are these membranes dried out?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by tazzy, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. tazzy

    tazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kentucky
    Our chickies are hatching. Two of the membranes look dried out. We're hatching under the mama hen, no incubator.

    Are these membranes a problem? I don't want to mess with them, but I am curious. Thanks!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    Colorado
    They look a little dry to me - but I'm a novice so don't take my word for it.
     
  3. chickfillhay

    chickfillhay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the membrane is white, then it is dried out. It will be very hard for the little chick to hatch itself if the egg is not directly under mama. I put my hand under the hen to see how many eggs were there. And the moisture was fenominal! YUCK! Warm and Damp.
    I would go in there to make sure all the eggs were under mama properly.
    In your case, I (this is only me) would start helping the chick hatch. Little by little using tweezers take a tiny bit off and zip it open. Just by looking at those eggs I can see the shell has been picked off already.
    Those chicks need air. AND FAST! Can you give it a little tug like a zipper? At least try to give the chick some breathing area. And keep checking on it. Give it a chance to hatch itself.
     
  4. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    I do not mess with chicks hatching under a Broody hen...looks like they have pipped and need to be left alone under her...
     
  5. clarkestep

    clarkestep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My first batch just started hatching last night and are finishing up this morning. I've had 2 that zipped around, and the membrane was white. I waited and waited on the first one and just followed my gut and picked it open for 'her'. The second one I just went ahead and did it immediately. I don't know if this is right or not but that's what I did. And I didn't try to pull any of the membrane off the actual chick towards the lower end as if the chord was attached, I didn't want to hurt it.

    If you look at your pic 2 of your chicks are very dry and one looks wet.

    JC
     
  6. tazzy

    tazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks everyone. I'm back online. after posting this morning, I searched for more info on this site and found info on emergency intervention when necessary. our situation seemed to warrant us helping the chicks hatch because the membranes on our eggs are really, really tough. we realized that we definitely have issues with tough membranes from our own experiences when we've cracked open fresh eggs and hard-boiled eggs to eat.

    so my husband went out and pierced the membranes on the three eggs you see in the photo that had pipped the shell and out came two live chicks! sadly, one little chick had already smothered and died. very, very sad. but thank goodness he saved the others.

    with that success, he went ahead and did "zippers" around the top of each shell that was pipped as decribed in another post on this site. by 2 p.m., we had five healthy, thriving chicks and had lost one more chick, which was perfectly formed but dead in its shell. so sad.

    but by 8 p.m. we had eight healthy, peeping chicks and there were two shells left, one without any cracks or pips and one with a little beak sticking out. I am home alone this evening so I used my husband's "zipper" technique around the shell with the beak sticking out and I put the egg back under the momma hen. I hope to go out tomorrow and find at least nine healthy baby chicks. and maybe that 10th egg will have a pip in it by then, too. I hope so.

    so far, 8 perfect chicks out of 12 eggs and 2 chicks that we lost. I'm so glad that we did intervene or we would have lost at least two more and possibly all of the little chicks.

    does anyone know what causes such tough membranes? we're wondering if we need to change up the feed that we give the hens.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2008
  7. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    If you have kept lifting the hen up off the eggs I'd say thats whats made the membranes dry out and be tough....my opinion...I never bother a broody hen when she has a clutch of eggs under her....and they hatch out just fine...when you see peeps popping out from under her you know things have gone just fine without any help....
     
  8. Pine Grove

    Pine Grove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Why is so much shell missing?Did you pull the shell off?
     
  9. tazzy

    tazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all the helpful info!

    That was the first time we had lifted the hen. Imagine our surprise to find a chickee underneath this morning after letting the hen sit there for 20 days.

    And nope, we hadn't touched those eggs. The chicks had done that themselves from the inside out. But they weren't able to pierce that tough membrane to get out. So we intervened and helped out. Thank goodness we did or they would have all died!!!

    Again, thanks for all the help!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  10. chickenlady

    chickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    Chances are good that the chicks inside the egg DID NOT break those shells like that. All of my broodies pick the shells apart and eat them once the babies start to pip. My one hen had 5 babies hatch and not one shell left to be found. In my opinion, the white membrane is dry but not dried to the chick and is very easy to remove. When membrane dries to the chick it tends to be translucent and is difficult to remove.
     

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