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Help in hatching a duck egg.

 
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I need help with a question.  We have a duckling that was due Nov 1st and hadn't hatch yet. We seen the egg pippin a little bit, but still nothing.  We watch and waited and still nothing, and with it going on day 30.  We decided to help the little guy. Well when we did we seen lots of blood coming out of the shell and boy we panicked.  But we continued because he was chirping and moving.  Two hours later after hatching he is still moving and chirping. We are keeping him in the incubator until he is strong amd fluffy.  But did we do the right thing, and will he make it?
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Wendy Smith
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In reference to my question. I believe after reading up that I may have made a mistake by taking him completely out of the shell. Should I have done that and what is the chances the little guys will be okay?
 
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Hi Wendy,
It’s usually better to allow the duckling to hatch on its own and this may take a day + after its broken the egg which is totally normal but sometimes a helping hand is needed, depends a lot on the situation. Blood is not a good indicator but the fact that it is peeping and moving is very hopeful! Ducks are very hardy birds and will certainly put up a fight . Ive found that getting them into action as fast as you can in a group setting allows them to get over the impact of coming out of the shell. So if you happen to have other ducklings around they’ll try to imitate their peers instinctively and start feeding and drinking water (adding a teaspoon of honey or molasses and apple cider vinegar also boosts them up). Great idea on keeping it warm.
Best wishes!
 
Wendy Smith
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OMG, thank you so much.  This is stressing me out, thinking that we made a mistake cutting him from the egg.  He is still alive but I do see bleeding.  I'll try honey thats all I have and eater to see if that perks him up.  I have another due tomorrow and have one hatched thats a week old so little to big to stick in the incubator.  
 
Wendy Smith
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One other thing I'm sure he had taken up the whole egg and looks like his foot isn't right. Could he have taken up the whole egg and his foot get deformed?  He isn't getting up, but I have have him honey amd water to see if that helps.  Poor little guy.
 
Andrés Bernal
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These guys heal up pretty fast too and can adapt if something got injured or simply were born genetically different. We had a duckling a couple weeks ago who hatched with a very severe wry neck and a week after it started healing up, two weeks and now looks perfect and is even venturing into water. If the bleeding doesn’t stop Id recommend applying slight pressure and sealing the wound. Hopefully it gets more energetic!
 
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Wendy Smith wrote:One other thing I'm sure he had taken up the whole egg and looks like his foot isn't right. Could he have taken up the whole egg and his foot get deformed?  He isn't getting up, but I have have him honey and water to see if that helps.  Poor little guy.

Since you said it was due at 28 days, I'm assuming it's some breed of Peking duck? I know that the Khaki Campbell ducks here on the Island don't have the best livability and certainly can have birth defects, so it may be that the duckling was doomed before you helped it. That said, if the only deformity is the foot, it may manage surprisingly well in a human-managed system. We had a chick once that had a stroke and made a full recovery with a little help from us - on its own it would have starved or been eaten by the first critter that spotted it.

The Bigger Issue: Is there a reason you're putting the eggs in the incubator one at a time? Normally, I would mark the date on each egg as it's laid and put them on a rag in a box and each day I'd rotate them (so Day 1 all numbers are up, Day 2 all numbers are down, Day 3 all are up again...) It is better if they don't hang around longer than 7-10 days, but at that time I'd put a whole group in the incubator. This will actually promote a better hatch. The ducklings make a certain amount of noise while hatching, and ones that have hatched will actually cuddle up to one that's half way out of the shell. This also gives them a "same aged group" to hang with and they totally act like a school of fish, moving like a gaggle in one direction or another. Single ducklings are almost sure to imprint on humans. Three ducklings and they'll have some idea they're a little different than humans, and 5-6 they're *much* more likely to know they're a duck.
 
Wendy Smith
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Thank you all for the great help.  I have been putting  the prkins eggs in the incubator one at a time as she lays them.  She lays once a day. I've normally hadn't had this worry.  But I just want the little guys to get up and move around.  I'm trying honey and water.
 
Wendy Smith
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One question can I keep it in the incubator until tomorrow to keep it warm?
 
Jay Angler
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The usual rule is that a chick/duckling can go 24 hours on it's egg sack with no food or water. However, once you give it water, you have to continue doing so.

The longer it stays in the incubator, the more mess it will make. That may put the other eggs in there at risk.

It will need heat for days - what do you plan to do with it after 24 hours or so in the incubator? It won't need too much heat when it's active, although if it gets itself wet, all bets are off. I had some ducklings do that for no good reason and I had to wrap them in a flannel receiving blanket and tuck them in my shirt for an hour to warm them up. But at night, normally they would tuck themselves under a mother duck to stay warm, or when they're too big for that, they tend to sleep in a "duckling heap" at night.
 
Wendy Smith
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I'm sad to say little guys didn't make it.  I tried hard, but think with the little guys not being able to hold up his head. He couldn't eat or drink.  I gave him honey like someone on here said, and he was doing really good.  But i think what I read to do for wry neck is what did it.  They said olive oil had vitamin E. With that and honey and heat it up and give every 2 hours. Well not long after that he passed.  I'm learning, and I've only lost 3 thats were ducklings, but thats to many.  Hatching and working with ducklings and chicks makes it rewarding and good learning experience.  I have a duckling due everyday in Nov. So I hope that they all hatch healthy like the others.  One thing her eggs have been being huge. Larger than the others that have hatched. I'm never helping them hatch, unless they are passed 30 days.  I hope I did right in the end?
 
Wendy Smith
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I'm keeping you all posts as a good resource for future 🐥 ducklings.  
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Wendy Smith
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This picture was my last little guy doing great.  
 
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A little late to the game, here. Unfortunately, yes, "assisting" a hatching does not generally go well, as it can lead to bleeding - birds, especially tiny chick's - simply can't afford blood loss, they are often simply too tiny to survive even a small amount of blood loss.

Feeding liqiuds to birds is fraught with danger, unless one is brave enough to stick a tube/syringe (NO NEEDLE) down the throat into the crop. Generally, bird anatomy is such that their "breathing tube" is up front, ahead of their "swallowing tube" - aspiration of fluids, or food into the lungs is a very high risk, and very, very commonly fatal: either due to an inability to oxygenate immediately, or infection due to foreign material in the lungs.

Thermal regulation is generally inefficient in neonates - too hot is just as bad as too cold. Holding the eggs (as the hen would) WITHOUT incubation until the clutch is done is far safer. Upon hatching they can huddle for warmth, moving to the outer edges if too warm, or inwards if chilled. Heat lamps, pads etc are handy, but often not ideal at meeting the "sweetspot" temperature. Humidity is also critical for these fragile newborns...and again, very hard to get 'just right' with a singleton.

When I rescue a ducking that has lost it's way (or gosling, or...) saving that newborn as a singleton is at best a 20% success rate. My first choice is to call all my duck/geese/chicken farmers seeking a surrogate with similar aged offspring, and simply adding' to their clutch. A broody chicken will often accept an orphan (be it a duck, goose, quail etc.) and do a MUCH better job than I can as a wildlife rehabber.

Sorry this one didn't make it, but as mentioned, it is possible it was doomed from the start as one of nature's misfits.
 
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