When to intervene


In the Brooder
7 Years
Feb 10, 2012
My Duck mama has been sitting on eggs for 34 days now... one finally was trying to hatch and didn't make it, now another is trying to hatch, it has about a dime size of broken shell (like you break shell before you are peel a boiled egg) and that has been for about the last 24 hours. A little bit of the shell has come off in two places. The membrane looks very dry and brown... like brown paper. The duckling is still peeping. The mama duck has the egg turned so that the cracked part is facing down. Any advice is GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!
The membrane needs to be wet for the chick to get out without getting stuck in there. Wet it a bit, but be careful not to wet the duckling's face. You could drown it.
Use blunt tweezers and open the shell, but stop if you get blood. If there's NO blood, open it enough so the duckling can open it further and get out. Leave it for a bit and check later. If it's still in there check if it's navel's still connected to the shell, if it isn't, let it out. If it is, leave it a bit longer.
Thanks so much for your reply! I just went out and checked on the baby and they have broken the membrane, bill is sticking out of the shell and they are working hard at getting out - have it almost "unzipped"? I think that the progression is due to me making the Mom go over to the water and her being mad at me and accidentally stepping inside of it. I tried to help one of the ducklings that had been peeping and had broken through the air pocket... but I'm pretty sure it didn't happen because of how dry the egg was. The membrane looked exactly like this babies - like brown paper.
Keep us posted.
We have a baby!!! Sad that she started out with 15 eggs (it is her first hatch and mine as well), but incredibly happy for the one we have. Even that little one makes it worth it.

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