how long should it take to internal pip


8 Years
May 1, 2011
my only duck egg is on day 29 he was pushing at the membrain to the air sac yesterday 2pm and hasnt made any progress today im thinking maybe its to hard for him and thinking of puting a 2-3mm hole in the airsac shell to see he colour of the membrain

am i right : clear good white bad

if the membrain looks dry ill put a tiny nic in it for him he is in the same hatcher as chicks so the hum is 60-70 and the duck is sitting on a damp cloth knowing he needs slightly higher

i really want this baby and dont want him to die trying id rather give him a helping hand then leave him to it i think it is a mallard i found the lone egg in the field with my horses it was stone cold when i found it no ducks in sight so i brought him in and gave him a chance and he has grown from nothing to a baby i could have left him but my horses would have crushed him

we had the same issue last year mr and misses mallard layed all there aggs in my horses hay hen my horse thought i great to crush them with her nose
but the duck hen moved to the pond in the next field and layed a second lot which hatched nicely

i think she had the same plane fer the hay this time and then rememberd and layed the rest in the pond and left this one egg behind
I have done that on occasions when I am worried- I assume you have opened the incubator during lockdown if you have seen this- so it may be very likely that there are humidity issues and the membrane is dry. I drill a hole into the aircell and use cotton tips or a spray bottle to wet the membrane inside. Rather than putting a nic in it- I would recommend just wetting it if it hasnt broken through yet- as it is very easy to break through a vein which could cause a fatal bleed.
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my incubator opens from the front the lower half so when i open it and stick the touch on the egg i dont loose that much heat or hum i lose some but not alot thoughout the day its steady at 60-70 when i wake up i have to top it up as it useally around 59% being made out of untreated wood the wood sucks up some of the moister but stays steady i think im going to put a little hole in he shell just to check

what is ment tobe the colour of the membrain?
If all is how it should be- the membrane will look clear and you can clearly see they veins if there is still blood in them. If it is dry- the membrane will look white.
I really don't advise opening the shell. Here's the thing: As long as the shell is intact, the membrane is very unlikely to dry out, unless the humidity has been very very low (how large is your air cell? If you have a normal-sized air cell, then your membrane is probably not dried out). However, if you break open the shell, even by a tiny bit, the membrane will dry out much more quickly. And you will cause the very problem you were trying to diagnose.

Besides, if the baby does not pip internally on its own, there is nothing you can do for it anyway. The membrane around the baby is full of blood vessels that the baby itself must turn off from the inside by pushing on them with its bill (from the inside). This is partly what it is doing when you see it pushing up against the membrane. If you poke a hole through that membrane before the baby is ready, it will bleed to death, end of story. The baby must do the internal pipping on its own, and if you open up the shell, you will just make it harder for that to happen because the membrane will dry out faster.

It can push against that inner membrane for several days before pipping internally, so it is most likely not in trouble now. The best thing you can do is to make sure your humidity is above 70% (80-90% is better), and KEEP THE INCUBATOR CLOSED. Sorry for the yelling but it really is that important. I know those last few days stretch on forever and they're real nail-biters. But at this point anything you do to that egg will decrease its odds of hatching.

Find something to do with your time. Check on the egg NO MORE than once every six hours. Better yet, check on it once every 12 or 24 hours. Don't open the incubator--just look at it through the windows. If you like, when you take it out ONE LAST TIME (right now), candle it and draw a circle around the air cell. Place it in the incubator so that the larger side of the air cell is pointed toward a window. That is where the duckling will pip, so now you know you'll be able to see when it does.

Good luck! Next time, hatch several eggs so if one doesn't make it you have back-up.
And there WILL be a next time--no one can hatch only one!!
I bet the little guy will be just fine. Relax and enjoy!

P.S. Edited to add: The membrane is NOT dried out right now. If the baby is pushing on the membrane, it means the baby is alive. If the baby is alive, it means there is blood flowing because right now that is the only way the baby can get oxygen since it does not take a breath until it internally pips. If blood is flowing, it has to have a moist membrane to flow through. Therefore, blood is flowing through the membrane therefore the membrane is not dried out. Just to set your mind at ease.
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Oh, one more thing. When you open the incubator and the humidity does not appear to drop, that is because the humidity meter takes time to register major changes and by the time it registers the change, the change no longer exists, so you never actually see a measurement of it. Have you ever been in a hot shower and opened the door for a second to grab a towel? You know that blast of cold air that makes you shiver? It only take a split second. A thermometer and humidity gauge might not register the change, but your body does.

Same thing here. That blast of dry air causes the warm air inside the incubator to cool suddenly (though briefly), and also forces all the moisture in the incubator (water wells, sponges, and the egg itself) to evaporate in a sudden burst to compensate for the humidity drop. You may not notice the humidity drop precisely because all the moisture sources are compensating by evaporating at a faster rate. One of those moisture sources is your egg (it bears repeating): It will suddenly give up moisture to compensate. THAT is why opening your incubator can lead to drying of membranes.

This is NOT a huge deal as long as the egg has not pipped externally. It is after the shell has been broken or cracked that the membrane becomes vulnerable. So don't worry too much (I mean, worry, but not TOO much) about having opened it up to this point. But from this point on, take one more look and then stop opening it. Some eggs will do just fine despite drops in humidity, but some won't, and you want to give them all the best possible chance--in your case, especially because it's the only one.

Good luck.

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