Possibly hatching problems ...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by acipolone, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. acipolone

    acipolone Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2010
    Hammond, LA
    We have 5 eggs that should be hatching soon (like, tomorrow!) but we're worried that we're not seeing any pips. We candled over the weekend and there was movement and even heard some peeping from a few, but still no pips.

    These eggs were collected from one of our runner/orpington hatchlings from earlier this year who started laying. The ones we've eaten have had some very thick shells, so we're assuming these eggs might be the same. Will that pose a problem for the ducklings inside? Should we help them out at all?

    I know a lot of people say to not help, to let them do it on their own, but last time we ignored those recommendations and helped some out (they had ended up positioned backwards in the egg somehow) and now have some wonderful, healthy ducks because of that.

    The 29th, tomorrow, will be 28 days of incubating. There was a short period of time a week ago when the incubator became unplugged, but these 5 we have left all showed good signs of development. (And the peeping is a pretty clear indicator, I think.)

    Any recommendations?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    They only have 24 hours from the internal pip to the external pip or they will suffocate. Check the shells for small dimples or cracks. The ones you've heard chirping should have an external pip or you will need to create on for them. They should be out within 48 hours after the external pip has occurred.
     
  3. acipolone

    acipolone Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2010
    Hammond, LA
    Wow, that was fast!

    If there's no external pip, but peeping going on inside, should we make any assumptions or just hold off for now? It's only day 27, so I'm willing to wait, but it'll be nice to have some ducks from this clutch we pulled.

    We started with about 14 or so and are down to just these 5, with only 2 peeping right now. All the eggs from our original mama (Mrs. Ducky) were all bunk -- thin shells, lots of air bubbles inside, unfertilized -- so we're hoping that our losses won't be that bad.

    What's the gentlest way to create an external pip? Should it be done near the air sack?
     
  4. acipolone

    acipolone Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2010
    Hammond, LA
    Just realized you said 24 hours. I think they internally pipped already night before last ... I'm gonna run home from lunch and see if I can't help a little bit, I guess. Hopefully they're hanging in there.

    Thanks again!
     
  5. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    The best way to externally pip is using a dull tool and tap where the air sack used to be. They should be in the air sack when they are chirping. You carefully chip a tiny bit of shell off, and then take a toothpick and carefully pierce the membrane without poking the duckling inside of it. I write on a sheet which egg has moved and chirped with the date and time. That way I know to watch for cracks and dimples within 24 hours. The point is that the duckling will run out of air if it does not pip the shell. I had one die this year, because I've missed the time. You have time once the small hole is there because they do get air. The problem is that you should not open the incubator at all if possible. It is usually best not to interfere with the hatching process, and it may be best to sit tight and wait. BTW the external pips can be so small that you may not even see it.
     
  6. acipolone

    acipolone Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2010
    Hammond, LA
    Out of the 5 maybes, we only had one make it. On Tuesday after your replies (and thank you again for them!) I went home and poked holes in the shells of those who had internally pipped. The one that we heard peeping from on Sunday sort of slumped over when I was candling and appeared to be dead. One looked like it stopped developing (no movement, lots of fluid still). The other three had movement. Last night only one appeared still alive and was trying hard to hatch. The shells were impossibly thick and the membranes inside were like leather. We think it was because we collected the eggs just after a couple weeks of the mama starting to lay (she hatched around April). Now we know to wait awhile before using them for hatching.

    With some help, he was able to get out just fine. Here he is:

    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/duckcam1

    Again, thanks for your recommendations about the peeping/internal pips. This guy wouldn't have made it otherwise.
     
  7. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Nature can be cruel at times. I'm glad that one made it. Next time try to run the humidity on the higher side when in lock down. 85% is acceptable and it does help with those darn membranes. Also misting daily with warm water during incubation will increase the air sack, which will help the duckling as well. That being said, I had a hard hatch with one incubation this year to. Only 2 out of 17 eggs made it on their own. I had to help the rest and still not all made it. One died in the shell because I missed the window on the poor baby somehow. Others quit somewhere in the last week. I ended up with 12 healthy babies.
     
  8. acipolone

    acipolone Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2010
    Hammond, LA
    Good thing this guy is doing ok. He's a bit wobbly on his feet, but he seems to be doing pretty well.

    We're looking to maybe order a couple of ducks to keep him company. He's got his monkey, but I'm sure he'd like some live company.

    I think we're gonna try and keep the cam running as long as we can. [​IMG] This little guy's got a lot of personality.

    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/duckcam1
     
  9. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    I saw him on the cam and he's a cutie with his monkey! I hope you can find a friend for him at this time of year.

    It's sad when they die right before they hatch, very disappointing, especially after waiting all month.
     
  10. acipolone

    acipolone Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2010
    Hammond, LA
    He's probably gonna look like his mom. She looked almost exactly like him when she was a duckling, including the bib!

    Here's a pic in case you can't make out anything on the webcam. (If you click on the link, it should take you to the gallery. If you go back through the pics you'll find some more of him.)

    [​IMG]

    A pic of mama (Ashton) when she was a duckling:

    [​IMG]

    And her now (with Archimedes on the left and Argento in the middle; two of the possible four fathers):

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010

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