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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:07 am 
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Day old Chick
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Hi, hopefully I can get some advice. This is my first time hatching duck eggs, these are Muscovy, and I have tried to follow the recomendations I've found or been given.

Up until a week ago 23 of the eggs were developing and then some stopped having obvious veins and I suspect they are dead. In case I am wrong I have left them in the incubator.

I have 11 that still have veins and in two I saw clear movement last night. I opened the incubator tonight to turn them one last time and four are pipped but at the wrong end and one has blood under it. I can't hear any peeping or see movement.

I didn't move any, just gave a quick spray to replace moisture in the air and closed the incubator.

My humidity has been high about 75% even with air con and a fan trying to lower it. The incubator hasn't been hot I got a digital medical themometer to check.

Has being turned to close to hatching confused them? Is that why they are at the wrong end?

Will they hatch anyway? How will they get air?

Anyway just thought I would share my panic around.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:58 am 
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Site Administrator
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Hi Laura,

It's not unusual for some eggs to stop developing as they approach hatch time. Any weakness or deficiency in the egg, or even fluctuations in incubation conditions can show up then and result in a few losses. If you are sure they aren't right, then remove them. Rotten eggs can blow up and spread bacteria in your incubator. If you're not sure, then smell them individually. You can usually smell a problem through the egg shell.

Ducklings that pip at the wrong end have a harder job of hatching, but they can still make it. There isn't really anything you can do about it except wait and see. Normally they break into the air cell and breathe there for a little while before they crack out of the shell. That can't happen when they pip at the wrong end. They can also break the veins in the membrane which can cause bleeding and introduce bacteria. It's just a case of leaving the lid close and keeping the humidity up while the hatch is under way.

Being turned close to hatch won't make any difference. Sometimes hatchlings can pip at the wrong end if they are incubated upright, but have been put in upside down. Sometimes it happens when eggs are on their side - and that's how it happens in nature.

If they crack the egg to the outside they will get fresh air that way.

I can't say whether they are going to hatch or not. It can take 24-48 hours for an egg to hatch. The important thing for duck eggs is that they stay moist, so it's best not to open the lid any more than necessary.

Good luck.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:28 pm 
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Day old Chick
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Three of them have bigger holes now. Two of these are from the wrong end but I saw one twitch so still alive. They must have managed to get air even from the wrong side. The one with the blood is at the right end and is about a quarter unzipped and I can see some feathers, I don't know why he pipped so early as to bleed but maybe impatient.

None of the others have pipped but I'm hoping are ok since the eggs are not really due till Wednesday.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:13 pm 
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Phoenix
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Leave them alone-sit on your hands if need be they have the best chance if you leave it to them :)
It will still take awhile to get out maybe tomorrow.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:40 am 
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Day old Chick
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Still waiting. Have heard angry peeping from the eggs but on most the holes are only a little bigger. The one that had some blood under it is most of the way unzipped now just not yet out.

I hope the ones at the wrong end can still turn around.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:47 am 
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It sounds like that one's getting close. The thing to watch out for with duck eggs is the membrane drying out and sticking to them. If that happens it begins to look like crickled sticky tape, rather than like smooth membrane. If I think that's happening I give them a light mist with warm water, being careful not to drown them. You just want that membrane to stay moist enough for the duckling to be able to push out. The less interference the better, but that's one thing that I watch.

Good luck.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:03 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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:hiya: Laura Dee

With the higher humidity, I posted to you that your duck eggs could come earlier than due - so dont worry about this part.

The advice of watching the membrane is correct. Our ducklings sometimes end up with a dry membrane before they are out of the egg which then stops them from turning inside the egg to complete the unzip.

To the many die-hard breeders, we do the wrong thing and assist. We call it the cesarean hatch !

We will wet our fingers with warm water and moisten the membrane if has hardened.

We will even start to remove the membrane from the duckling if we cant see veins. We will tear the membrane only little by little, but at the first sign of fresh blood, we stop, put the egg back into the bator and wait another hour before trying again. Cause once the hole in the egg is that large - the membrane will dry again and further assistance will be required.

With them hatching the wrong end, we tend to provide more assistance to get them out of the egg.

We have even assisted when only a small pip hole is in the egg, but we feel the duclking should have hatched by now. We do find most of these times the duckling had absorbed the yolk and was more than ready to get out of the egg, but if we didnt assist - then it would have died.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:08 am 
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Day old Chick
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I misted them with some warm water and at least one of the ones pipped at the wrong end has made a tiny bit of progress since so I might need to keep an eye on this.

I have to go out later today so before I leave I'll give them another mist.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:19 am 
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Day old Chick
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The one with blood has unzipped all the way and is pushing to get out. Thank you for the advice about misting it seems he was just a bit stuck halfway even with the high humidity.

Keeping my hopes up for the rest and I'll let you know when he pops out.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:55 am 
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Day old Chick
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First one hatched. Glad I'm home though because he got the membrane stuck to himself. When I couldn't take it anymore I opened the incubator and sprayed around the crack. I Laeft him to it and he got out but still had the largerer piece of shell stuck, I quickly sprayed this and it has come away on its own now.

I feel a little bad that I didn't spray more sooner, he was really trying to get the egg off and has lost some fuzz on his neck from pulling. In the end he is only two days early not four.

The others haven't unzipped yet but are still moving so will keep hoping. One of the others also has bled a little so I'm not sure why they are doing that to themselves but this one bled and seems ok.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:57 am 
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Golden Phoenix
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I'm glad that one has made it out! Fingers crossed for the others.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:21 pm 
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Day old Chick
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I got home this afternoon and checked on the eggs. Only the one was out and the others hadn't progressed, so I have chipped away at them. One had no blood and so I have chipped most of the way but am trying to let it push free on its own. One had blood about a quarter way in so I have left it.

The third I found had rolled itself face down while I was away and drowned in the fluid from the egg. I feel pretty bad, I don't know if I could of helped but it's terrible. The little beak was out of the hole and everything. I broke it open just in case but it was dead.

I'm hoping some others still hatch since these guys are early. The second one has pushed most of a foot and it's head out so it looks like at least two, and the third was kicking against the egg I just didn't want to risk it bleeding.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:52 pm 
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Day old Chick
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I have two now and have grdually chipped the other egg till the top is free. The other was very determined and pushed itself out but this one has not yet. I hope he does because I don't really want to rip him out of the egg. No blood now or anything but he seems very tired.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:23 pm 
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Day old Chick
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I thought since I had opened the incubator I would check to see if anymore had pipped and found another three face down. One had not pierced the membrane so I very carefully did this and have put him back. Another had membrane sticking his beak in place, I thought he was dead until I felt him kicking in the egg. I wet the membrane and peeled it back a little. He started cheeping a little then.

The third had the same but was dead.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:52 am 
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Day old Chick
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Another has made it! I have three in the brooder now the latest one is the one who I just peirced the membrane for. He hatched last night before I went to bed but I left him in overnight.

The one with it's beak stuck I have carefully chipped around. He is trying to get out but instead of turning just moving his head up and down. Managed to make a big hole but not quite getting there on his own. I think he should get out on his own now that I've started things for him. Somehow he pipped in the centre of the egg and seems to be another upside down one.

One of the ones from the beggining I may have left a bit late he is very tired and I have him in the incubator still as he isn't walking just moving his head and kicking a little. He seems a bit stronger this morning maybe form the calls of the others.

Feel a little bad not getting to him quickly but I'm trying to just chip keep moist and let them kick themselves free. Possibley he isn't meant to live if he couldn't at least push out of the egg on his own but I'll give him a fair chance.

So far we have one that made it completly on it's own from the right end, one that I chipped for but pushed himself free from the wrong end and one that I just peirced the membrane for at the right end.


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