Is my hatchling in trouble?


Sep 20, 2020
First time hatching our own ducks. I've read that hatching takes awhile, so I'm trying to be patient. The first duckling pipped externally almost two days ago. I read that it could take up to 48 hours. It still hasn't started zipping. It's breathing and moving it's bill frequently, with breaks I'm between.

My concern is that if you look at it's little upside down bill, it's horizontal. Shouldn't it be vertical if it's going to zip around the wide end of the egg?

When should I intercede and assist?


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That is odd for sure. Since it's bill is through the external membrane it actually has started un-zipping, but if it's still chewing and yawning it got a little hasty with starting the process before the yolk was fully absorbed (also possible malposition). If it's been a full 48 hours then I would start by peeling a small piece of shell off, let it sit for another 2-3 hours then pull another piece off. After you remove a piece of shell take plain original Neosporin (you can also use Vaseline, coconut oil, olive oil etc) on a q tip and lightly coat any exposed membrane to keep it from sticking. If you see veins stop and wait for them to recede before pulling off any more shell. With it still chewing and yawning you want to remove the shell in small pieces allowing time in-between for the yolk time to finish absorbing.

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