Sunday, April 28, 2013

Homeschool & 4H Science - Dissection

**Warning Graphic Pictures Below** of Dissection of a (dead-in-shell-duck).

For the purpose of learning, for homeschool and 4H, the duckling eggs that did not hatch, we dissected them to see if we could find out what went wrong. We also dissected them to find out of the embryos had fully developed or if there were any problems.

Our momma duck laid a total of 11 eggs. When candling 1 egg definitely was not developing. 10 appeared to be and as time got closer, 1 of those 10 didn't look like the others. 3 hatched out within the first 48 ours. 1 more pipped at day 4 but never made any more progress. After the first 48 hours momma duck cared for the live ducklings and rarely sat on the nest. We gave it a week- candled and did not see any movement.

When dissecting we found out that 2 eggs had nothing in them- they barely developed. One was a red spot in the middle, with veins but nothing else. One had a little bigger blob in the center but nothing else. The remainder 6 eggs all had fully developed ducklings inside which 5 had pipped through the membrane but did not pip through the shell and 1 had pipped both the membrane and the shell but never made it out. It was a good learning experience for everyone. We have read through blogs and sites about using incubators vs. letting the mother hatch them out as well as helping chicks/ducks hatch or letting nature take its course. In our hatch we did not use an incubator but let momma duck sit the 28 days and hatch them and we did not help any of the ducklings hatch but let nature take its course.

We used this resource found online (its about dead-in-shell-chicken dissection) as a guide to talk about this activity: Dissection of a Dead-In-Shell-Chick

We used tweezers to carefully start at the air pocket and pull away pieces of the shell.
 When opening it further, the bill was through the membrane in the air pocket.
Most likely the duckling died of suffocation after it ran out of air.
 You can see the duckling curled up inside.
 The duckling is fully formed with no abnormalities.
It was a great learning experience and all of the kids participating did well. They were not grossed out, merely interested in finding out about these babies and why they didn't hatch.

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