Assisted Hatching Experience

Discussion in 'Quail' started by PepeDeSilva, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. PepeDeSilva

    PepeDeSilva In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2019
    Royal Oak, MI
    I just finished hatching my second clutch of coturnix quail and I think I am starting to get the hang of it. With this batch I had my first success with an assisted hatch and I thought the experience might be helpful for others who are just starting out. In my first batch I had a few chicks that pipped normally but then sat there for over 36 hours. I tried to assist those chicks but ultimately they all died. Looking back I know there may not have been anything I could do to save those chicks, they likely either had problems earlier in incubation or genetic issues that caused them to not be able to hatch.
    This situation was different though, it was day 18 and 6 other chicks had hatched. Our power went out but it was 89 degrees with high humidity in my garage so I wasn't panicking. Then I noticed one egg had pipped on the small end and the chick was freaking out, rocking back and forth and peeping loudly. Temp in the incubator was already 94 and there was some blood visible on the membrane where the chick pipped. I decided I needed to intervene.
    I sterilized some water and got some bacitracin, tiny tweezers and q-tips. I followed the excellent assisted hatching guide available in the articles. Slowly chipping shell, watching for blood vessels, keeping the membrane moist. Ultimately I worked my way all the way to air sac. I could see right through the air sac that the yolk was fully absorbed, since the chick was completely backward in the egg. Once I knew the yolk was good I opened the shell up a little faster until the chick started to kick itself out. You can see in one of the pictures where the chick pipped, and what parts of the shell I removed. egg (1).jpg I put it back in the incubator with some hand warmers (the power was still out) and the chick quickly got out and stood right up. Power came back on a few hours later and I moved it to the brooder. These pictures are of the little chick the next day, I couldn't even get a good pic in my hand because they were so energetic!
    20190703_204921.jpg tim1.jpg
    Hopefully this will be helpful for someone else who is just getting into quail, in the future I will probably only assist hatches in cases like this where there is an obvious malposition where the chick will never be able to hatch on its own.

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