I have just received an email about muscovy ducklings struggling to hatch out.
Hi Sara I have a muscovy duck that hatched out two of her babies, she still had alot of eggs but did not sit on them for a day so i took them away as they were ice cold. Just before i wanted to throw them away i heard a peep, so i rushed to get them warm, i left them for a day and still peeping. So i then just made a small hole where i know the head is as i dont know if they lost to much energy to break through, the embrio started to dry out a bit so i got their heads out and left them, one is out and doing fine but two others are still half way in their eggs, peeping and moving a little, should i just take them completly out to see if they will survive as i dont know how long they have been struggling to hatch, so far it is their second day with me. Arnold
When I receive an email like this I always try to reply swiftly as this is a matter of urgency whether a duckling will hatch and survive or die in the shell having struggled to get out.
It is always a difficult decicion for the person incubating whether they should intervene and help or let nature takes it’s course, but in this instance I would say that these ducklings deserve a little bit of help.
My advice to Arnold was,
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My advice is if after a couple of hours once the eggs have pipped an the ducklings are not hatching out themselves then you I would be inclined to help.
I had to help 6 of the 7 khaki campbell ducklings I have and they are now over a year old and doing very well and all laying eggs of their own!
If you decide to help then you need to work quickly to keep the egg warm. Peel the shell and membrane a little at a time making sure that you don’t make the duckling bleed. I usually try to peel as much of the shell and membrane except for cup shape at the bottom of the shell as this is where the duckling will still be attached.I then put the duckling back into the incubator so that it can wriggle out of the remaining shell in it’s own time. I always make sure before putting back in the incubator that the ducking can get it legs free of the remaing shell and it’s just a case of wriggling out or even just leaving it for the duckling to break the cord that links the duckling to the shell.
It is important not to leave membrane as this will dry onto the duckling and make it hard for the duckling to get out of the shell.
I hope you find this information useful.
Let me know how your ducklings get on and best of luck.
Sara @ farmingfriends
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