Air Bubble Under Skin of Hatchling?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Kedreeva, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    Jun 10, 2010
    So, I'm mid-hatch with some eggs and the hatch started earlier than I'd anticipated, and I was doing the hatch fairly dry, so a lot of the chicks got stuck to the membranes. That's ok, I have no problem helping them get unstuck, especially when they are being really freaking loud and are clearly healthy.

    However, one of them looked funny before I started helping, like there was too much water in the shell. I dried some of the bubbles it was blowing from around its beak, and it bled, so I put it back. Half an hour later, it was frothing again, so I took it out and dabbed away the froth and picked at the shell some more. This went on for a while, and when I finally got to where I could see more of it, I thought it was stuck because it was a larger chick. But after clearing more of the shell, I realized... it's got this big bubble of air under its skin just above where the wing connects to the shoulder. I have not seen this before, nor do I have any clue what to do about it. I pressed gently on it, and noticed there is some amount of bubbly froth inside of it. Upon closer inspection, I think there may be a small bubble above one of its eyes.

    It occurred to me to prick it with a pin, to release the air, but I thought I would ask here first in case this is something which will dissipate in a day or two if left alone (and also to make sure pricking it won't implode the chick or something... I don't want to screw it up if I can help it).

    The chick is out of the shell now and looks otherwise healthy- eyes open, making lots of (really loud) noise, and otherwise acting like a just-hatched chick.
  2. Poultry Friend

    Poultry Friend Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2012
    There was never a reply to this, but what happened to your chick?

    I have one *exactly* like this. The dried out membranes, the frothing, everything. It is acting normal and I feel it might have been struggling so much it ruptured it's lungs a little bit. Not much as it must have already healed- it does not look like any more air is going into it. I do not want to poke it. Hoping it is fine in the AM, but I would love to hear what you did and if your chick lived.

  3. Poultry Friend

    Poultry Friend Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2012

    I will post what happened with my baby for anyone else in the future who is also looking for answers.

    The air under the skin *IN A HATCHING* is due to a trauma to an air sac. The air under the skin is called Subcutaneous Emphysema.

    I did nothing at all for my little guy other then leave him in the bator for 12 hours or so to get his strength. In the morning, the issue has resolved itself. Again, this is for chicks that come out of the shell with air under the skin. Subcutaneous Emphysema in older chicks and mature chickens can be caused by trauma OR bacteria. So it has a different treatment.

    My little guy was otherwise very active and vocal, so I left him alone and he is now fine.

    I am pretty sure the cause of this was low humidity during incubation (this was my first time and it was kinda low) and it had to struggle to get out. I think this is the trauma. Then, I saw the membranes were sticky so I made sure the humidity in the hatcher was where it should be. It was about 75-80%. When I came back to check, it was 90%. That is when I saw the froth. I did remove the parts of the shell that he had already chipped at and made sure the membranes were moist. I also dried the extra moisture around it's beak.

    I then let it hatch on it's own.

    Hope this helps someone.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Chickenclucker

    Chickenclucker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2012
    Western Slope, Co
    I just noticed today one of my 1 week old turkens has this bubble issue between its neck and wing, like yours. Pretty weird I haven't noticed it before. I got it at my local Murdoch's (feed store) and didn't notice it when i got it. Guess I should just leave it be and see what happens.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2013

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