Help! When to help?
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Don't help. Just be patient and encourage it to pip by whistling to it.
My Emu, Gerry pipped right in my hands when I was whistling to him one night and was out of the egg the following night.
If it's been more than 5-6 days since they sounded you can drill a small hole in the air cell end of the egg to give them fresh air at your discretion, but you probably won't need to.
If your incubator has an air flow plug like in the GQF incubators you can pull the plug so they get a good supply of fresh air in the incubator as well, either wise just open the incubator every now and then to let out the carbon dioxide so they don't asphyxiate.
With Gerry I couldn't really tell if he was pecking or not, all I could hear was a sort of "wet paper bag" noise in the egg then one night I picked up his egg to whistle to him, had it up to my ear and CRRRRAAACK. Then he slept for the rest of the night and set about breaking the shell some more in the morning. All he was doing was pushing on the shell with his feet and beak rather than striking it.
They don't always answer back too, sometimes they're resting or sleeping or they just have a quiet personality.
Emu eggs aren't very vulnerable to the cold because they're so huge, and a highly developed chick ready to hatch is pretty good at keeping itself warm so you can have em out for around 10 minutes or so before you should put them back, plenty of time to have a whistle chat, watch em wiggle and listen through the shell.
If you hear a crinkly 'wet paper bag' noise inside the egg then that means the inner membrane has pulled away from the shell and they'll hatch very soon, took Gerry 4 days to pip, plus one more to hatch after he sounded. Just make sure they have enough fresh air and they'll hatch when they're ready.
Edited by Raptor65 - 5/21/12 at 4:45pm
Best way to check for a live chick late in incubation is to set them on a solid surface like a tabletop or counter top and whistle/tap them to get them to wiggle, if they're being lazy just tap em a bit and they'll probably wake up enough to give you an answer. They egg may settle to an "up" position, that is the chick inside won't be upside down or on it's side. Just watch em in case they decide to roll off the table.
You could take a whiff of the air cell end of each egg, see if you've got a stinker in there. You'll know it if you find one, you wanna get that thing out of there in case it bursts.
The other way is to set them out and let them cool a bit, one end will remain warm and the other will be cool, this is a live egg. If the whole thing cools down then it's likely bad, eggs very late in incubation where the membrane has pulled away from the shell may have a large air pocket along the top of the egg so feel the top and bottom as well. What you do after deciding an egg is bad is your call.
With eggs so close to hatching you shouldn't depend on tapping to see what they sound like on it's own.
If you can't hear them moving around inside the egg yet, the membrane might not have pulled away from the shell yet so they're probably not quite ready to hatch.
Hi there hoping for some advice..... Yesterday was day 52 and heard 1 moving around in the egg. Checked today still hear moving but nothing coming out yet and now hear movement in another egg as well. Should I just be patient and wait? It has been so much work turning and keeping things just so would be so disappointing if they didn't hatch....... but maybe they are not ready yet...... Any advice would be much appreciated. thanks Sharon
you can't go by "50 days" for an emu since the temperature they are incubated at will determine how long incubation will be
at 97.5 it's about 50 days (give or take a few).. but when a male emu sets the eggs it can take anywhere from 59 to 65 days or more (depending on if he left the nest any or not)