be. Where as I'm honestly not feeling as optimistic on the other 3. The 5 I have are 13, 14, 16, 18, 19. The positive healthy looking ones are eggs 14 & 19, eggs 13, 16, 18 are my questionable ones. Egg 13(bad luck #) is the one with the dent. All those clearly are not in their air sacs, I see their tooth in 1or 2, and 13 not yet. So how does that idea sound? Putting 14 & 19 in the Hova Bator Hatchery, and the rest continue in the Genesis until I see further development or not. I just have a very, very strong gut feeling 14 & 19 will be early and that the other 3 are either quitters or will be late bloomers. Tell me what I should do!!
I don't want to make any fatal mistakes. Honest, I will be happy if all 5 make it, but if I can even had 2 out of the 5 make it I will be hystatic!
Do you really want an honest opinion? I know you are excited, but seriously, all this candling and handling of the eggs is not doing anything to help them. The more you handle them, the more likely you will kill them. They simply do not need to be checked constantly like this nor candled so closely that you are trying to make it more than whether they have pipped. What you are doing is more likely to hurt them than to help them.

You need to just make a decision and go with it. Once we see signs of internal pip, we put the whole hatch into the hatcher (or leave in the same incubator and just up the humidity if not using a hatcher), close the lid, and FORGET THEM. Don't reopen it. Don't go back and forth adding eggs as they pip. Put the whole batch on lock down and walk away from the incubator. Sit on your hands for the next 2-4 days. There is absolutely no need for all this candling. Anyone that tells you otherwise, has no idea what they are talking about. The constant interference by the humans is what causes such poor hatches. Seriously, put them on lock down and don't even open the incubator again for a few days. You may have already lost some by the constant interference. Trust me on this- I have hatched thousands of waterfowl eggs over the last couple decades. All of this fretting about is doing no good and could very possibly be doing harm. Nobody is serving your best interests by telling you otherwise. Good luck! I hope they hatch for you!
Thank you very much for the constructive critisim Citychicker, and I mean that in a very nice way.
I had no idea that I'm doing more harm then good, so if what I described with the 2 optimistic ones, am I safe to put them in lock down a day early?(25) Instead of tomorrow, I just can't shake this feeling they are going to be early, I can't for see them holding off until day 28(Sunday) but I could be wrong as many have stated, they take their time. I don't really plan lock down until I go to bed tonight, and that will be just 6-8hrs earlier for lock down then anticipated. But, I will not candle any more, I will only candle if the 2 that I believe are going to make it and hatch and the other 3 aren't doing anything by Monday(day 29) I may even just do the planned out lock down when I wake up tomorrow morning(day26)
Ok, I'm a nut case I know!
I'm going into lock down NOW #19 just externally pipped, I see a very small spider chip in the shell and 1 part is raised, so I may very well have a duckling by tomorrow! I knew it!! My gut feeling was right! I'm going to have an early bird. From what I read here and there, that means they are stronger/healthier!
STEP AWAY FROM THE BATOR! right now..step more candeling no more holding eggs-let the bator kick in to do the work or you are taking the chances of losing humidty and shrink wrapping those ababies and making almost impossible for them to hatch out- breath and step away

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