This hatch is not going well....


Apr 10, 2009
Upstate NY - Albany area
Started with 33 eggs, locked down with 25 and we are now down to 12. We do have 4 ducklings that have hatched but I am pretty sure one isn't going to make it. The problem we are seeing is that the ducklings are all pipping on the small end. A couple pipped through veins and bled to death. We can't figure out why that is happening. Of the 4 who have hatched, we did have to help 2. One was completely shrink wrapped and could. not. move. That one is fine and hopping around the incubator giving the others encouragement. He is ready to go to the brooder but I don't want to move him alone and the other 2 that have hatched aren't quite ready yet. The second had pipped the small end and had gotten it's beak out but after 24 hours hadn't made any progress and was obviously struggling so we helped. It is very weak and I am 99% sure it is blind but we are just going to let nature decide what happens with it.

We had a bit of a tough time keeping the temps and humidity stable in the incubator for the first week but it wasn't terrible and certainly didn't seem very threatening to the hatch. We had all of the eggs correctly placed in a turner until lockdown this past Tuesday when we candled them all for movement and then placed them on their sides on the screen in the incubator. From there things went downhill and we just can't figure out why. We kept the temp and humidity as stable as possible and we didn't open for more than a few seconds. When we did open it we had a spray bottle on hand to get the humidity back up and didn't have any issues with that.

Is there anything that makes it more likely for them to pip the wrong end? Is it a humidity issue or a temp issue or does it just happen?
I havent hatched alot of ducklings so I am going more on chick experience. I'm sure others will be chiming in soon.

I have had 1 or 2 hatch 'upside down' in a hatch but never what I would call 'alot' of them. So, I am wondering if its something other than the problems that you had the 1st week.

I hope you end up with many fuzzy ducklings!
My last hatch was like that - I feel for you. Mine were chicks, but I imagine it feels much the same. I set 40 eggs candled twice and thought nearly all were good. But, come the big day only about 1/2 hatched and after waiting patiently I candled again and saw that most had quit probably a day or so after day 14 when we did the second candling. Dunno why....... Some of the smaller chicks were a bit weak and didn't make it as well. Worst hatch yet other than my first try.... Better luckk to us both next time!
Yeah, it's baffling me too. I kept them air cell up from the time they were collected from the barn until lockdown so I have no idea what would cause so many to be upside down. It is killing them off left and right. We do have 9 eggs left that haven't pipped yet but they are still moving so I am crossing my fingers that they are positioned well and will hatch soon.
I'm sorry your last hatch wasn't good. I think I am going to take the rest of this year off and save for a better incubator for next spring/summer. I know we kept the eggs positioned properly with the air cells up so I can't understand why the ducklings are all upside down. All I can think of is it has something to do with the incubator itself and I would rather wait until I have better equipment than try again with the same sad results.

Good luck with your next hatch!

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