Day 23, no internal or external pips but Chicks FOR SURE alive....

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MMJ7, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. MMJ7

    MMJ7 Hatching

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    Apr 2, 2018
    Hey!

    I am new to this forum and was just looking for some advice. I have a home made incubator which is somewhat crude, but all I can manage at the moment. It is a styrofoam cool box with a bunch of holes punched in which I put a computer fan into and a 14 watt light bulb. I manage the temperature by covering and uncovering the holes as needed, I have a single thermometer in there which I got from the local Chinese/dollar/bits and bobs shop, I'm sure its not the best quality or the most accurate, no hydrometer at all and I originally set 8 eggs which I asked a farmer for while passing a random farm on a walk. The farmer did not speak English so I had to converse with a series of interesting gestures and some help from google translate in order to acquire fertile eggs. I therefor have no idea how old the eggs were, nor do I know the breed of the chickens. I just want a few for the small back garden I have in the hopes I can eventually have a few of my own fresh eggs.

    I have had two successful hatches in the past in another incubator I made (school project), though that one was more sophisticated with the hydrometer, digital thermometer and thermostat. So I know roughly what all the rules are for hatching and how long it should take etc. I am now down to 4 eggs, three stopped developing at about day 7, and I lost one at day 18. We are now day 23, and about 8 hours from the beginning of day 24. No peeping from inside the egg, no external pips. I have candled the eggs, this morning and done the float test and there is significant movement on all four. The incubator I have run around 37 - 37.5 degrees C, with it dipping a fair amount and have had temps hit 41 once or twice though only for short times and the chicks seem ok still. I tried to keep the temps on the lower side as I was fearful of making it too hot and also because I have to keep checking and maintaining the temperatures manually. Right now I am keeping the humidity up with wet paper towels and can only guess that it is adequate. I know I am poorly equipped but I am doing the best that I can - please don't tell me off for the lack of equipment.

    So I am now getting fretful because even the internal pip is what I would consider delayed. There is no sign of any chicks even pipping into the air cell, though they are all moving well in there. The chicks are undoubtedly alive, and I don't want them to die. Do I risk killing one of the eggs, break open the air cell side and see whats going on? Or leave them longer? How much longer before I intervene? If there is a chance I can save them by helping then I want to take it. Any advice?
     
  2. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    If they are still alive I'd try and get the temperature up a bit. It sounds like it's been a little too cool overall which will delay the hatch. At this stage I'd try and get it up to around 38C. I'd give them until at least day 26 as they may take that long.

    Did you see any internal pipping or were they pressing against the membrane when you candled? Had the membrane drawn down?
     
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  3. MMJ7

    MMJ7 Hatching

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    I really don't know how to tell. The air cell looks big enough now, but the shadows of the chicks are not solid against the air cells. There is no cheeping so I assume there is no internal pip. Cant see any shadows up against the air cell or inside it and no noise. Theres a bit of a gap where I can see veins and light shining through below the air cells when I candle, if that makes sense.

    I now have one pip in one of the eggs, but its way down towards the middle of the egg, nearer to the pointy end. The chick is tapping away but it is nowhere near the air cell. The other three are still alive but no pips yet. I have been trying to keep the temp up at 38 over the last two days, but it is tricky. I will leave it another couple of days to see if the others pip.

    Now I am wondering about what to do with the chick which is clearly in the wrong position in the egg, and now that there is an external pip, I don't want to keep opening the incubator. Should I be worried about the pip outside of the air cell???
     
  4. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    No, let it do its thing. The vast majority of chicks that pip in the wrong place make it out by themselves. If it's pipped straight out then it will take longer before starting to unzip, up to 48 hours from the time it first pipped. Just keep your humidity up - wet cloths/sponges etc. If the membrane starts to look yellow or brown you'll need to use a bit of coconut or olive oil, or Vaseline to keep it supple. :fl
     
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  5. MMJ7

    MMJ7 Hatching

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    Apr 2, 2018
    OK.
    Thank you so much for the advice. The shell is cracked, and slightly raised. No hole yet for the chick to breathe which is my biggest worry, but I could definitely hear it pecking away when I held it to my ear. I have stocked the incubator with warm wet paper towels and I guess it will be along night because I will have to keep getting up and re wetting them. I really, really hope this doesn't take 48 hours. I have a two year old and a three year old and this batch of eggs is higher maintenance than both of my kids put together! Fingers crossed that I get at least one healthy little chick out of this. I will keep an eye on it and let it do its thing. Still no action from the others but I will keep watching. :)
     
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  6. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    There will be a hole there even though it looks like a tiny bump.

    Is there room to put a bowl of water in there to help with the humidity? As long as the sides are tall enough that the chicks can't fall in (very important).

    Hopefully you'll be able to get some sleep.
     
    ChickNanny13 likes this.
  7. MMJ7

    MMJ7 Hatching

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    Well it is now morning. Chicky has made some progress and is now audibly tweeting in there and still relentlessly tapping the inside of the egg. If its tweeting its breathing so that makes me less stressed. The crack is bigger and the pieces of shell are a lot more bumped out. No unzipping yet but I will watch closely and try to keep the humidity up. The idea about a tall bowl of water is good - I might try that. I was up literally every 45 minutes last night (set a timer on my phone) checking the temperature (which fluctuates SO much more when the humidity is going up and down, and rewetting the paper towels. It slipped up to 40 against this morning but obviously not for lang as I had checked it was ok only an hour before thanks to my trusty phone alarm, and chicky is still chirping away. No progress on the others still. :( We are now well into day 24.
     
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  8. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    Oh, you poor thing! You must be exhausted! :hugs

    We hatched quail the first time in a home made incubator and I know how stressful that was. Fingers crossed for your little ones. :fl
     
  9. MMJ7

    MMJ7 Hatching

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    Thank you :)
    Well.... good and bad news... Breech chicky is still working away. The beak is exposed and it seems ok. No unzipping yet though. The humidity is so high in there water is running down the window. The other three eggs which were ok this morning are now dead. After an egg-topsy on all three it seemed the membrane was quite dry around them. The gut was still protruding a lot on all three, but other than that they looked fine and developed. I don't know what went wrong :( Probably the temperature too low over the entire incubation. If their guts were not absorbed into the abdomen then I am assuming little breech chicky will be the same and will need a further 12 hours at least of struggling in its little egg. I have put vasiline on the exposed membrane to keep the chick moist while it rests. I really hope it makes it. Going to be yet another long night methinks.
     
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  10. MMJ7

    MMJ7 Hatching

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    Sniff sniff... Chicky didn't make it. Died sometime between 11 and 12 at night. My last check was around 11, it was still pecking away and tweeting. When my alarm went off at 12 it was no longer breathing. I don't know what went wrong. The humidity was way up, chicky was not dried out, the temp was ok. It had turned around and its beak was far from the hole but it had been like that for hours and was still pecking on the inside and clearly breathing. So it may or may not have suffocated - I don't know. After an egg-topsy I could see all blood vessels were fully absorbed as was the naval area. Chicky looked fine and healthy and I cant help wishing I had just helped it out of the shell earlier :( However, there would be no way to tell if I had done that it might have been weak and died anyway. Very disappointing especially considering the amount of babysitting that went into that clutch of eggs. So I will now be trying again. I have now bit the bullet and purchased a thermostat and a more accurate thermometer with a prob which also records max and min temperatures - AND has an alarm so if the temp gets too high I will be alerted - I like that feature. I am still lacking a hydrometer but I think the problem was with the temperature and not the humidity so we we see how this next batch goes. All I have to do now is go door to door around the farms and try to get more fertile eggs. Wish me luck!
     

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