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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:41 pm 
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Hi Duckies!

I am having some incubation issues and questions. I've had ducks for years, but this is the first time I've tried incubating. Long story short, I ended up with 4 eggs in the 'bator, all due at different times. One seemed healthy and big from day one and has hatched and is currently sat sleeping in the crook of my arm :) This one hatched on 1st Jan (was due 2nd).

The three remainders are due:

2 on 4th-6th Jan

1 on 8th Jan

All of them have veins still visible at the pointy end of the egg, plus a small gap where there is nothing. I've never seen this before at this stage of development - they have always filled the whole egg. All seem to be developing well otherwise, all moving and one already internally pipping. I have put them all in lockdown now and will wait and see - but I'm curious as to why there is still space at the pointy end of the egg? Obviously they are smaller than they should be, but does that mean they are unlikely to hatch?

My temps may have been a degree too low, which I believe makes ducklings develop slower and take longer... but with one pipping - it looks like they will be on time if they make it. Movement and growth has been consistent in all three eggs, so I know they are alive at this stage.

Finally the last egg does look to be behind on development - still moving and growing though. Also the air sac is much smaller than it should be (around a Day 12/14 size). Is there anything I can do at this late stage to try and make that sac bigger?

I reluctantly had/have to use the same incubator to hatch these four due to the small one I bought specifically for hatching being wildly unreliable (temps would fluctuate 4 or 5 degrees and I couldn't get stable humidity). So the three eggs have just had three days of higher humidity than normal and now I'm particularly worried about that last egg going through another lockdown to hatch the next two.

I did have a thought that maybe I could put the last egg under a towel in the brooder under the heat lamp with my duckling for a few days and mist the egg? That is assuming that I can create a stable temperature and an OK humidity level for it. The humidity would be lower and I think that might be a lot better than going through another lockdown. It definitely doe not look ready to hatch in 4 days!

What would you do? Any advice or input welcome :)

Cheers,

Christina.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:25 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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I would definitely leave the eggs in the incubator. There is nothing that can be done at this stage to increase the air cell size in a meaningful way, so don’t worry about it. The high humidity you needed to hatch the first one (and the second one) wouldn’t have made any real difference either. Don’t stress, just keep things as they are. As you know, small air cells don’t bode too well even if the ducklings are alive but all is definitely not lost so just let things take their course. Fingers crossed that you get a second duckling. If you don’t, do look into getting another couple of day olds to keep the first one happy :)

And congrats on your first hatched duckling :) Great job.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:14 am 
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Thanks Rach,

I candled the egg due on 8th, and there is a lot of fluid in there and no movement, so I think it has sadly died :(

Of the other two, the first one had externally pipped when I got home last night and was very active, loud and strong! It was amazing. Now he is very quiet though.... When I peep, he peeps back faintly and there is small rocking movement of the egg - but the vigour I saw yesterday has now completely stopped. Hopefully he is just having a rest before zipping.

The third egg is still internally pipping but seems much weaker than the first.

Fingers crossed!

:duck2


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:12 am 
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They do have little snoozes.... Once they externally pip they can take another 24-36 hours to make any more serious moves on the shell. So, with any luck you’ll have a second duckling in a day or two! Hoping for good news here :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:40 pm 
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Sadly the ducky died half way through the zip... I waited too long to help and it seemed a little shrink wrapped when I opened it. It was fully formed and with a little assistance at the right time, would have made it.

I feel horrible :(

Really, really horrible :(


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:03 am 
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Aww, I'm so sorry that it didn't make it. :(

Don't be too hard on yourself though, it is really hard to know what to do in situations like that. Given that you had already noticed that the eggs weren't developing normally, it may well have had internal problems that all the help in the world couldn't have fixed.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that third egg!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:32 am 
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I’m sorry :(

You didn’t wait too long. I never intervene unless about 30-36 hours have passed after external pipping. As long as the duckling could breathe being a bit shrink wrapped wouldn’t have hurt it. For example, in my last hatch I had a few who pipped the shell on a Wednesday morning. I actually didn’t make any move to help until the Saturday morning. With your duckling it is most likely that something else was wrong that you couldn’t have helped with. I know that doesn’t really ease the loss of the little one. They work so hard to get out and we want them all to make it...

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:34 am 
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Thanks guys.

Duckling three is pretty stuck - perhaps malpositioned? It doesn't seem to be able to move at all. Stuck duck!

After internal pipping lasting 48 hours, I decided to externally pip for it last night. This morning it was peeping, so a good sign, think that was a good decision. But no progress this morning, so I have peeled back as much of the shell as I dare at this stage. She is yawning and occasionally peeping. I've managed to ramp the humidity up to 80% (I still think that reading is off, so it is probably lower, but the plastic is fogged up at least and the membrane appears to be staying moist), and will leave her for now and help again later tonight if she hasn't made any more progress.

I suspect that my hatching issues for the first two have been due to the humidity just being too low. :(


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:49 pm 
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Just take it really slow with the helping. Remember that if she can breathe she’s ok and there’s no big hurry.

Fingers crossed.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:28 pm 
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She came through! I probably rushed the hatch a bit and I feel crappy about it. Think I was still suffering from guilt about the last one.

Anyway, she is out and stumbling around after a night in the incubator. She has splayed/weak legs but otherwise is very perky.

I'm just wondering what supplement is best to give for her legs? From my reading, I'm thinking Brewers Yeast? Any advice welcome!

Thanks :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:49 pm 
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That’s great! Congratulations!

If her legs are actually splayed out you can use a strip of bandaid to support them. I’ll find a link for you.

The best supplement is bird vitamins. Buy some at a pet shop or produce shop. Make up a double strength mix and give her a few drops, using an eye dropper, every hour for a few hours today. Also add it to their drinking water at the normal strength for a couple of days until the new one is walking normally (could take a couple of days, could take longer).

If you can’t get hold of that berocca will do until you can get bird vitamins. Use the normal strength in an eye dropper. When you get the bird vitamins put that in the drinking water.

It’s akso really important to have a non-slip surface in the brooder. Old towels or non slip drawer liner are good options. Definitely not newspaper or anything smooth.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:56 pm 
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Dealing with splay or spraddle legs:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=7981078

http://www.muranochickenfarm.com/2012/1 ... d-fix.html

http://www.mranimalfarm.com/correct-spl ... eg-chicks/

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:55 pm 
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Definitely source an Avian multivitamin - single vitamins (B's in brewers yeast and vegemite) seldom work alone.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:05 pm 
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Thanks everyone, I tried to make hobbles a couple of times but totally failed! I am on my own though - almost impossible to hold a wiggly duckling and get the distance right and secure the hobble!

I have done a bit of physical therapy and added nutritional yeast and have already seen an improvement in how she's moving. A friend is passing on a powdered multivit for animals called Nature's PDQ, so will start that too.

She is in a box with a singe layer of towel, so surface is good.

Thanks everyone for your help - I will try and come back and add some photos when I can figure out how to upload them at teh right size!

Cheers :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:37 pm 
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Good that you’ve seen some improvement and have vitamins on the way :)

Swimming is also great for leg issues. So, tonight, put about 10cm lukewarm water in your bathtub (or laundry sink) and pop both ducklings in. They’ll swim off straight away. Let them swim for about 10 mins then put them back in the brooder to dry off. Do this a couple of times a day if you can :)

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