Helping a chick hatch
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Remove the chick you are going to help and keep it wrapped in a warm damp cloth while helping. I would do it right away but there is always the risk of losing humidity.
Edited to add: My plan for my next hatch was to drape a warm wet paper towel over the remaining eggs when I removed an egg, and remove it when I put the egg back. Haven't tested that theory though.
Edited by ShanandGem - 3/21/16 at 8:57pm
This bantam egg I have has been trying to hatch out for about 2 days now and it has a pretty big hole in the egg. It is still breathing, moving, and chirping but I don't think it is able to hatch on its own. It hasn't made anymore progress in the last 18 hours. Should I help it hatch or leave it for another day?
OK look here is my 2 cents (now keep in mind I've only been at this about 30 yrs.) I say this only because many do NOT agree.
If she hasn't made ANY progress in 18 hrs and you wait till shes too weak then she dies Maybe if you help and you go to far she dies
just BE CAREFUL I've hatched many a chick and helped alot! You have nothing to loose at this point right.
1) be ready before you go to bator. check humidity in incubator, take a soft paper towel with you, bring CLEAN tweezers if you don't have CLEAN nails, prepare yourself mentally go over all steps many times so you KNOW what you are going to do you don't have time to be wishywashy now steady hands. Remove egg from incubator.
2) where the chick has peeped (hopefully at large end where air cell Should be) peel away small bits off shell, then outer membrane, then use paper towel to gently rub downward (toward shell still intact) inter membrane, you are trying to remove just enough shell to allow chick to free itself REMEMBER do NOT take shell and leave membraneS where you have taken shell, it WILL dry and trap your babe.
KEEP AN EYE ON HUMIDITY IN INCUBATOR if it falls low or you need more time with egg work, DON'T panic just put egg back in incubator for a few minutes ( my incubator takes about 10 minutes to get humidity back up and this gives chick time to warm up again) if yours takes longer just loosely drape moist paper towel over egg you are working with until you get that baby warm again and hopefully humidity goes back up
3) Now if you weren't done, continue.
on first go around free chick down to about shoulder area then just give it some time to see how it does on its own doesn't hurt if you can bump up your temp SLIGHTLY easy just a bump! Give her an hour if shes not had any luck repeat to just below wing area DO NOT PULL egg shell off!! at this point you should be able to see if she has absorbed her yolk if so and shes not to weak my bet is she makes it fine, if yolk hasn't been absorbed chances go down a smig but I've still had luck so don't give up on her! In the case of the later cover her back with that moist towel and just keep watch so she doesn't dry out