partially hatched duckling with dried membrane

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Sharks and Jets, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. Sharks and Jets

    Sharks and Jets New Egg

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    Feb 6, 2016
    We have three mallard duck eggs in an incubator. Yesterday was the due date and right on schedule one of the eggs cracked. The duckling inside seemed to be struggling, since a half dollar sized hole was formed in the shell and the membrane was drying out. Being new to this, we tried to find an answer as to what to do and came upon information that indicated we might try to help. I think the info was incomplete, however, because advice I found later indicated that if the duckling wasn't making any peeping sounds we should probably just cover the membrane with a damp piece of toweling and leave well enough alone. We pierced the membrane, being very careful not to touch the duckling inside. There was slight bleeding in one area, so we stopped. I had trouble sleeping when I finally did go to sleep because I truly feel that what we did was probably wrong...so here's my burning question: the duckling is still moving, mostly opening its mouth occasionally and wriggling, but only making a small peeping sound once in a while. I gently covered any areas with damp clean paper towel pieces and the duckling is in the incubator. All evidence of bleeding stopped last night (never so much as to drip, thank goodness). The dried membrane that concerns me the most is like albumin that has dried to form a shellac over a large area. I fear trying to remove it without softening it first might harm the duckling by either pulling out down or tearing skin. Leaving it there makes it impossible for the duckling to hatch on her own. Help is very much appreciated, especially from someone who has successfully dealt with this issue or a vet. What do we do now?
     
  2. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    Sounds like they might be gooey from not enough moisture loss during incubation... has it made it out yet? Any others pipped? Can you post a pic?
     
  3. Sharks and Jets

    Sharks and Jets New Egg

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    Feb 6, 2016
    One duckling hatched completely successfully and is doing great, but the duckling in question does not seem to have completely absorbed her yolk yet. I managed to clear the egg shell and membrane the rest of the way, but when I saw the yolk sack and a few veins that still seemed to be attached I stopped and gently put the shell back. I wrapped the duckling with saran, leaving a hole for the exposed beak, The duckling is still breathing and occasionally opens her mouth as if to peep, but no sound comes out. We are on day 31 of incubation. Sorry, no pics currently. You mentioned the moisture being too high. Could that explain the slow development?
     
  4. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    Middle Tennessee
    I'd take the saran off and just set the duckling in a small bowl/cup instead... the yawning motion you describe is what they do while absorbing yolk, no worries... delayed hatching or yolk absorption issues is usually temp related...
     

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