How Important Is The"AIR BUBBLE"@ Top Of EGG?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by 1234duck, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. 1234duck

    1234duck Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm not quite sure about the air bubble. What size should it be & why? I have a feeling air bubble might be too big in the egg that hasn't hatched yet but not sure. Thanks, ~Julie~
  2. the bubble is IMPORTANT!

    the poor chick will suffocate without it!
  3. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    Julie- is the egg ready time wise to hatch? If so the air cell should be almost 1/3 the size of the egg. The duckling will move up into that space a bit as it starts to turn to unzip. I will find you a good link when I get home from work about the air cell developement as the egg progresses through the 28 day incubation period.
  4. duckking

    duckking Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 2, 2010
    Cascade Foothills, WA
  5. 1234duck

    1234duck Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was wondering because the air bubble looked different in 1 of the moving eggs. It kinda looked larger. The bubble was at top of egg & went more towards the side of egg. I think it was shrink wrap. {{{ ~ALICIA... Follow my drama on the "When should you help a hatch? Day33?" post. }}} Thanks e1, ~Julie~
  6. duckluck

    duckluck Dulcimyrh Ducks

    Oct 22, 2009
    I see the air cell go more toward the side all the time...not always, but some of the time. I lay my duck eggs on their sides and do the 180 degree hand turning.
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Air cell development is critical. It is the #1 reason, imo, for hatch failure in birds that have developed successfully up to lockdown.

    That having been said, don't panic if one is different from the others. There is a range of "normal" and until you've hatched a lot of birds, you won't know what that range looks like. It does help a lot to look at the links provided and see photos of air cells. You've already been told the correct size at lockdown--1/3 the total volume. This will usually be near the large end of the egg, but it's possible for it to be on the side a bit or even in the wrong end (which can cause the baby problems, but doesn't necessarily mean it will fail--it's kind of like a breach birth at that point--unusual and difficult but not necessarily fatal). Mine usually develop at an angle in the large end. Babies can also successfully hatch with an air cell that is 1/4 or even nearly 1/2 the volume. Anything smaller than 1/4 will be dicey. Larger than 1/2 and you probably already have a dead bird in there.

    Watching and recording air cell size will help you a lot with future hatches. Your humidity impacts how well the air cell develops, so if your air cells are too small, you'll know to lower your humidity next time, and vice versa. The porousness of the egg can affect air cell development too, and a large air cell may mean that the shell is more porous. Again, this doesn't spell doom, but it is a good reason to select eggs with good quality shells. An egg that dies during development, or never develops, will evaporate more quickly and result in an extra-large air cell--again, nothing you can do about that. It's best to remove them though, because the extra humidity created by the extra evaporation can cause the other eggs not to develop properly (learned that the hard way--but it's mostly a problem if you have a large batch and a bunch of eggs that aren't developing--for me it was quail eggs, which are so tiny I wasn't bothering to candle, which was a mistake).

    An air cell that is too small does not provide enough space for the baby to get its bill in and breathe for the 12-48 hours between internal pip and external pip. An air cell that is too large does not provide enough room for the baby to complete its development. In any event, there is not much you can do at this point to help except just watch. Trying to help nearly always does more harm than good at this stage, especially if you're new at it.

    That's a lot of information, and you don't need to remember it all at once. The main thing right now to take away is this: Pay attention to air cell size. Record it somewhere. Correlate it with your actual hatch rate. Over time, you'll learn what you need to know. In the mean time, relax and enjoy the hatch. Don't rush it. Just enjoy. [​IMG] Good luck!!!!
  8. 1234duck

    1234duck Chillin' With My Peeps

    iamcuriositycat...Thank you for the detailed help! It really helps me to understand now. I will look back through this again and again when I'm having more concerns. I like to be able to look back and refresh my memory on things. Thanks again, ~Julie~

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by