Problem with duck egg hatching... :( *PICS*


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 2, 2011
Hello everyone

Just writing this thread because we are having some difficulty with a hatching duck (Ailsbury) egg.

We put 6 duck eggs under 2 broody chickens & this one is hatching first. When it first started to crack there were no problems but when the ducks beak first started to appear one of the broody hens started pecking at him (At his beak directly - there are marks on it now) so we instantly removed the egg.

We made a makeshift incubator (cardboard box with a warm lamp above the egg) to finish the egg off however it's been in the same position more or less for the past 11 hours now.

Basically we think the duck is stuck inside its membrane.

Also when the duckling got attacked by the hen we think she ruptured a blood vessel in the membrane but the blood soon dried up.

We also rubbed some water on the membrane some time after the incident & when we did the duck cheep 4 times in a row (something we hadn't heard until then) - is this a sign of pleasure or pain?

Here are some photos:





Please give me any help you can!

- Is the duck safe?
- How long is left?
- Is cheeping a good or bad sign?
- Should we help him or her?
- Are we doing the right things?

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If it has been that long I would open it to help the little one out....... you can do it slowly.peeping is a good sign..... good luck..
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After seeing it be attacked and bleed we're afraid of the same thing happening again
I am not an expert by all means....however:
1. The duck should be safe.
I hope you have a heat lamp over him and are watching the temperature? You can place a damp sponge in the box to help with the moisture in the air. You can also quickly put a fine mist of water on the egg to help from drying out.
2. hard to tell how long is left...I have seen them go 24 hours before
3. Cheerping is a GREAT sign
4. I would wait a bit and watch him close. Watch for signs of life, and keep eye on moisture and temp.
5.You did the right thing. If you would of left with hen....she would of killed him....which means that you may need to remove the others cause most likely the hen will try to kill them too !!!
Thanks for the help!

We have removed the nasty hen from the other eggs & now have the calm hen looking after the eggs - she's sat on eggs & brought up 4 babies last year so she knows what to do

Yes we do have a lamp over the egg - what temperature is best? We keep holding the egg to see if it's too cold or too hot but seems about right? :S
OK it's been 24 hours now & still in same position

We'll give him 1 more hour & then we'll help him out a little

How should we help? Should we take away some membrane?
You can carefully remove small pieces of shell at a time, leaving the membrane. I notice bleeding in your second picture, which indicates that there was still a blood supply to the membrane at the time the pic was taken. After removing a bit of shell, you can gently moisten the membrane with a q-tip dipped in boiled, cooled water. Once wet, it is easier to see whether there are blood vessels still active in the membrane. If you don't see them, you can very carefully try to roll back the membrane from the chick, just a bit at a time. If you see any bleeding at all, stop at once and wait at least a couple of hours before checking again. You should only have him out from under the heat for 5 to 10 minutes at a time, then return him to the heat source to rest, rewarm, and perhaps make some progress on his own. You can cover the membrane with a damp (not dripping) paper towel - being sure not to cover the bill. I would keep several moistened sponges in the box, and put something over perhaps 2/3 of the box to retain heat and moisture. I haven't hatched ducks, but for geese the temp is dropped from approx. 99F, to 98F after external pipping. It would be a good idea to have a thermometer in the box to check. Good luck, and keep us posted.
Thank you ever so much, some info there i didn't even realize like the blood supply in the membrane.

I'll do as you say & keep you posted!
OK we broke most of the shell off & dampened the membrane & there wasn't many - if any - blood vessels so we used a ear bus to slowly pull him otu of his membrane. Most of him came out but we stopped anyway to be careful of the umbilical cord. We've left him to his own devices now, he's mostly out, one more stretch should do it

He's still chirping, breathing & moving so, so far so good!
I had to help 3 ducklings and a bantam yesterday... Sounds like you do it just like I do. I always leave them in there like a jack in the box
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