When to help? When to worry?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by krissyg2991, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. krissyg2991

    krissyg2991 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, guys, first time hatching ducklings. I presently have one cayuga and one welsh harlequin trying to come into the world. Yesterday was day 28 and they started pipping. They sat there for 12 hours-still chirping, etc- without making any progress. Here's where I probably messed up. I got some tweezers and widened their hole a little bit. I read online that you could help them by pinching pieces off in a circle. I know now that they meant, a circle around the end, like a can opener, but I misunderstood at the time. They are still breathing, chirping, yawning, sticking their tongue out and wriggling around, but we are at the 36 hour mark and they still haven't progressed much. It's KILLING me. I can still see yolk in their eggs so I assume they are resting and absorbing it. However, I'm worried because I CANNOT get the humidity in their incubator above 50. I have the incubator in the bathroom so I have been running the shower super hot to fill the room with steam and get the humidity up and I have wet sponges and paper towels in their incubator. I'm worried that they are too dry and that they can't move around or that my widening their hole disoriented them or somehow made it harder for them to move the way they need to. Right now I'm just taking a hands-off approach but I don't know when should I worry? When should I help? What should I do???
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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  3. DuckyGurl

    DuckyGurl Overrun With Chickens

    x2 What Amiga said. Where are the hatchers!?
     
  4. krissyg2991

    krissyg2991 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well one ducky worked his way out with minimal extra help. He began to regurgitate a lot of fluid and blow bubbles from his nostrils. It kind of really worried me! I continually blotted away the fluid and weakened the shell a little bit to make a cap like he would normally. Finally pushed his way out about 45 hours after pipping. He is moving and breathing, but still blowing bubbles from his nose. Peeping more and more strongly. Since I'm still blotting fluid away from his nose and trying to keep his head upright to help him breathe, I removed him from the incubator to avoid impairing the other eggs from successfully hatching. I'm keeping him in my boobie-bator right now. ;) I don't know if any of this is right-just kind of following my instincts now. I'm worried because he's pretty weak. He can't lift his head. If I try to sit him down he scoots with his back feet til his head it in my hand again. When left to sleep, he curls up like he is still in the egg. Thoughts? I'm hoping he gets stronger over the next day or so.
     
  5. krissyg2991

    krissyg2991 Out Of The Brooder

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    My ducky just died. :(
     
  6. BooBoo45

    BooBoo45 Out Of The Brooder

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    Firstly [​IMG] So sorry the little guy didn't pull through. I'm just going into lock down on my first batch of duck eggs although I have owned ducks for over 14 years and I am terrified of this all going wrong. I had 12 eggs at the start and I'm down to 3.

    I've read Pete's thread that Amiga linked to about a week ago during research for information on how to get it 'right' and I have to say I have found nothing like it on the net, and believe me I've searched. That is the best factsheet for incubating and hatching I have seen anywhere. I have to agree with you when you say that you think the mistake was trying to help. It's of little comfort but being brave enough to share this you will help others in a similar situation and hopefully stop them making this mistake themselves.

    There seems to be a lot of threads out there about 'helping' and from my point of view I really want my ducklings to hatch and live but I am coming to the conclusion that more ducks are lost that way than are lost by not helping (Although I accept call ducks are the exception to that). The hatching process takes a long time and we start to panic but actually you never see a mother duck trying to break open the eggs and help out and there are no shortage of ducks in the world. I am going to find it really hard when they start to pip but I've decided that the only point I might help is if the head is clear of the shell and after allowing a decent time if it still can't free the body I might just tweeze the side a very small amount for wiggle room.

    As they work at breaking free themselves their lungs start to develop and they get stronger, Pete says the hatching process can last up to 72 hours! It seems that your duckling missed part of that process and it's lungs had not cleared properly or developed enough. That is just me guessing, I don't know for certain. But they have to have time to rest up in between trying to pip and zip.

    Shannondee12 made a very important point on one of my threads ~The few that you have going are going to be that much stronger when they hatch. Trust me, it's easier to get over a failed to progress egg than it is to have a weak and sickly duck to die in your hands.

    She really has a point, you don't bond with an unhatched egg the same way you do a baby duckling, so it is better to take a step back. My humidity won't go above 55% even with the wash cloths added to the bottom. Not sure if you know this, so forgive me if you do, but humidity isn't the depth of water but the surface area it covers. By adding washcloths you can make that area bigger and that helps the hatch - which you did! Another thing I have noted is that everywhere you go everyone will tell you different things regarding what the humidity should be - but you should take into account that none of us have the exact same factors involved. There is a very good chance that your humidity would have been OK, although believe me I realise and understand your concerns - but until you allow the hatch to run its course without interfering that question won't be answered for the future.

    Sadly none of this helps you, you must be devastated and I really am so sorry for you. But please don't give up, get some more eggs and start again. You might not realise it but you really have learnt a lot about incubating and hatching during this and that will put you in good stead for the future. We all make mistakes and you did this with the best possible intentions in the world, no one can fault you for that and you mustn't blame yourself in any way.

    One other quote from Shannondee12 that I really have taken to heart ~My very first duckling hatch was with 6 shipped eggs. I didn't know anything about hatching ducks or to let the eggs settle for 24 hours to let the air cells re-attach. I had the old stand by stryofoam bator that was still air, no fan. I didn't monitor humidity and even let the water run dry in the bottom by accident. The power went out a few times dropping the temps in the bator to under 70. I did everything wrong that I could possible do wrong besides drop the eggs on the floor. I still had 2 out of six hatch. The moral of the story, don't over think it.

    Good luck for the future Krissy [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  7. krissyg2991

    krissyg2991 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the advice. Sadly, the second ducky that was hatching pushed it's way out and a few minutes later, died. The umbilicus was still attached to the inside of the egg. I really didn't think that the 3/4-1cm opening I made would've done that much, but I guess we will never know for sure. :( We had two more eggs in there that I didn't expect much from because they were a little slower. One was barely pipping on Saturday, really started going yesterday but still hasn't broken the membrane. It's chirping and wiggling away right now, membrane still intact, no evident zipping. I'm not letting my hopes get too high and I'm just sitting on my hands. Kinda feel like I'm ****** if I do, ****** if I don't but at least this way I won't have to wonder whether I did it. I am tempted to try hatching again-It's just tough-I don't wanna lose any more babies, but I think I'd feel better if I got it right. We will see if this little guy makes it. I agree though-this has definitely been a learning experience for me.
     
  8. BooBoo45

    BooBoo45 Out Of The Brooder

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    Step away from the egg! LOL

    My egg started pipping on Sunday right after lock down But I am not expecting them to hatch until Wednesday.

    If I'm right (Im new to this too but I have read everything I can) and my eggs are based on this too between internal and external pip it can be up to nearly two days. From the external pip to hatch it can be anything up to 72 hours on top of that. It sounds like your duckling is right on form.

    I'm finding they do a bit of taping and then rest up. It sounds like you have a very good chance with this one as long as you do NOT open the incubator. Leave well alone even when his head pops out. It takes a hell of a lot of effort so it needs to keep resting up. It could be another day before he is free. The biggest mistake seems to be our impatience. Each of those stage makes baby stronger and he has to sleep in between. So when he breaks out he will sleep. Don't think he has died and open the incubator up.

    Don't give up on him yet. You made the mistake with the other two now you have another chance. Let nature do what she has done from time began. She knows how this goes. And so does the duckling. The humidity will be fine as I'm finding it rises on its own as they go along so as long as you leave well alone he won't shrink wrap.

    Now you need to let this run it's own course how ever hard that is. The duckling has a strong will to live and you need to honour that. Sit back and just watch and listen.

    Good luck x
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
  9. BooBoo45

    BooBoo45 Out Of The Brooder

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    Extra point. My duck eggs have pipped but membrane is still intact. That goes with the final push and they can breath thought it. When he is ready he'll make one final push and that will give as the humidity has helped to soften it.

    All that pushing and taping helps pull the egg sac up and as they hatch they need time for it to dry I which is why you have to leave them for a while to given them chance to get out of the egg themselves.

    Everything they do is for a reason and it all takes time
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
  10. Lacrystol

    Lacrystol Hatching Helper

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    Just joined in can you give me an updated what's the temp are you using and air, whenwas the due date, what's the humidity at??
     

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