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New Australian Hatching Mystery Egg at Home

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Teloka, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. Teloka

    Teloka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello! My name is Teloka, and I'm living in Australia! I hope it's okay to make my first post here and not in the 'newcomers' thread, but I'm incubating an egg so I thought this was most appropriate. I've been reading many forum posts here to help me get set up, so I thought I ought to join, explain my situation, and say thankyou!

    About two weeks ago I found an egg on the doormat! Just sitting there all alone, as though left by a stork. I looked all around for any wild birds; it couldn't have fallen from a tree as it was well under the verandah, and my best guess is with all the bad weather we have been having lately, motherbird decided to lay on the doormat because it was dry and safe. No birds came back after a day, and so I thought I would collect the egg and warm it, in case it was fertile, with no idea what it might be and expecting it to be infertile considering it had been abandoned.

    I set it up in a home-made very simplistic incubator; a glass dish, with some damp cottonballs and a standing desk lamp to keep the temperature. I honestly wasn't expecting anything, but I candled it at day seven and lo-- circulatory system! I was so surprised! I can post a couple of photos of the egg and incubator if anybody is interested in that, but I'm not very good at taking photos of the candling.

    I am now at day 12, and at my most recent candle there was a small dark pink embryo which danced around, and an itty dot which I think was the tiny eye. So cute!

    I have some experience with hand raising and breeding/hatching parrots (have an Indian Ringneck Parrot and a Cockatiel), and I have raised ducklings, geese and guinea fowl before, but I have never incubated an egg from scratch.

    I wanted to ask, I have been looking around at how to improve my home incubator. At the moment the temperature is relatively stable but it fluctuates by about 1'c celcius, especially over night. I try to keep it at 37'2c (98.96'f) by adjusting the level of the desk lamp, but it sometimes fluctuates to 37.8 (100'f) and down to 36 (96.8'f). I also am unsure if I am keeping my incubator too humid, I don't have any way to measure the humidity in there, but there are some droplets on the glass.

    I also have no idea what the egg might be! It is very white, and slightly larger than a chicken egg, so I am expecting perhaps a native Australian duck. We have lots of Australian wood ducks in our area that visit our house and our backyard because we have a dam, and no wild chickens that I think could have layed it, but there are also some peacocks in a nearby street, and we get quite a few pheasants in this area.

    It is very exciting! I really hope I can do good by this little baby, whatever it may be!

    I'm very excited to be here on BYC and get a chance to talk to some people who might be as interested in my eggventure as I am (as I think those around me are tired of hearing about my egg already!) Again, if I've posted in the wrong area or anything like that, or if this post is much too long (I am such a rambler, especially about birds!) please let me know and I'll do my best to correct anything. ^v^
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    How fun! I remember being told the native ducks were dreadful parents deserting chicks at the first sign of danger so could well be a deserted duck egg :)

    No experience with incubating but curious what will hatch :)
     
  3. Teloka

    Teloka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you very much! Sorry for my late reply, I got snowed under with client work last weekend.

    Our egg is still going well, although we had a temperature spike the other day that frightened me (up to 39'c in the incubator for a few hours while I was out). I candled the egg in the evening though and the embryo inside is still moving and wriggling around and growing, so I hope that is a good sign! :) I also got my hands on a humidity tester, and it is 50% humidity inside our incubator bowl. I read that ducks should have about 45-55%, so I think 50% is good?

    If it is indeed a wood duck and with a 28 day incubation cycle, it should be due to hatch in about 9 days. I have seen the same pair of wood ducks wandering around our street lately, so maybe they are looking for their egg. It is exciting, but also a bit nerve-wracking, I am getting quite anxious to make sure I don't do something wrong now in the last week and a bit.
     
  4. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus w/crappy Inet Premium Member

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  5. Teloka

    Teloka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you very much Sally! I had a read of both the posts, they are very informative! We don't have the resources for such complex incubators (we only have one egg and our incubator is incredibly simple), but I didn't realize how necessary the ventilation is. I opened a small gap to make sure the egg has enough fresh air and I can hopefully still maintain the humidity and warmth. :)

    I've looked at standard incubation rates for Australian Wood Ducks and it seems to be 28 days like a basic duck although it says sometimes it can go up to 34 days. I'm not sure when I should stop turning the egg in that case and start increasing the humidity in lock down.

    The embryo seems to be growing reasonably well although I have nothing to compare it to to see if development is on track or not. I candled it this morning which I try to do as rarely as possible (once every 2-3 days), and I assume I should stop all together soon as it only has 9 days to go (to 28 days.)
     
  6. ChucktheChick

    ChucktheChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :welcome keep us updated!
     
  7. Teloka

    Teloka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought I would share some photos of my set up!
    As I mentioned, our set up is really very simplistic! We are only incubating a single egg and as much as I'd love to, I doubt my family will let me take on incubating as a long term hobby, so simple was best.


    [​IMG]

    I did progress from this a little though, the bowl is wrapped in a large towel for insulation, and now we have a second thermometer which sits inside the bowl and measures two additional lots of temperature, and humidity, and I make sure there is ventilation around the edges. The egg is not sitting on anything damp, and I turn it by hand as many times a day as I can! I know this set up is a lot more simple to many of the more advanced incubators here, but it still seems to be working!

    I took this photo when I candled it a few days ago, and then because I was frustrated at the inability to get a decent photograph of the embryo (hard to hold egg, torch and camera all at the same time) I quickly illustrated the rough size and shape of what I saw when I candled it again this morning (day 20).


    [​IMG][​IMG]

    It is definitely not this contrasted or dark, but I tried to make it clearer to see, the shapes are harder to distinguish in real life. It is very wriggly inside, seems to waggle it's little "wings" around and bob what I think is its head. The mark on the shell is a sort of white bump that is on the outside and has been there from day one! Does this development look sort of alright for day 20, to anyone with experience in ducks? I'm wondering if my temperature is being kept perhaps a little bit too low because I have been nervous about accidentally letting it get too high and I have been maintaining it at between 37.2'c and 37.8'c.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. trapper john

    trapper john Out Of The Brooder

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    Very cool good for you keep it up.
     
  9. trapper john

    trapper john Out Of The Brooder

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    Btw welcom to byc enjoy.. everyone on here is very helpfull and friendly.
     
  10. TheWeaver

    TheWeaver Out Of The Brooder

    Blargh, this is so exciting ._.!
     

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