Egg autopsy - Chick still alive! Thoughts or advice?

Morgan Farms

Hatching
6 Years
Dec 19, 2013
7
0
9
Victoria, BC
So, funny story:

Hatching Coturnix quail eggs... day 20 of incubation. Hubby and I assume they are all dead. I candle them, and put aside all eggs where I am sure there is a chick. I watch during candling but can't see movement. Hubby insists all are dead, so we do not water test them.

First egg, dead. Probably a week ago (not totally developed.


Next egg, feeling pretty confident now. I crack the shell, peel some away, and the membrane kicks me. Little bugger is still alive!! I spend 3 hours helping peel some shell, and wetting the membrane (but mostly just running around the house freaking out and looking things up on chicken forums). I put the egg back in the incubator and go to bed at 1. I wake up at 6. Nothing has progressed. He must have died, and I worry that it is my fault. Pick him up – nope, still kickin! I peel most of the shell off, and get up the nerve to cut the membrane. No blood. Good good. He squirms around and I help him get his beak to the air. He breathes and I watch in awe. He still needs to finish absorbing the yolk, so I put him back in the incubator, see him still breathing, and hope for the best. Then I force myself to get on the bus to work.

Sooo…. Who knows! I’ll see when I get home :S


Any thoughts or advice? Should I do the same to the other eggs I know there are dead or alive chicks inside? So over due that I assume they are too big now and cant get out on their own.

Please note: my incubator sucks (new one being delivered today) and my humidity was WAY too low this whole time. Like, I can get it to 40% max. If I'm right there. Maybe this made the membrane just too thick?
 

sumi

Égalité
Staff member
Premium member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
39,157
25,178
1,302
Tipperary, Ireland


Before you open any more of the eggs, candle them and check if you can see any sign of life/development. You may need a strong light for candling though. A friend of mine here hatches quite a lot a quail, I'll shoot him a PM and ask him if he can add anything.
 

ozexpat

CocoBeach Farm
7 Years
Nov 18, 2012
12,850
1,791
391
between SoCal and The Philippines
My Coop
My Coop
So, funny story:

Hatching Coturnix quail eggs... day 20 of incubation. Hubby and I assume they are all dead. I candle them, and put aside all eggs where I am sure there is a chick. I watch during candling but can't see movement. Hubby insists all are dead, so we do not water test them.

First egg, dead. Probably a week ago (not totally developed.


Next egg, feeling pretty confident now. I crack the shell, peel some away, and the membrane kicks me. Little bugger is still alive!! I spend 3 hours helping peel some shell, and wetting the membrane (but mostly just running around the house freaking out and looking things up on chicken forums). I put the egg back in the incubator and go to bed at 1. I wake up at 6. Nothing has progressed. He must have died, and I worry that it is my fault. Pick him up – nope, still kickin! I peel most of the shell off, and get up the nerve to cut the membrane. No blood. Good good. He squirms around and I help him get his beak to the air. He breathes and I watch in awe. He still needs to finish absorbing the yolk, so I put him back in the incubator, see him still breathing, and hope for the best. Then I force myself to get on the bus to work.

Sooo…. Who knows! I’ll see when I get home :S


Any thoughts or advice? Should I do the same to the other eggs I know there are dead or alive chicks inside? So over due that I assume they are too big now and cant get out on their own.

Please note: my incubator sucks (new one being delivered today) and my humidity was WAY too low this whole time. Like, I can get it to 40% max. If I'm right there. Maybe this made the membrane just too thick?
from what I have read here, it is more likely that your temps were low. A low humidity would not cause such a delay.

I would open the eggs tonight and follow what you did with the living chick.

Good luck. The chances are very low but you just may get some survivors.
 

Morgan Farms

Hatching
6 Years
Dec 19, 2013
7
0
9
Victoria, BC
UPDATE: little guy was dead when I got home. The other 5 eggs that I left in the incubator are all moving now... on day 21. Aren't coturnix quail due on day 17-18? I've left them alone and we'll see if they hatch. Hopes are low, but no harm waiting a few more days to make sure.
 

isethebye

In the Brooder
5 Years
Dec 29, 2014
11
0
22
i just float tested my last 6 eggs and 2 seemed to move. day 20. the other 4 were dead and 1 made it up to the last days.
did i kill him when i opened up to get my only chick out a couple days ago? did i kill the remaining 2 when i float tested?
would the humidity drop from being outside the incubator kill them? they were only oiut a minute or 2.
put the 2 remaining back in.. i guess time will tell.
 

AmyLynn2374

Humidity Queen
5 Years
Oct 11, 2014
15,028
2,627
456
Gouverneur, NY
i just float tested my last 6 eggs and 2 seemed to move. day 20. the other 4 were dead and 1 made it up to the last days.
did i kill him when i opened up to get my only chick out a couple days ago? did i kill the remaining 2 when i float tested?
would the humidity drop from being outside the incubator kill them? they were only oiut a minute or 2.
put the 2 remaining back in.. i guess time will tell.
If you are saying that you are on day 20 it is too ealy to be messing with and rushing the hatch. Eggs average a day 21 gestation period, but that is not exact. Sometimes your hatch won't start until day 21 or 22. To take them out of lockdown before day 22 to check them, is, in my opinion, asking for trouble and raising the probability of compomising your hatch. It's a bit hard to understand just what you are saying or when. Opening the bator to pull out a chick, while it has a potential to cause pipped eggs to shrink wrap does not mean it will or does often. If you float test an egg that has internally pipped it will drown them.
 

Morgan Farms

Hatching
6 Years
Dec 19, 2013
7
0
9
Victoria, BC
Thanks AmyLynn - these were coturnix quail so due on day 17-18. I figured out that my humidity was way too low and temperature in my bator wasn't accurate. But I have now cracked the code and have a hatch rate of 80-85%. Thanks for the advise!
 

howfunkyisurchicken

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 11, 2011
9,281
794
351
Tn
AmyLynn2374- the OP is hatching quail, not chicken eggs. They typically take around 17 days to hatch, so they are quite late.

I agree your temperature must've been pretty low. You'll probably want to calibrate your thermometer before you incubate again, or get a new, more reliable one. I just got myself a Brinsea spot check, its pretty awesome, super accurate.

Good luck.
 

AmyLynn2374

Humidity Queen
5 Years
Oct 11, 2014
15,028
2,627
456
Gouverneur, NY
Thanks AmyLynn - these were coturnix quail so due on day 17-18. I figured out that my humidity was way too low and temperature in my bator wasn't accurate. But I have now cracked the code and have a hatch rate of 80-85%. Thanks for the advise!
That makes sense!!!! lol I use three thermometers in my bator because I lost a hatch depending on one that ended up being way off. 80-85% is good
 

AmyLynn2374

Humidity Queen
5 Years
Oct 11, 2014
15,028
2,627
456
Gouverneur, NY
Thanks AmyLynn - these were coturnix quail so due on day 17-18. I figured out that my humidity was way too low and temperature in my bator wasn't accurate. But I have now cracked the code and have a hatch rate of 80-85%. Thanks for the advise!
But my comment was to the last poster-isetheby....lol It doesn't say what they are hatching. Maybe quail too?
 
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