I can't believe how big my babies are getting! They celebrated Week 3 on Friday.
Update on the eggs...three of the four seem to be developing as they should. The one odd egg isn't out for the count yet, but it's usually not a good sign when an egg looks different than the others. The three that appear normal have a distinct embryo and blood vessels. Today was Day 9 for them.
It took them a while, but they eventually wandered out into the deeper end of the tub and discovered the joy that is being a duckling. Splish! Splash! in the bath!
I've been told a 2-year-old could hatch eggs with one of these bad boys! Here's to a 100% hatch rate (assuming my four new eggs are all fertile...won't know that for 7 days) or my being less than a 2-year-old in ability as a mama duck. New hatch date is June 13th.
Unfortunately only one egg hatched Friday...the other four had perished. Below is my lone Ancona (yellow) with a Rouen (black) buddy which we picked up at a feed store so that my duckling wouldn't be lonely (they're social creatures). I'm going to give things another go this week with a set of new eggs and a brand spanking new incubator which is supposed to control everything...temperature, humidity, turning, etc. Hopefully we'll have a higher success rate. In the mean time, we get to watch this little guy or gal grow up! (They're snuggled up to a teddy bear for comfort and warmth)
Egg 4/7a externally pipped yesterday evening and wasn't much further along this morning...but this little duckling was absolutely determined to hatch on time! He/she really picked up the pace and was completely free for its shell at 11:17am this morning. Below is the "play by play":
After candling all the other eggs last night, it appears that at least one is confirmed internally pipped and another close if not actually pipped (it was too hard for me to tell one way or another). 4/9, which was the egg so quick to develop at the beginning of the month, appears significantly different than the other eggs...which is not a good thing and may indicate a late death. That just leaves one more egg and I'm not sure what it's up to. All I (we) can do is cross our fingers and wait...
I woke up this morning hoping 4/7a had externally pipped over night, but alas...he/she did not. I DID, however, see it move last night! As the duckling works its way through the internal membrane, its movement causes the egg as a whole to move around. I hope more will be moving and 4/7a has pipped its shell by the time I get home today. Below is a video that goes through a duck egg hatch. Towards the end is when the egg demonstrates movement (like what I saw last night) prior to externally pipping. It's pretty neat!
Egg 4/7a (lower left) internally pipped today! Two other eggs look like they're close. Ducklings typically externally pip (break through the shell) within 24 hours of having internally pipped. Any day now (I hope)!
The outer most dotted line reflects how the air cell has grown since the first dotted line drawn on Day 7 (the second dotted line is Day 14). Tomorrow (Tuesday) is LOCK DOWN DAY! Apparently the incubator should remain closed and not disturbed three days prior to the anticipated hatch day which is hopefully this Friday! I don't know that I can stand not handling them for the next three days...it has been so fascinating to watch the little buggers grow and move. I just gotta hold out for fuzzy ducklings instead I suppose.