HELP - When to intervene with Silky Duck eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by peepswiththepoof, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. peepswiththepoof

    peepswiththepoof Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Posted this in the Ducks section, but I didn't know if I would find additional help here!


    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. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

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    Um, I've never tryed to hatch duck eggs before but I have helped tons of chicken eggs out of their eggs. If they still don't have a pip then I got a ice pick and carefullu made a hole then slowly start to peal away the shell.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  3. peepswiththepoof

    peepswiththepoof Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So at what point do you decide to help them out? I don't want to do it early nor do I want to wait and then it's too late.
     
  4. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

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    Well you don't generally help before they pip. I'm not saying you can't, just that people generally don't. There is a much higher risk of pipping for them before they are ready to pip, which can lead to all sorts of problems and often times death.

    Usually when you decide to help you have to look at several things.

    How long has it been since pip? Usually you want to wait 24-48 hours, if there's been no progress. If they've pipped but they have made some progress, let them keep going even if it's been a while. From what I understand, ducks tend to take longer to hatch than chickens, and I mean the actual time between pip and zip. Someone once told me that their ducks routinely take 48+ hours to hatch after pip.

    Have their noises changed? Usually a pipped baby will squeak and squeal and generally make a lot of noise for something so small. If this noise weakens or ceases (and I don't mean pauses, they will take time to rest quietly), it is time to help. If you can sit near the incubator for a bit and there's no response when you peep at them first, it may be time to help depending on how noisy yours were to begin with.

    Has their movement/progress stopped? In some cases the baby will be able to pip the shell but they may either be too large or too bloated (if your humidity was too high, not really an issue in ducks since they want fairly high humidity, but still something to pay attention to) to turn themselves to zip the egg. Do not mistake long pauses in progress for stopped progress. In my limited experience, if they've shoved off a bunch of shell around the pip site in a circle (as opposed to more of a line or a directional cracking) they are not able to move like they should be.

    What does the inner membrane look like? There are 2 membranes the chick must pip and struggle out of. The first is just underneath the egg shell and will be white or off white in most cases. This can dry out and become tough to get through, but it's usually the second, inner membrane that causes a problem. If your humidity is too low, it can begin to shrink wrap the baby, keeping it in place and preventing it from turning to zip. If your humidity is too high, this can actually turn somewhat gelatinous (will look gummy and brown/yellow) after they've started closing down blood vessels, and it can drown the chick if it gets into the nostrils. The inner membrane should be clear/blue-ish with blood vessels or just plain clear and somewhat stretchy if you can see it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  5. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

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    How many days does it take for the silky ducks to hatch?
     
  6. peepswiththepoof

    peepswiththepoof Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kedreeva, thank you for all of the information!

    Here is information taken from Feather Acres, "We had a really hard time hatching them in the beginning. Holderread's has had a difficult time too. Apparently the young ducks were laying a really dense not very porous egg, that wasn't able to dehydrate enough before hatch. We had a really hard time getting a decent sized air cell on them by hatch time. We learned through trial and error, that daily spraying of the eggs was essential in the incubator. The best luck we had was under a runner duck hen. Otherwise, became sometimes necessary to help the babies out of their shells. They take about 26 days to hatch."


    I did as was suggested, and I have a perfect size air cell on both of the eggs. I just don't know what time frame was meant when it suggests "helping the babies out of their shells." I'm on Day 26 and neither of the eggs have pipped. I'm trying to figure out if help is necessary before the pip or after the pip. Oh, so confusing! [​IMG]
     
  7. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

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    @ Mrs. Fluffy: Ducks should have a 28 (28-30, some will say) day incubation period, excepting of course Muscovy ducks, who have a 35 day incubation period for whatever reason. Some will hatch early, some will hatch late.


    The duck eggs I am currently hatching all pipped (or died) before the actual hatch date. The first pip I had was on the day lockdown started (day 25), but this one did not hatch for over 48 hours. The rest pipped between then and hatch day, with the last one hatching the actual day. I don't know how much that helps, but I wouldn't personally worry about it until the hatch day arrives

    And their advice about spraying the eggs daily is indeed good and correct advice. The friend who gave me these eggs to hatch for her was unable to get any of the duck eggs to hatch in her incubator. I asked if she'd sprayed them once a day (and some people will advise letting the eggs 'cool' about 15 minutes per day as well) and she said no. Aside from actually infertile eggs (which I do check every egg that doesn't grow) all of the fertile eggs she gave to me grew to (or nearly to in one case) term just fine.

    As for whether to help or not, if you can still see wobbling or hear peeping (or both), they are still going in there. You should at least give them the full 28 days before considering helping (unless they've pipped) due to the risk of your helping actually doing more harm than good to a duckling that's not developed enough to hatch. I am not sure why they would tell you 26 days, unless the temps at their place are slightly higher than they should be during incubation or their ducks are very small. If it's a breed trait (which it could be, I'm not very familiar with silikie ducks) then they may know better.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010

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