Did I do the wrong thing? Chicken has half of head sticking out of egg but is not unzipped

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Michy, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Michy

    Michy New Egg

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    Mar 26, 2015
    This was the first batch in our new incubator, so we weren't even expecting them to hatch. After 21 days two of the eggs were moving. On the 22nd day one other egg pipped and took about 12 hours to get out. ( that was one that hadn't even been moving! so it looked like three eggs were alive.)
    The next day the second pipped and the third was cheeping but there was no sign of pipping. When the second chick had hatched completely, the third one was quiet, no movement, no sound, so I read through this step by step guide to assisted hatching twice; https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/step-by-step-guide-to-assisted-hatching

    I candled the egg and saw no sign of a pip, it didn't respond to me picking up the egg or tapping it gently, and I was concerned it may have suffocated or might have been in the wrong postion due to bad incubation and not be able to pip. Except I thought I could see a tiny pulsation as if it could have been breathing but I wasn't sure I decided to make a tiny hole in the dip of the air bubble. (The dip seemed to be at a very sharp angle and I was also concerned we the turning of the egg could hAs I was scratching a hole and thinking it was dead, it cheaped. I made my whole and could see that the inner membrane looked quite dry. I could see a little shape in the membrane that could have been a beak but I wasn't sure.

    Then the chick moved and broke a further crack in the shell below the hole I'd made, so I decided to let the chick take it from there and put it back in the incubator. That was 9.30pm. In the morning the chick had made the hole bigger and stuck it's half it's head and it's beak out of the hole. It was breathing and opening and closing it's beak, but there are no other cracks in the shell and I don't know if it will be able to get out when it's ready. It's not 1.20pm and I'm at school so I'm unsure if it's made any progress. If I get home and it's still in the same position should I gently help it more or leave it?

    What do you guys think? Did I do the wrong thing and try to assist hatching too soon?
     
  2. spotsplus

    spotsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Franklin, MA
    Sounds to me like the chick would have died in shell if you had not helped. From your description the chick made no progress at pipping. I would very carefully help the chick and stop immediately if you get any blood. In my experience if a chick isn't able to pip on their own a lot of times they don't do well if helped out because something is lacking in the chick or something is wrong with it. Good luck.
     
  3. Michy

    Michy New Egg

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    Mar 26, 2015
    Thank you spotsplus,

    The chick has hatched now but is sleeping in the brooder. It's been tryng to stand up but can't yet so I'm not sure if it's going to make it.

    The chick was upside down in the egg with it's head toward the pointy side. I chipped a little more of the shell away and then it eventually did the rest of the hatching by itself.

    One of it's siblings was also a very weak chick and died after hatching.
     
  4. Michy

    Michy New Egg

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    Mar 26, 2015
    I found the chick dead a few hours after it hatched. Curiously, the one chick that had looked like he would make it died the next day. I suppose we will have to try again.
     

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