Can you help a chick out of its shell?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Mudpuddle, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Mudpuddle

    Mudpuddle In the Brooder

    Dec 26, 2011
    Gretna, Ne
    My Coop
    Can you help a chick out of its shell?

  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You can but I personally feel that they should make it out by themselves or not at all.

    Some have deformities if they cannot get out. You have to be ready to euthanize and I am not.
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    You can, but you may be fostering poor hatchability in future generations if that chick is utillized for breeding. Not generally a good husbandry practice.
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    If you are going to consider it, you need to be extremely careful and also consider the reasons why. Like the PP, I tend towards the point of view that if they can't make it on their own, it wasn't meant to be - survival of the fittest.

    However I did have a situation on a hatch with shipped BCM eggs where I had an incubator issue during lockdown. The heat source blew out while I was at work and by the time I got home, the temp in the incubator was reading 80 and I didn't know how long it had been there. Further, it took me a little while to find and install a backup and get it back up to temp. Suffice it to say that two days later when I had a pip, I was pleased, but when the chick had not zipped 24 hours after pip and was sounding weaker and weaker, I knew if I didn't do something, I would lose it altogether.

    So I got my bathroom humidity way up, took the chick in wrapped in a warm washcloth and helped it zip, every so slowly and carefully, making sure I didn't see any blood. It took hours and when the little guy hatched it was exhausted. "It" is now my biggest hen - a hen that is visibly of very high quality breeding, and who laid very well until I changed the bedding in her favorite nestbox 3 weeks ago and is now on strike in protest. I digress....

    In my situation it turned out okay. In my situation, if it hadn't been for an incubator malfunction, intervention shouldn't have been necessary (that was the only chick to hatch out of that batch). I haven't helped in other situations when everything had worked as it should and really did just take the attitude that if they aren't strong enough to hatch, they don't need my help. Because I fear that if the incubator works fine but they are not strong enough to hatch, then I don't need a chick I had to help out of the shell, and then have to molly coddle through its entire life.

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