Cracked egg still alive, hatched and doing great! UPDATE w/pics

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Gypsylion, May 18, 2010.

  1. Gypsylion

    Gypsylion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Update 19 May:
    I just helped this little one out of most of its inner membrane, and so far, so good! Check page 2 for current pics...

    Original post:
    I just candled the rest of my unhatched eggs from my recent hatch to see if I could tell if they were dead or what and one of them is definitely still alive! This is the last egg from the bunch that my hens were incubating that got accidentally kicked out of the nest and cracked, so I tossed it in the incubator to see if it would make it. The hole is just smaller than dime-sized, on the small end of the egg, and not through the membrane. The egg has definitely lost a lot of water, to the extent that the aircell is almost 1/2 the total area of the egg. The little guy is kicking around in there... It was nearly due to hatch when it got cracked - it's at Day 24 right now and was put in the incubator around Day 17 or so, just before lockdown.

    I just put it back in the incubator with an extra sponge to raise the humidity. How high is too high? I read something about putting cracked eggs in a sealed plastic bag with a few holes in it to create a higher-humidity space (like an artificial egg for the egg, eh?). And something about repairing cracked eggs, though I think it's too late for that now.

    At what point can I assume chicky is ready to come out and open it up? Something else I read suggested to only do that if the chick has already pipped, to ensure that the CO2 levels have risen to the point that the rest of the physiological hatch process has begun.

    What do I do?? I only had 3 eggs out of 42 hatch, and I'd hate to lose this one too if there's anything I can do...
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2010
  2. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    Maine
    last thing I would do is use a plastic bag. I would just up the humidity real high and cross my fingers. I wouldn't open it either...jmo
     
  3. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    Idaho
    Oh boy, I don't know what I would do. Can you tell by candling if it has internally pipped?
     
  4. Laurieks

    Laurieks Where did the time go???

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    Sonoma County, CA
    I taped one over with a 'butterfly' style tape, but it hadn't lost moisture through it. I'd do that plus keep a spray bottle close so the water is incubator temp, and spray it whenever you have the bator open. I'm hoping someone with more experience chimes in here [​IMG]
    Good luck & Happy hatching!
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2010
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    That's a tough call. If you open it and it's not ready, it could suffocate or bleed to death. On the other hand, if it's ready and you don't open it, it could die of exhaustion.

    Can you tell if it's internally pipped? If you candle it, you can usually see the beak as a little shadow inside the air cell. If it's there, then it's more likely to survive being helped.

    If you do decide to help it, be sure to read up carefully--there are lots of good threads on that here.

    I have had good success with cracked eggs hatching. But the size of the air cell is a bit worrisome. It may have difficulty, once it has pipped internally, in reaching the shell to pip externally, or it may not have grown to its full size since there's not as much room. It's so hard to say.

    I wish I had better advice for you. I think you may just have to make a judgment call and either help or don't help. I know people who have had good success helping even before the external pip, so you may be able to do it.

    Good luck! I hope the little one makes it.
     
  6. Gypsylion

    Gypsylion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Thanks for the info, guys!

    Unfortunately, I can't tell if it has internally pipped... or if it may have by accident, given that the entire chick is squashed into 1/2 the egg volume instead of 2/3. I wasn't looking for that when I candled it just now, though, so I'm going to go look again. If it has internally pipped and can't get to the shell to pip, I supposed I should pip for it at some point so the rest of the process can start?

    I do know that I had some humidity issues otherwise (too low, apparently - I had one shrink wrapped chicky), and since I thought these eggs were dead, I've been opening the bator to put a weaker chick in there to stay warm enough. So the humidity has been low on top of having the crack. Sheesh.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2010
  7. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    Idaho
    Chances are it is stuck. I would open it just a tiny bit and look in. If you don't see alot of blood veins then I would slowly proceed over a period of hours to hatch it out yourself.
     
  8. Gypsylion

    Gypsylion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Ok... Last night I saw a shadow that I thought could be a beak broken through the membrane inside the aircell, so I pipped the egg above the membrane with a pin (in the aircell), and the chick has not broken through the membrane yet. I poked the membrane just slightly to see if it was close to being broken through, and it was fairly thick. I re-sealed the hole I had made by gluing a small piece of ziploc bag over the hole with white glue based on egg repair instructions in this site. It's a useful little permanent window now! I have a wet sponge right on top of the egg, and the humidity in that spot in the incubator is near 80%. My temps are still a little low (they have been all hatch), averaging around 100 in that spot.

    Questions:
    1. Is that humidity too high, even for an egg I'm trying to re-hydrate a bit?
    2. Given that the main problem with eggs that are dehydrated is that the membrane becomes difficult for the chick to break through, should I break the membrane for it at some point to start the CO2 increase for the rest of the hatch?

    Thanks everyone...
     
  9. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    I think your humidity is probably fine. I tend to run mine super high during the hatch. My instinct would be to try and help the little guy. You're unlikely to be able to rehydrate enough to soften the membrane just by upping the humidity. Since the rest are hatched and he's not even internally pipped, he's in trouble.

    Just go slow, take breaks after each portion of the process. Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
     
  10. BriteChicken

    BriteChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 23, 2010
    Huntsville, Alabama
    Good Luck!
     

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