Fertile Toucan eggs
Toucans are renown for their large colourful bills. At 8 inches (20 cm) they have the longest bill of any bird in the world in relation to their body size 25 in (63.5 cm). Despite its size, the toucan’s bill is very light as it is made of keratin (like human hair) in a honeycomb-like structure.
In the wild, the longevity of the toucan is typically 20 years, which might extend up to a maximum of 26. However, in captivity, their lifespan decreases to about 18 years.
How long do Toucan eggs take to hatch?
About 16-20 days after the egg is laid the chick will be ready to hatch. This period may vary by a day if the correct incubation temperature of 99.5°F (37.5°C) and hatcher temperature of 98.5°F (36.9°C) have been maintained and weight management practiced. Pip occurs at 48 to 24 hours prior to hatch.
The hen may begin laying eggs in as little as two weeks after the first mating. This being said, sometimes a hen may get carried away and begin laying without a mating having taken place.
Candling Eggs to Assess Fertility and Embryo Development:
Eggs can be candled about 6 to 12 days after their incubation has begun to verify fertility and development of the egg. At that time you should see a web of tiny red/pink veins starting to become visible inside the shell.
Shining a light through the egg to observe embryo development is called “candling.” White or pale eggs are more easily candled than dark or speckled eggs, which require a high-intensity candler.
The presence of embryos can be confirmed easily after 6 days to 12 days of incubation.
The embryo is located in the large end of the egg, where blood vessels radiate under the surface of the shell.
The embryo appears as a dark spot that becomes larger as incubation progresses. Eventually only a dark mass and the air cell are seen.
Before an egg hatches, the chick inside starts peeping. The chick uses a special egg tooth to peck around the circumference of the egg. It takes from a few hours to two days to peck all the way around it, depending on the strength of the chick and the thickness of the egg. This process is called “pipping.” Once a chick has pipped most of the way around its egg, it turns inside the shell and breaks out of the egg.
After the exhausting hatching, the chicks can often be seen resting on their backs. During these first few hours of its life. For the next 8 to 12 hours, the parents(Breeder) will not feed the chick, as it receives nourishment from absorbing its yolk sac. Feeding starts only after 8 to 12 hours after hatching.
The first 10 days of a chick’s life is a period of very rapid growth and development.
For the first week, the chicks are blind and helpless. A newly hatched chick is wet and has the appearance of an embryo.
After about 10 days you will be able to see pin feathers, which are their first feathers. At that time, the chick can easily move around the nest box and beg for food. Their vocalizations change from soft peep, peep, to loud and raspier calls for food.
The female(hen) will spend more and more time in the nest box, and she will feed from the cuttlebone and mineral block, the nutrients of which she needs to form the eggshell.
At this point it is especially important to provide water for bathing as she needs the moisture for the egg-building process within her, as well as to regulate the humidity in the nest box.
One way you will know eggs are on the way (within a day or so) is that the hen’s droppings will be huge compared to what they would be under normal circumstances. The parents will store their droppings and eliminate less often but with bigger results when they do leave the nest box.
These large droppings will continue throughout the nesting period. The hen may only come out to eliminate every 12 hours.
How long can eggs sit before you put them in the incubator? Hatchability holds reasonably well up to 3 weeks. Therefore, do not store eggs more than 3 weeks before incubating.