when do you intervene?


In the Brooder
Mar 26, 2017
Okay, this is about duck eggs but mostly just about the hatching process, so hopefully someone can still help. I have a poor little duckling who has been working so hard to get out. On Saturday evening I candled my eggs one last time and prepared to lockdown. This would have been about day 25-26 (some eggs were earlier than others). To my surprise about four or five of the eggs had little beaks already breaking in to the air cell. One had completely pushed through the air cell and had it's face pressed up against the egg shell. I thought for sure I would see it hatch soon. Fast forward a bit more than 24 hours and I finally saw a pip on the shell. Then yesterday evening (Monday, so about 48 hours after I had last candled and saw the duckling in the air cell), it finally began to zip. But since then it has made very little progress. I've been watching him all night and he has only been able to get his little beak poked through. He has been working so hard for the last 12 hours, rocking and rolling and trying to push through, but doesn't seem to be getting anywhere.

It has been about 24 hours or so since I found a pip, and I know you are supposed to give chicken eggs up to 48 hours or so to hatch before you even think about intervening. I have heard that ducks take longer to hatch as their shells are thicker, but not sure how much longer I should wait, or if I should step in at about 48 hours as I would with a chicken egg, or if I should step in at all because he has gotten his beak out and just let him do his thing in his own time.

Any advice would be welcome! Or some reassurance that I'm just being paranoid and all is well lol.
I have hatched at least 100+ duck eggs and had to help many times. If there appears to be a struggling duck I start helping little by litttle watching carefully that there is no blood present. I have had them hatch after 32 days.

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