Membrane movement before internal pip - how long

KCNC06

Crowing
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
436
376
281
Central NC
I think I saw a post about this subject from several years ago but didn't see an answer to the question. Does anyone know how long you'll see a duckling pressing against their membrane before actually breaking through for that internal pip? I've hatched a lot of eggs in the incubator so I know the actual hatch time can be several days from internal pip. I've never seen them moving their membrane for days before the internal pip. Unfortunately I'm not 100% sure how old the eggs are because we ended up with them by accident. I've had them in the incubator since 10/5 though and guessed they looked like they were about 12-14 days developed then. (From our ducks, not taken from a wild nest or anything silly like that.) There are 4 eggs, they're not Muscovy, and all look very full so it makes sense that they're close to hatching time. One has been wiggling his membrane at the air cell for 5 days now, the others started 4 days ago. I'm a bit concerned that something might be wrong with the membrane. Too tough or something. I've assisted with many a hatch so I feel ok doing that if it's time, I'm just not sure how to know if it's time. Their movement in the air cell has been much slower/less today than when I looked 2 days ago.
I guess I'm trying to figure out if 4-5 days of trying to get through the membrane into the air cell is normal or if they might need help. Any ideas?
 

HollowOfWisps

Previously AstroDuck
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Aug 28, 2020
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I think I saw a post about this subject from several years ago but didn't see an answer to the question. Does anyone know how long you'll see a duckling pressing against their membrane before actually breaking through for that internal pip? I've hatched a lot of eggs in the incubator so I know the actual hatch time can be several days from internal pip. I've never seen them moving their membrane for days before the internal pip. Unfortunately I'm not 100% sure how old the eggs are because we ended up with them by accident. I've had them in the incubator since 10/5 though and guessed they looked like they were about 12-14 days developed then. (From our ducks, not taken from a wild nest or anything silly like that.) There are 4 eggs, they're not Muscovy, and all look very full so it makes sense that they're close to hatching time. One has been wiggling his membrane at the air cell for 5 days now, the others started 4 days ago. I'm a bit concerned that something might be wrong with the membrane. Too tough or something. I've assisted with many a hatch so I feel ok doing that if it's time, I'm just not sure how to know if it's time. Their movement in the air cell has been much slower/less today than when I looked 2 days ago.
I guess I'm trying to figure out if 4-5 days of trying to get through the membrane into the air cell is normal or if they might need help. Any ideas?
For ducklings yes that's normal. Usually I see it for anywhere from 4-6 days before an internal pip. I've noticed the more they seem to move against the membrane those eggs tend to go from internal to external pip the fastest. Do you have pictures of the candled eggs? From the sounds of it I would guess you may have ducklings by the end of the weekend.
 

KCNC06

Crowing
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
436
376
281
Central NC
For ducklings yes that's normal. Usually I see it for anywhere from 4-6 days before an internal pip. I've noticed the more they seem to move against the membrane those eggs tend to go from internal to external pip the fastest. Do you have pictures of the candled eggs? From the sounds of it I would guess you may have ducklings by the end of the weekend.
Sadly I don't have pictures. I would probably need a helper since I'd have to use my camera instead of phone's camera. Darn phone camera never wants to focus on what I want it to focus on. 😂
The one that was wiggling it's membrane on Saturday morning (5 days ago) seemed to be farthest along the whole time. I named him Webster. Hopefully he makes some progress by tomorrow since it'll be his 6th day of pecking at that membrane. The 4th egg, I haven't seen any movement in the air cell but the egg is all dark like it should be at this point. Clearly looks to be full of duckling. I was starting to think he was dead since he wasn't moving at all so I put him in a bowl of warm water yesterday. He immediately started wiggling his egg. Sorry buddy! I'm starting to think he might be a weirdo who will come out from the wrong part of the egg. I've hatched several "breech" ducklings so I'm not terribly worried. I know things can go wrong if they hit a blood vessel but I think I had about 5 breech ducklings a couple years ago and they all made it out fine.
 

KCNC06

Crowing
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
436
376
281
Central NC
Quick update on the eggs. Webster and one of the other two made it through to their internal pip during the night. No peeping yet but I can tell they're through into the air cell. #3 is still wiggling at his membrane. #4 is nowhere near his air cell. No wiggling of the membrane and there's actually a little "clear" space in the egg on the other side of the air cell. This guy is squished all the way up in the narrow end of the egg. Clearly very bad at directions. I told my husband I was going to name this one after me...so bad at directions he can't even find the air cell end of an egg.
 

KCNC06

Crowing
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
436
376
281
Central NC
Update: the duckling who started wiggling on 10/16 pipped externally on Friday (10/22), I had been calling him Webster, along with one who had started wiggling on 10/17 and the breech duckling. Unfortunately Webster turned his head away from the air cell and suffocated yesterday morning while duckling #2, Sassafras, was hatching. The other two babies, Backwards Betty and Percy, hatched early this morning. Super cute barnyard mix babies. ♥️
 

KCNC06

Crowing
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
436
376
281
Central NC
Going clockwise from the top we have Sassafras, Backwards Betty and Percy (AKA Persimmon). I wish Percy would cooperate with me enough to let me get a picture of his feet. His toes and webs are pink but the rest of his foot/leg is solid black.
KIMG0237~2.JPG
 

KCNC06

Crowing
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
436
376
281
Central NC
@Miss Lydia Thanks! Any ideas on what would have caused Webster to turn the wrong direction after he pipped externally? Is that a malposition issue? I wish I could remember where his beak ended up in relation to the pipped hole.
I've never had baby chicks or ducklings this late in the year. When I hatched some last time, and any I've bought, have been in late spring or summer so it's practically warm enough for them to go outside immediately. I'm not sure how long these will have to stay inside before going out. By the time they get their grown-up feathers it's going to be December! Fingers crossed we have a VERY mild winter!! 😂
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
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12 Years
Oct 3, 2009
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I honestly don't know why they do this. I'd say most likely Malposition. @shawluvsbirds would probably be able to say more about this.

I had some OEGB chicks hatch in Oct one year. Under a mama hen, I did set u a heat lamp over their stall I kept them in. Even mama enjoyed it. That's the only way I can imagine having littles out this time of year. But having just 3 shouldn't be too bad inside.
 

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