No idea how old these eggs are...and other questions.

Allie

Hatching
10 Years
Mar 13, 2009
8
0
7
Oregon
Long story short, my housemate was on vacation and there was a nearby mallard nest where the mama was killed by a cat. Not knowing what to do (the temp was dropping and it started to rain), she brought them in the cabin she was staying in and then drove them home, 2.5 hrs with the heat 100% cranked.

I fashioned a homemade incubator, which we promptly put them in (this was on Monday evening). The temp has been steady at 100 degrees, humidity ranging between 60% and 75% (trying to keep it at 70). I've candled the eggs, and some are dark with the air cell "dipping down." Others aren't as dark and show clear blood vessels. (They look like day 25 and day 17 respectively http://www.metzerfarms.com/Candling.cfm ) And then, others look more like day 2 (thinking those are likely dead).

Anyhow, I'm not really sure what to do from here. Every native animal rescue that we called (we called 8 of them within a 200 mile radius) said that we should keep the eggs warm and see what happens because they can't take eggs....though they will take baby ducks if they hatch. So....questions:

- Is there anything else that I can do to increase chances of survival?
- Is there even a remote chance that any of them have survived?
- Can eggs from the same clutch develop at different rates?
- Are the dark ones dead, or more likely getting ready to hatch?

I figure that I'll keep this up for another week....and if there are no changes when candling, etc after that, it's likely a wash. So far, none of the eggs smell or anything, so that seems like good news... I have had chickens for a long time, but a. have never hatched anything, or b. dealt with ducks....


*Slight update, candled again with all lights off and a brighter light and the one that shows the super clear blood vessels definitely is alive and moving. So that's 1 out of 9 at least.

*Edited to add- the first egg externally pipped!
 
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Allie

Hatching
10 Years
Mar 13, 2009
8
0
7
Oregon
No responses....but luckily by combing this forum and the rest of the internet, I was able to figure out that 5 were definitely not going to do anything. So I discarded them last night, so as not to taint the other eggs.

Good news is that one is definitely alive and well at what looks like day 21. AND another has internally pipped! And there are 2 others that look like their development is somewhere in-between the two that I mentioned.

I am so excited and hoping not to f it up from here. This is one of those crapshoot animal things that I undertake because I'm a bleeding heart and nobody else is going to step in, so it's always nice when it works out. Temp is about 98 and humidity is at 60 (with this pretty cheap hygrometer: http://www.amazon.com/Springfield-9...1303&sr=8-6&keywords=thermometer+/+hygrometer)

Any other advice? Now that I know that at least 2 are viable, I really want to do whatever I can to keep them that way.

Thanks!
 

caesargirl

Songster
May 13, 2015
2,011
287
188
Unity, Maine
No responses....but luckily by combing this forum and the rest of the internet, I was able to figure out that 5 were definitely not going to do anything. So I discarded them last night, so as not to taint the other eggs.

Good news is that one is definitely alive and well at what looks like day 21. AND another has internally pipped! And there are 2 others that look like their development is somewhere in-between the two that I mentioned.

I am so excited and hoping not to f it up from here. This is one of those crapshoot animal things that I undertake because I'm a bleeding heart and nobody else is going to step in, so it's always nice when it works out. Temp is about 98 and humidity is at 60 (with this pretty cheap hygrometer: http://www.amazon.com/Springfield-9-125-Vertical-Thermometer-Hygrometer/dp/B0030SZ4P0/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1432361303&sr=8-6&keywords=thermometer+%2F+hygrometer)

Any other advice? Now that I know that at least 2 are viable, I really want to do whatever I can to keep them that way.

Thanks!
Congratulations and good luck! Although it's bad form, if you need help, mention this thread in a similar but more active thread.... Someone should help!! And this world could use some more bleeding hearts like yours!
 

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