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Big air spaces...is this a problem?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by davemonkey, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I finally had a hen go broody for me, so I gave her 5 eggs. 1 broke [different story] so now there are 4. She gets off the nest at least twice a day for "too long" in my opinion (10-20 minutes), but always goes back.

    Today is day 14 and we candled them for the 3rd (and probably last) time today. Things look well except for 1 troubling thing...the air spaces are HUGE.

    For 2 of them, I'd say easily 40% of the egg space is "air" right now, with the baby chick squished up in the narrow part. The other 2 are not quite that extreme...but close. We saw movement inside, and in the 1 that broke on Day 11, the chick appeared to be in good health and developed quite well.

    I live in a humid environment and I figured the hen would be the man in charge in egg-sitting...so....................

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    In hot weather I’ve had broodies spend an hour or so off the nest twice a day. In cold weather it’s more like once a day for 15 minutes. Others were somewhere in between. They are all usually very successful. 15 minutes twice a day sounds totally normal.

    40% sounds excessive but what are you going to do other than wait 7 more days and see what happens?
     
  3. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good to know on the time spent off the nest. And good point about the air space...what I'd do other then wait. "Nothing". I did do some digging and it seems like it's not totally unheard of...though uncommon. Apparently I can expect anywhere from a good hatch, to runts, to early mortality after hatch.

    I'll just wait and see...and I'll post pics when it's all said and done. :)
     
  4. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ABANDONED at Day 16!! Grrrrrr. Makeshift incubator is running now, and I could just strangle that hen...but I won't just yet.
    She decided today that she was done being a mother and abandoned the nest. She got off this morning and never went back, and this evening she hopped up on the roost bars with the rest of them.

    I figured they must have been dead and she gave up for that reason. When I went and got them, the eggs were already cool (air temperature). But before cracking them open I wanted to double check. Afterall, it's been 16 days and I've only got 5 days left to wait. So, I warned them up in my makeshift incubator, and then candled them. At least 2 had movement., another was hard to tell...the other I have no clue.

    Here are the pics of the eggs so you can see what I mean about the large air cells. Also, if you are wondering what genius ideas I had and which precise mathematical calculations I used for the incubator...NONE. I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing and just threw together what I had at the moment. A medium ice-chest, with a 4' shop light, a pillow on the bottom to take up space, a pillow at the top for insulation, but a hint of opening in the front so heat doesn't build up too much (completely manual). The small green bowl of water is just because it seemed like a good idea. I don't know if I need that or not.

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    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  5. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also, I mentioned in the first post that we had 1 egg break on Day 11. While the eggs above are from EE's, this one was from either an Australorp or a Barred Rock (I think Australorp). It was upsetting to lose this one because it didn't have the air cell issues like the ones above and it was the only brown egg in this first hatch-attempt.

    The break was due to another hen who popped into the nest to lay an egg. Whether she stepped on it or her egg landed on it, I don't know, but it ended up with a hole the size of a dime. Once we figured it had died, I emptied it out carefully onto a plastic bag and took some photos. I was impressed how developed it was...even tiny little feathers coming in. Here are 3 of those pics:

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  6. Framac

    Framac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From the pictures of the 4 eggs, the two that look extreme from a water loss standpoint look to be more porous. The shell is not consistent, and that might explain the extra loss of volume.
     
  7. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, that's what I am thinking too now. I should have candled the eggs before selecting them for hatching to make sure they had good shells. At least I know for next time. 2 days left until "go-time", but I have a feeling that even if they hatch, it will be a couple days later than expected.
     
  8. cluckcluckluke

    cluckcluckluke Overrun With Chickens

    Subscribed.
    I would like to see how many hatch.
     
  9. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm reading about shrink-wrapped chicks. Anyone with experience with shrink-wrapped...when the membranes have "shrink-wrapped" around the baby due to very low humidity throughout incubation? I believe I can expect this given the size of the air spaces...and I'd like to know if there is assistance I can give at hatch, or if they are as good as dead (at least toe two worst ones).
     
  10. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Internal pip at Day 20!! I was showing the kids how our make-shift incubator was going to have to work and that we would not be able to really watch them hatch much (only way to control humidity is to keep the eggs and water bowl covered together). I was also telling them to expect a late hatch, if we had one at all, and then I started pretending to make "peep" sounds. Then, all of a sudden, we heard it...a REAL peep! Excited!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013

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