Incubating Mallard Egg - Need Advice!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Doppelganger, May 4, 2011.

  1. Doppelganger

    Doppelganger New Egg

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    May 4, 2011
    Hi guys,

    I've been reading quite a lot of stuff on the forum and lurking lately. There's some awesome advice to be had here and tons of great resources. Thank you all for that! [​IMG]

    The reason I'm posting, though, is because I need some direct advice from experienced hatchers. My girlfriend and I recently came across a dead mallard on her college campus. We're not sure if it was killed by some other animal (we figured if that was the case it was most likely a cat, since it did not appear to have been eaten or otherwise dismembered) or by poison (the college recently sprayed pesticides, so that also seems a likely contender).

    There were two eggs left in the nest. We think the momma was about midway through laying her clutch, because there were also what looked to be several smashed eggs around on the sidewalk, but not enough for a full clutch (the girlfriend is a bio major so she's been pretty knowledgeable about this type of stuff).

    Naturally, we did not have an incubator on hand, but we wanted to give the little guys a fighting chance. We set up an ad-hoc incubator with a toaster oven; we've been manually adjusting the dial as necessary. There have been a few spikes but when we leave it alone it holds pretty consistently at a 99-100 degree range. By using a wet sponge and a shallow ceramic bowl filled with hot water we've kept the humidity at 55%+. On more humid days it's been getting up to 70%+. We will be moving to another state within a couple of weeks and we're thinking that before we go we'll build a 'real' incubator with some of the plans here and get a power inverter so we can run it off of the car battery during the road trip. [​IMG]

    One of the eggs, sadly, did not make it. We think it died pretty early because it had a clearly visible 'blood ring' around the yolk.

    Development is taking place in the other, and the egg, when candled, shows VERY clear veins going to the air sac.

    However, I am a bit concerned because we are seeing no movement. From looking at YouTube videos, movement seems to be pretty commonplace at this stage of development (we're relatively sure this is Day 8). We can see the embryo and the vein network, but not really any movement within the egg. My girlfriend accidentally dropped the little guy today when she was taking it out of the 'toastubator' (she feels horrible, I'm taking her out to dinner tonight to take her mind off of it). He fell only a foot or so on to soft carpet, but I'm afraid it might have severed the umbilical or something, and this is why I'm not seeing any movement.

    Any idea whether no movement means a definite case of death? I'm really hoping that hasn't happened. We were really thinking we might just have a miracle mallard baby after all once we saw the veins and clear signs of development. [​IMG] We figured we were going to name him/her 'Toast'... lemme know if the little guy/gal has a chance of pulling through.

    -Dopp
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  2. Doppelganger

    Doppelganger New Egg

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    May 4, 2011
    No advice, huh? [​IMG]
     
  3. lobo307

    lobo307 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 21, 2011
    try to keep the temp as steady as possable and candle in 3 more days
     
  4. Doppelganger

    Doppelganger New Egg

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    May 4, 2011
    Thanks! I will definitely do that, and let everyone know what happens.
     
  5. Baralak

    Baralak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes I would do the same as well.. I actually had a 3 year old get ahold of my Brinsea Octagon during the last hatch with it.. He rocked it back and forth VERY VERY VERY fast... so fast infact that the water in the wells spashed all inside the bator.. and believe it or not, I had a 60% hatch on shipped eggs... who knew...scramble them about half the way through.

    [​IMG]

    good luck on your incubation project
     

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