Chick is both stuck in and to the shell, but still peeping!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Sherriekim, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. Sherriekim

    Sherriekim Songster

    Aug 20, 2007
    Southwest Idaho
    I've been posting about my hatch in another thread. "4 eggs piped, Humidity down to 58, should I open bator" One chick had pipped around 8 Monday night Editing here, Tuesday night, not Monday, Sorry!, was halfway zipped by 9:30 yesterday morning, but has made very little progress since then. This morning I could clearly see that the chick was dried out and stuck to the shell, no movement. I went to pull the egg thinking it was already done for, but its peeping. Should I try to help or is it to late with the zipped part of the shells dried and stuck to the chick. The egg itself was stuck to the tray. ????
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2007
  2. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    If it was mine I would try to help at this stage...Can you mist around the shell and try to get as much off as possible?...use tweezers or fingers ....get as much off as possible and then let it dry as best it can...keep it warm with the brooder light , like in a shoebox inside the brooder where it can hear the others peeping and get some warm sugar water, vits & e or childrens liquid polyvit(sp) drops in water in it if you can...thats what I have done...if I had a weak chick...

    Just my thought on what I would do to try to help at this may die anyway....just a part of hatching chicks...
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2007
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Hope you decided to try. If my DH hadn't helped out that last blue Orp baby, I know I wouldn't have that fat, fuzzy beauty running around in the brooder right now. The membrane was just too thick for it to get out of and after a long time trying, it was exhausted.
    EDITED TO ADD: Sometimes I don't elect to help, but this was a valuable chick to me and only one of two in the bator anyway. I had to try. If the chick had not rallied on its own, I would probably have put it down, but she's perfectly normal.
  4. texaschickmama

    texaschickmama Songster

    Sep 19, 2007
    Poolville, TX
    How is she doing? I hope you were able to help her along. Let us know.
  5. Sherriekim

    Sherriekim Songster

    Aug 20, 2007
    Southwest Idaho
    Well, she is out of the shell. The shell was so dry and stuck to her were she had zipped halfway out, I couldn't get it all off of her no matter how wet I got that area. So, she's in the incubator to dry off, but she's not very active so we'll see how she does. At least now I can say I did what I could for her. Unfortunately (maybe fortunately as I won't be able to hover), I will be leaving soon and won't be back til noon. I'm sure this gets easier the more you do it. It must, or you all wouldn't keep doing it! Thanks for all the advice and encouragement. I will let you know how she is doing when I get back.
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I didn't think mine would make it because she didn't unbend one leg or open her eyes for hours, but suddenly, she had a burst of energy and was all over the bator! Hatching is very hard work, as you can imagine.
  7. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Songster

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    My last batch of chicks was dominiques and the smallest one was stuck and it had piped but couldn't get any farther out of the shell after 24 hours. I finally decided to help and I thought at first it was dead. But once I got the shell open and half way off it popped out and made a weak peep and fell asleep and a hour later it was running around and was fine. It was a little smaller then the rest but after a week I couldn't tell which chick it was that I had helped.
  8. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    I have helped at least ten chicks that got stuck and many of them did survive. I think its timing and go with your gut instinct whether or not to assist the chick, knowing you might kill the chick or hasten its death alot sooner or later OR it WILL survive. I lost only one this year because I let it go for so long and it died soon after I assisted it.

    I would not hestitate to help a chick or two when I feel I need to intervene. One of the orp chick I hatched I thought I would lose this one due to unbent leg and now its up and running around like it never happened. Like Speckledhen said, its hard work for chicks to hatch
  9. hatchcrazzzy

    hatchcrazzzy Songster

    Jun 8, 2007
    kemp texas
    For those who have an incubated hatch and are wondering when and how to help your chicks that are not making progress, you may be able to use this info.

    Do NOT be afraid to help the chick out! If you don't hear as much peeping, or see as much beak movement and it has been hours-it's probably time to help. More than likely it has nothing to do with a "weak" chick, but has everything to do with a chick whose membrane has dried out, or is too large for its shell but otherwise perfectly healthy and normal.

    A good indicator of when to help (besides the peeping and moving lessening) is if you see that the pipped area has a very very white membrane showing through at the edges. Most intervention is required because of humidity issues.

    When the chick pips its beak externally the drying process of the membrane really kicks in. And drying makes it nearly impossible for the chick to move around to "zip" the rest of the shell.

    Here's what you need:

    Have WARM water handy
    Really Really WET WARM washcloth
    DULL tweezers-not sharp and pointy
    An eyedropper, or q-tips, or medicine dropper
    Clean hands
    Good lighting

    Here's what you do:

    Remove your egg from bator keeping in mind to turn off any air cconditioning and fans. You want your room as warm as you can stand. (Do not worry about the chick cooling off too much if the room is fairly warm. I have had mine out of the bator for up to 1/2 hour working on the shell and membrane-and the chicks are alive and healthy today). And do NOT be afraid to open and close the incubator-just keep adding wet cloths to the bator to keep humidity up.

    Using your dull tipped tweezers, carefully start at the pip already created and lift ONLY the shell (like a boiled egg-but try hard to NOT include any membrane in your peeling of the shell) and to work around the shell. The best process is to take a bit in the tweezers and PINCH the shell and it will break in very small pieces gradually creating a neat little "zip". The key is to pinch small areas at a time and not remove huge sections. Your goal is to imitate what the chick would do under normal circumstances.

    Zip the shell around the end where the chick started pipping-it should be at the large end of the egg, but sometimes they will pip at the small pointy end or even in the middle.

    As you help zip the shell carefully take your warm water dropper etc. and "bathe" the membrane occassionally to start softening it up. Be very very carefull not to drop water or soak the area of the beak. You do not want to drop water in the nostrils and drown the chick.

    If for any reason you see blood from the membrane-STOP. Put the egg back in the bator, and wrap the very wet, warm washcloth around the exposed zip you have created. Be careful to not completely cover the beak, but cover as much of the exposed membrane as you can to soften it up. Lay the pipped BEAK area on its side or facing up-not facing down-keep in mind the chick is breathing AIR at this point and will need to have an open uncovered access to breathe.

    Leave the baby in the bator for an hour or two longer. Then try repeating the process untill you have zipped entirely around the egg. The MOST important object is to get the membrane very soft like it should have been for the chick to make its way out by softening it in the warm washcloth.

    In VERY difficult cases, over a period of hours, you can, in steps, do this process and remove almost ALL of the shell and soak the membrane in the wet washcloth in the incubator. You also can (using your judgement) decide to help remove the membrane itself, but do not do that too early in the shell removing process (you can email me for more directions on the membrane).

    All in all, you need to be very confident to intervene like this. If you are too scared or iffy about it, you may want to just wait it out. But honestly, if you wait and the chick gets quieter and stiller, chances are you will loose it without doing some intervention.

    So you know it really does work, I have hatched out MANY like this myself. Once they make the pip and can't zip, the membrane rapidly dehydrates. Also, some chicks are just WAY to big for their shells and cannot physically move around to do the zipping and then they die in one spot having been unable to rotate. I found that several difficult chciks are actually the largest ones-the smaller "runt" chicks have literally kicked their way out like they were kickboxing.

    I "gave birth" to, or hatched 2 chicks out COMPLETELY in my hand by using this method above AND removing the membrane (email or ask for those membrane directions). And I have also helped way more zip using the above method. They are alive and thriving as I speak-so it can be done! I am not a person who is willing to sit and listen to my bator get quieter and quieter as the chicks die in their shells. But, as I stated, you must choose what you feel is best for your situation, and be sure and ask if you are not sure when to intervene-there are many here on the BYC that have a wealth of info.
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Good thing you helped. I don't recommend new hatchers to help since often they do it too quick not realizing that hatching can take, more than 12 hours!Looks like you did well and hope the chick makes it.

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