HELP - When to intervene with Silky Duck eggs?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by peepswiththepoof, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. peepswiththepoof

    peepswiththepoof Songster

    May 19, 2010
    Rougemont, NC
    Finally, it's here - DAY 26 with my Silky Duck eggs! I know I don't need to intervene yet, but if I need to do so, when do I do it? I just don't want to lose the little ones! I know I've read that Silky Ducks have a hard time at hatch and that it's sometimes necessary to help them out of their shell...I just don't know when?!? After they pip? Before they pip? Ahh, someone please HELP!
  2. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    I havent had silky ducks - but will offer this general advise on assisting ducklings to hatch. If they dont pip themselves- it could be one of two broad reasons... 1. Incubator temp or humidity too low or high or 2. weak or deformed duckling. Assisting a duckling from the first reason may save a life- while from the second - the duckling may not survive anyway.

    Assisting a hatch obviously means opening the incubator- once that is done all eggs are effected- You may find that if you open to assit one egg- you will have to assist them all due to the humidity not being mantained. I always spray the eggs with a fine mist of water if the incubator has been opened to try to counteract moisture loss.

    I only assist when the due time has passed. And only ever eggs that have pipped internally for 24 hours with no further progeression. I have found in most of these cases the eggs were too dry and the ducklings were unable to move in the egg.
    If assisting a duckling- I will only get it to the point where it has room to move to get its head out- after that they are on their own- as it is impportant for the duckling to do some of the work itself as a way of strengthening itself.

    When picking away the shell- I try and do it so the underlying membrane is not removed from anywhere that was not in the aircell. It reduces the risk of causing a bleed that may be fatal. I pick away a small amount of shell at a time and leave the duckling for a number of hours before before picking off any more. Any sign of bleeding and they should be left for alot longer as it is a sign that the yolk and blood from the vessels has not been absorbed fully and the duckling is not ready to hatch.

    Best of luck with your hatch.
  3. L0rraine

    L0rraine Songster

    May 20, 2009
    Whidbey Island
    Quote:As with human pregnancies it seems on rare occasions they come early, but more often they come a little late. Most of mine that have pipped go pretty quick <12 hours, but more than a few have gone nearly 48 hours and made it out fine (a couple a little longer). I've lost more than saved by 'helping', so it's still very hard for me to decide what to do. But one helpful thing to remember is that they've got a nice sized yolk sack attached which gives them energy for at least 48 hours once they are ready to find their way into the world. If you see that they can't get through the white membrane, chances are they are going to have a rough time and I would read carefully and thoroughly the 'sticky' posts under incubating and hatching in the chicken section before trying to help.

    I know we all have slightly different advice - and it can be a hard road. Nature IS amazing, but for some it's a pretty daunting task finding their way out of that shell.

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