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what am i doing wrong

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by TK Poultry, May 31, 2010.

  1. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Songster

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    Ok I'm not a very good hatcher some get 100% hatches all the time and I dont expect that at all but I want better hatches than I'm getting. Right now I have 42 duck eggs in the incubator and the hatch date was yesterday...right now i have 2 ducklings and only one pip.... what could i be doing wrong??? I just want a better hatch or could some more come later?
     

  2. Rammy

    Rammy Songster

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    Oct 20, 2008
    When did you go into lockdown? Duck eggs take 28 days instead of 21 like chickens. I wouldnt worry too much about it. They may just be slow. What is your humidity? Temps? If its low, it could be the reason they arent hatching. Dont expect them to pop out all at once. Did you candle them along the way until lockdown? Im sure someone else on here with more experience may be able to help you on this.

    Rammy
     
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    3,703
    59
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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Can you post your stats? Specifically:

    Incubation Temp
    Incubation Humidity
    Candling results (did you candle? What days?)
    Hatching Temp
    Hatching Humidity

    Also: Type of incubator you are using, how you are turning (by hand, automatically, how often if by hand), whether you are misting, cooling, or performing any other services for the eggs.

    Were the eggs shipped?
    How old were they when you set them?
    Did you candle before setting, and how did they look?
    What do you know about the parents?
    What kind of duck eggs?

    I know it seems like a lot, but it's hard to pinpoint specific hatching problems without specific details. It may be that you have a slightly late hatch, but if you've got two out and a single pip, it doesn't sound terribly promising for the rest. When did the two hatch? How long has the other been pipped?

    I don't think many people are getting 100% all the time, although mine tend to be 85-90%. Anywhere from 60%+ is considered decent, although for shipped eggs even a 50% hatch is considered very good. But it does seem like you ought to get more than 3 babies out of 42 eggs. I'll try to help as best I can if you can tell us more details. [​IMG]
     
  4. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Songster

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    I have only hatched ducks a few times and most of them were a day or two slow. Can't tell you why, but that is what I have seen. My turkeys, chicks, quail and guineas are all right on the button so I know it is not low temp. I use a Dickey's bator and love it! Don't give up yet and leave that bator closed. It would be helpful if we knew more about your setup.
     
  5. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Songster

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    Quote:Incubation Temp 100*
    Incubation Humidity 58%
    Candling results (did you candle? What days?) I candled each week started with 51 ended with 42
    Hatching Temp about 98*
    Hatching Humidity 68%

    I am using a little giant incubator

    Were the eggs shipped? No
    How old were they when you set them? A week and a half
    What do you know about the parents? I've raised most of the parents from ducklings themselves. If I didnt raise them I bought them very young
    What kind of duck eggs? They are blue and black swedish ducks

    Since I use a little giant I have the incubator in a walk in closet where i can keep the ambient temp very stable..... I know its a big no no but i had to open the incubator because one of the ducklings were having hatching difficulties... hes fine now...anything else you need to know from me?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2010
  6. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Songster

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    Why did you lower temp 2deg for the hatch? Don't give up, they may be slow. I wouldn't give up on them to day 31-32.
     
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    3,703
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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Your stats look pretty good. Lots of folks don't lower the temp for hatching, but lots of folks do--it may slow the hatch a bit, but it won't hurt it any. I incubate at 100 and hatch around 99.

    There's a good chance you'll still get some hatching going on, so for now I'd say, be patient. I open the incubator from time to time during the hatch, and don't have problems with that. The only eggs it will affect are those in which the shell has been breached (pipped, zipped, or popped) but the baby has not yet hatched. I find that leaving babies in the incubator for long periods causes more problems than opening the incubator every six to twelve hours.

    When you are confident that the hatch is over, I would take the unhatched eggs out and open a few to see what they look like inside (I always let them cool first--there's something unsettling about handling body-temperature dead things--maybe it's just me though). Obviously I can't know for sure, but I'd put money that your air cells are underdeveloped at that incubation humidity. I know it is the usual recommendation, and it works for a lot of folks, but for me and a lot of others, lower humidity is preferable. The problem with the higher humidity is that the moisture in the egg doesn't evaporate quickly enough and the air cell doesn't develop fully. A small air cell can cause the babies to drown after pipping internally, and it's a significant cause of fully developed ducklings that never pip the shell. I have had far better results with incubating at a lower humidity.

    If it *is* your problem, there is still strong hope that you'll have more hatch. I have found that when my air cells are underdeveloped, the ducks take a little longer to think about pipping--I suspect they have internal mechanisms that expect them to be pushing against the air cell before pipping, and when it's small they don't push against it as soon. Some would grow faster and still pip at a normal time, but others may lag behind.

    I always candle right before lockdown, and I like to see air cells that fill a full 1/3 of the egg. This seems huge if you're used to seeing underdeveloped air cells, but it works for me.

    Anyway, I hope your hatch is just a touch late and that you still get good results out of it. I'd appreciate hearing your results when/if you open any unhatched eggs--it helps a lot to hear others's experiences in learning what is and is not working for folks.

    Thanks, and good luck!!
     

  8. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Songster

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    ok so i have a bit of an update i have on black duckling about out and one more pip.... so cross our fingers i can get some more
     
  9. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    3,703
    59
    228
    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Yay!!! Here's hoping the pace picks up soon and you get a great hatch! That is good news. [​IMG]
     
  10. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Songster

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    yes thank goodness....from the looks of this next one its going to be a black! i've got one blue a black hatching and a YELLOW one.... it doesnt look splash but it could be.... its a very odd color!
     

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