Thank you, and have a question!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by RangerMI6, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. RangerMI6

    RangerMI6 New Egg

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    First off, thank you for all the wonderful advice on this site. I have probably read over 500 threads in the last two months. I live out in the country with numerous pets and two small boys, but no "farm" animals. In late April, my husband found a turkey egg in the lawn (ironically he hunts turkeys). Well, has a mother I couldn't just throw it out, so I did my best with the advice on here. I didn't want to commit to buying any equipment for one turkey egg, but I didn't want to give in absolutely no chance. It became kind of an obsession! I had no incubator and put it in with my bearded dragon (he is a runt and the egg was half his size so he ignored it). The temperature was optimal, but the humidity was obviously not. It actually grew from a totally clear candled egg to a couple of weeks old (I cracked it opened after I was sure it had died and the kids and I buried it). After that, and a ton of research, I was obsessed with the idea of hatching and owning ducks as pets. So my wonderful husband agreed to help me (and is building me a duck pen [​IMG]), and I now have 5 cayuga/pekin mixes and one runner in an incubator. It has been kind of surprising to learn of the desire for pureblood breeds in the duck world, which contradicts what I've encountered in the dog world. Our pure bread Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is as dumb as a rock, but our lab/rott mix is very bright. Having worked in humane society shelters, this is the usual trend. But I chose the mix because I couldn't decide between the two breeds. They both had desirable traits for ducks as pets, and I don't plan on breeding them. The runner was a freebie.

    This is probably the only time in the next decade that I will hatch ducks, so I bought the inexpensive LG (I know how people feel about that, but it has worked out). I have an expensive digital thermometer and hydrometer monitoring it. I'm a teacher and on break, so I have managed to frequently monitor the weird fluctuating temps in the LG during the day (although I have it pretty stable now). I'm on day 23 as of tonight. I started off with 7 eggs, and one never grew past day 3. The others have been an absolute miracle to watch moving and growing inside. My QUESTION is in two parts-

    1. Tonight I candled the eggs. The runner egg is MUCH smaller than the others, and it has internally pipped along with one of the mixes. I'm fairly certain that it is only the beak that is poking into the air cell. Do I need to do anything? Will they be okay if I stick with the plan of locking down on Monday night? Should I lock down now? Do I continue to hand turn it or should I leave it?

    2. I've searched the threads, but I can't find an absolute answer on what the best position is, if any, for lock down. They will continue to be on their side, but should the air cell be on the top side?

    I really enjoy reading this forum- my husband makes fun of me now since this seems to be out of nowhere in his mind. I check it every night before bed! Thanks for your great advice, and I look forward to posting some pictures when they arrive. I'm almost as nervous as when I had my own kids! I just want everything to go smoothly. [​IMG]
     
  2. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I only have a second to post but--if you have internal pips, it's time to lock down! Eggs can hatch early and they need the higher humidity once the external pip occurs, which is usually within 24 hours of the internal.

    Much debate on position. I like to hatch upright in cartons. Try it one way one time, then another way next time, and see what works best for you. I don't think it's critical. [​IMG]

    Good luck!!
     
  3. toadbriar

    toadbriar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:mm hmm [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Quote:I concur with curiositycat, lockdown now & boost your humidity. My Anconas all started hatching a day early too - of course, they've got Runner in their family tree, so I find that an interesting data point.

    Quote:Some people say the duck eggs do better on their sides. Some LOVE the egg carton. I'm not an expert by any means. I tried both ways, but I tried LOTS of things different in the second batch. I liked though to let them hatch the same way they'd incubated. At least that way I wouldn't blame a poor hatch on my over-meddling. And, the ducklings roll the eggs around anyhow once some are out and bumbling around.

    Quote:You never know when you're going to find something wonderful and marvelous that captivates you! Please keep the thread updated on your hatch, and congratulations!! [​IMG]
     
  4. RangerMI6

    RangerMI6 New Egg

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    May 29, 2010
    Thanks for the advice. [​IMG] I checked them this morning, and 5 of the 6 have internally pipped. You can clearly see the outline (and even an orangish color on one) bills in 3 of them, and one of them just has weird shadow movement extending about 1/2 inch into the air cell. It is only day 24, so I hope they are not in a rush. It just seems too early. I locked them down and am increasing the humidity as we speak. Hopefully, they'll all hatch fine! Thanks again.
     
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds pretty good! Day 24 internal pip means Day 25 external pip means Day 27 hatch--so you're right about on track, I'd say. A day early is no problem.

    The weird shadow sounds like a duck who is pushing against the membrane but hasn't broken through yet. Sounds like a good hatch in store! [​IMG]
     
  6. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    By the way--important to note--ducks usually take 36-48 hours from external pip to hatch, so don't get antsy when it looks like they're not doing anything FOREVER. That's totally normal. [​IMG]
     
  7. toadbriar

    toadbriar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    central massacheezits
    yeah mine seemed to be pushing against the inner membrane for quite some time, making those odd shadows (shadow puppets!)

    Hope your camera batteries are charged!!! [​IMG]
     

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