eggs beginning to hatch and problems have arose, help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by momtoecl, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. momtoecl

    momtoecl Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2007
    I posted this to a different thread and was advised to post it on the emergency thread...sorry if you had read this twice!
    I am homeschooling my 5 yr old and we just finished a Farm unit. It is coinciding with the hatching of a few eggs we have been incubating. I know very little about this process and I have several questions. IF anyone can offer advice or "Coach" me through this that would be great.

    Two chicks started peeping yestereday afternoon and then pipped sometime around 2pm. They both seemed to try all day to get out but by 9pm, They had still only pipped...no zipping. I read the thread about "helping" the chicks if they had been making no progress and finally got the nerve to try what it said around 12:00am.

    I was able to begin zipping arond the eggs and then I placed them back in the incubator. I bathed the membrane in water and placed a warm damp washcloth around the egg as I put it back in.

    By 2am I could still hear peeping but no progress in the chicks zipping on their own. (Shell is cracked and membrane is broken,,,membrane looks very tough and dry) So I took them out separaetly again and finished the zipping process. I put them back in again and wet to sleep.

    At 6am the larger of the two seemed in distress because the breathing movements were different than before. I went ahead and removed the membrane and the chick appeared to be dead. Just in case, I placed it back in the incubator. THe next chick I was able to free from its membrane and it was immediately put back in the incubator where it has remained. I t is breathing but I have not seen it stand. It has changed position several times but it looks very pathetic.

    Is there anything I should be doing to help this little one?
    How long will he lay there?

    I have had a third egg begin to pip at 8am but no zipping as of yet.
    Any advice ont his one? Should I leave it be or expect to have to work on this one too?

    The first chick (the large one) did not make it. No signs of life.
     
  2. bantymum

    bantymum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi Mumtoecl, I have just sent emails to some hatching eggsperts to help you, hope they get here in time.
    Hang in there.
    Hugs
    Helen
     
  3. momtoecl

    momtoecl Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2007
    The chick that I successfully zipped and removed from membrane continues to show signs of life. It is breathing regularly and has moved around in the incubator several times. I just saw it try to stand up...it wiggled and wiggled...but then collasped in sleep again. I read last night somewhere that new chicks will sometimes do this. I hope so...for the chick's sake and my daughter's sake. She so wants to see new chicks all fluffy and yellow.

    Which brings me to another question. The chick that I have hatched is black/gray. Again I know nothing about the different breeds of chickens so we were surprised they were not yellow. What kind of chick do I have?
     
  4. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    You may have helped them out too early. Chicks can take over 24 hours from pip to hatch.
    Once they start, just make sure your humidity in the bator is correct. Don't open the incubator at all. Each time you open it, you lose precious heat and humidity.
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Honestly, if you help a chick out of the egg, you just have to wait and let it recover or not on its own. If it cannot find its feet eventually, it will not be a healthy bird anyway. I don't help usually unless an egg has been pipped 24 hours or so, unless I see that the membrane is like paper and the shell is getting that dessicated, driedout look. After a chick is out, I leave it alone. If after a day or so, it's still in the same situation, not standing or opening its eyes, I may elect to put it down.
    I'd leave that other egg alone till about at least 15-24 hours has elapsed. We do get impatient, I know. I've been there. Good luck!
    ****I agree with Terrie, you helped it out too soon. Just wait it out,that's the hard part.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2007
  6. momtoecl

    momtoecl Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2007
    The first, larger egg did have a very dry looking membrane...like paper or even leather. This is what prompted me to try and help. (Also it had been 10 hours and no progress beyond pipping)
    I don't have anything to measure humidity so I assumed with the membrane looking dry that the humidity was too low.
    I placed a warm damp cloth in the incubator to help with this.

    The chick that survived has raised its head upright and opened its eyes. I hope that this is a good thing.

    I will wait longer in the third one. But it is so nerve racking not knowing if the conditions are correct and also not knowing what a hydrated membrane is supposed to look like.

    We got 5 eggs and incubator from a family friend. I was told to turn them twice a day until 18th day, keep water in the bottom, and temp at 99.5. I didn't know anything about imporatnce of humidity during hatching until 12am last night as I poured over this forum.
    I hope this has a happy ending.
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I hope so, too. It sure can be nervewracking and you certainly learn as you go. You can read all kinds of stuff about hatching, but it's different when you do it for real, isn't it? Anything you do may help or may not help. There's no way to know for sure if what you do will come out right in the end. Hope the baby makes it. Let us know!
     
  8. momtoecl

    momtoecl Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2007
    Thanks for your help and encouragement. WIll keep you posted!
     
  9. momtoecl

    momtoecl Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2007
    The chick that I "helped" to hatch continues to hang in there. I am worried though because I thought that it would look more like a chick by now. (It hatched at 6am) I have left it in the incubator thus far and it is still damp...not drying out like I read it would. HOw long does it take them to dry out and fluff up? It has now found one of its feet but still working on getting up on two. Is this a bad sign? Should I move it to the brooder box that we have? It seems to be encouraging the egg that pipped around 12-2 am this morning. I don't know what is best for the hatched chick.
    I am keeping the incubator at 99.5 degrees and I have pulled the two small plugs out because of the moisture beginning to collect on the windows (I thought it may be too damp)

    We are at the 12 hour mark for the third egg that pipped.
     
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I would leave it in the bator myself. If its as weak as that, it may get a chill it does not need right now. You were right to pull plugs; in fact, next time, I'd pull at least one plug on hatch day for ventilation, no matter what the humidity. They do need increased oxygen at hatch time.
    12 hours isn't that long for a pipped egg. I'd wait awhile longer myself, but I know its hard.
     

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