Need help; duckling pipped wrong end (36 hours ago; no progress)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by In2Caps, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. In2Caps

    In2Caps Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    22
    Aug 29, 2011
    I have a single egg in an incubator. (It was the only one of six that was fertile.) I'm not a duck breeder; I have four "rescue" ducks, including a pair of Pekins and my nephew talked me into this. I have an incubator (which an automatic turner). Day 26 was four days ago. I removed the turner, dropped the temperature a little bit, and increased the humidity.

    36 hours ago, the egg pipped--on the wrong end (duck eggs don't really have an obvious narrow end--this one doesn't--but it is the opposite end than the air sac). There is a dimed sized hole (and a slit in the membrane). I can hear the duckling peep (mostly when I say something) and he will then push its bill against the slit/membrane a few times but them gives up. The only "progress" that has been made after the initial pip was about 24 hours ago when the hole went from much smaller to the size it is now. (I also believe that's when the membrane was broken, because that's when I first heard the peep. I know the duckling can breathe but is there a point that I can/should intervene. My nephew (and I) will be beyond devastated if this duckling dies--I know it might despite any efforts--but if there is a point where his only chance IS help, I need to take it.

    I have read obsessively in the last 12 hours about what can happen if you intervene too early the duckling can not have absorbed the yolk, etc.

    Please help. I need advice on what to do and at what point if he makes no progress.

    Thank you.

    Karen
     
  2. spainshchikens

    spainshchikens Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    21
    Nov 12, 2014
    Can you put a puc to i can give the best help i can i had the same problem with a leg horn Americana mix
     
  3. spainshchikens

    spainshchikens Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    21
    Nov 12, 2014
     
  4. In2Caps

    In2Caps Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    22
    Aug 29, 2011
    Picture below. I think things are getting dire. He has never been a particularly active duckling (I think he is in a very difficult position within the egg). I chipped away about a third of the outer shell about two hours ago (remember his head is at the bottom--away from the air sac) and at some point in the last hour or so, the membrane is definitely more open (it was about half this open earlier; I don't think I damaged it when removing the outer shell, but he how seems to be lethargic (no peeping and not a lot of movement). It's EXTREMELY difficult to see what's going on inside the membrane. It is very white and kind of leathery and most of it will not "clear" even when I dampen it with water.

    This is the worst thing EVER. I don't know if help will help or help will hurt. He's in the incubator, wrapped in moist paper towels (not over the open area, though), temperature about 98, humidity 75-80.

    I feel like I'm just waiting for him to die--all while his little beak is sticking out from the membrane. It's moving a little but he isn't either chirping or straining at this point.

    K[​IMG]
     
  5. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,704
    228
    138
    Jul 26, 2014
    Sweden
    When you move back a piece of the white membrane that is already open, do you see any little blood vessels in the clear membrane underneath? After 36 hours of having pipped, I think it is likely ready to come out. But you MUST be sure you can no longer see blood vessels in that clear inner membrane. They will be so fine and tiny (like very very tiny pink hairs that are hard to see) when the blood has drained all the way and it is safe for the little one to hatch. If you help it out before those vessels are gone (they are obvious little red vessels when still filled with blood) it could bleed to death, and also that would mean the yolk is not fully absorbed. Once the blood in those inner membrane vessels is drained, the yolk should also be absorbed and the duckling ready to come out.

    I had a Cayuga Duckling pip the wrong end of her egg a couple months ago. Same problem, she wasn't able to make any progress on her own since she did not have sufficient space inside the egg to turn and "unzip" her egg. I had to assist her to hatch, much like you have with this guy. I waited until those blood vessels were drained of blood and then helped her out the rest of the way (about 36 hours after her initial pip). She survived and is almost 11 weeks old now. Super sweet duck, so glad I was able to save her. :)

    Good luck with this guy, and I think it's definitely time to help it the rest of the way if those vessels are indeed empty of blood now. It's getting weaker from what you're describing and likely won't last much longer struggling in vain to get out.

    I'm assuming you've read through this page in all of your researching? It is the best, and what helped me save my little Cayuga:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/step-by-step-guide-to-assisted-hatching

    There is a section aways down the page about when they pip the wrong end of the egg. Good luck, and keep us updated!
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
  6. In2Caps

    In2Caps Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    22
    Aug 29, 2011
    Yes, I read that pdf 2-3 times, but none of the pictures looked like what I'm dealing with right now. I guess there are two membranes covered by the shell (so three layers between the outside and the duckling). A lot of those pictures showed the shell removed, but the membrane intact (and see through). Right now, there's a broken membrane (both layers) and the layers are mostly "stuck together" where they have broken open (and the bill of the duckling is visible). Where the two membranes are stuck together, if I look at the underneath the vein only seem to be very faint and spidery (hairlike). But, I was able to find a flap that seemed to be separated (the white outer membrane from the underneath clearer membrane)--and that looks more veiny or with more blobs of blood in it. See new picture below. (My hands were sanitized when I did this; I couldn't hold him and the camera and tweezers.)

    Could he have just pipped through externally EARLY (because he did it on the wrong end) but not yet be ready to fully hatch? OR (I am worrying myself to death here) is he so "bound" in the position he's in that he can't move around enough to do what he needs to do to absorb the blood and yolk?

    It's now about 40 hours from when he first pipped externally (at the wrong end of the egg--there was no internal pipping to my knowledge).

    K
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,704
    228
    138
    Jul 26, 2014
    Sweden
    It looks like there's a little fresh blood near the paper towel in this pic, so maybe he isn't quite ready to come out. When they hatch from the wrong end they do externally pip earlier than usual (about a day before they would normally externally pip) because that's the only way for them to get air since they are not hatching out of the air cell. It's hard to see where the vessels are in the pic you just posted, but if that is fresh blood on the white membrane near the paper towel, he's likely not ready to come out yet.

    So, this is day 30 for this guy, right? My "breach" duckling hatched out (with my help of course) on day 30 as well, so your guy is not too crazy late or anything at this point. Are you still seeing some movement from him? Ducklings do tend to rest for long periods during hatching, but you also don't want him to get too tired out trying to hatch. It's a difficult art, assisted hatching. So hard to know when the time is right. Is there any way you can peek in where the membrane is open (maybe gently push the membrane up a bit and shine a flashlight in; you'll need an assistant for that most likely) and see if you see any yolk or blood vessels in that inner membrane in other areas around the duckling?
     
  8. In2Caps

    In2Caps Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    22
    Aug 29, 2011
    Okay. It does look that that one tear is bloody to me too. I'll try to leave him alone for a few hours and pray he can find the strength to do what he needs to do.

    If another several hours passes with no progress, I'll post again. Thank you so much for your help.

    K
     
  9. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,704
    228
    138
    Jul 26, 2014
    Sweden
    With the shell removed though, it's not likely he'll be able to make any/much progress on his own. They kind of need that hardness of the shell to whack against to break through the membrane. So this just means you'll probably have to slowly remove the membrane for him when it's time. At least enough for him to be able to simply push himself out. But yes, good to wait a few more hours and check those vessels again. Keep up the humidity and everything you're doing! I have my fingers crossed for you and the little one. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
  10. In2Caps

    In2Caps Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    22
    Aug 29, 2011
    Okay. Can you explain (so that I'm prepared) what action I will need to take once I think the veins are "good"? Do I finish peeling off the hard shell and keep the membrane, or just go ahead and take it all off and get him out of there "manually."? Do I somehow try to keep the inner membrane intact? So many of the pictures look like the assisted ducklings still have that after the assistance. (I love this little duckling with all my heart and soul already. I know his odds aren't great--and the worry that I will do something to reduce those odds are literally making me sick to my stomach.

    K
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by