First chick is hatching. Humidity too high?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by GuppyLure, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. GuppyLure

    GuppyLure Out Of The Brooder

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    Around 9:00 pm on Thursday evening (4-9-09) I noticed one of the eggs in my incubator had pipped. This egg was set on March 21. I was worried because the chick was facing the wrong end of the egg. The shell had been chipped away but the membrane underneath was still sealed.
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    Unsure if the chick would suffocate, I punctured the membrane myself and put the egg back. Since that time the chick has made the opening bigger and I can see his beak as well as his tiny movements from either his heartbeat or breathing. I read somewhere that a chick can drown if he pips at the small end of the egg. This is my first ever hatch and it would be great to know if anyone has found that to be the case.

    I know humidity is an extremely important factor at this stage. My gut feeling is to be concerned if the humidity is lower than 70%, but is the chick in danger if the humidity is too high? My hydrometer reeds 80% humidity at the moment.

    All comments from BYC members are incredibly appreciated. I've already received great help with finding a good store to shop for poultry supplies from members. I had 8 eggs at the beginning of this hatch and am down to two. I am worried about my second egg as it hasn't pipped at all yet. If I am only lucky enough to get one chick from this hatch, would it be a good idea to purchase a companion chick? Many stores are stocked up on chicks because of this being Easter season. I'm just not sure if chicks do well alone.
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    If you can see the beak, the chick won't drown. The chick may however need assistance if it pipped two days ago and hasn't zipped yet.
     
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  3. Fancie

    Fancie Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. GuppyLure

    GuppyLure Out Of The Brooder

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    Here is an update on my first experience hatching an egg.

    Thank you for the welcome Fancie217!

    Quote:[​IMG]

    Thank you Mahonri, your comment really helped me out. I was going to give the chick one more day to get out of the egg but went ahead and helped after I read your post. If he had spent all his energy trying to break out of the egg for one more day, he might not have had enough fight left in him to live.

    As I peeled the shell away it became clear to me that the chick was unable to rotate because a bunch of his feathers were stuck to the shell/membrane of the egg. This must have happened because the day the chick first pipped, I discovered the humidity was far too low in the bator.

    After breaking open the egg most of the way I let the chick have a few moments to exercise and push to get out himself.

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    Finally, I removed all of the shell and the little guy was free around midnight (Easter Sunday morning). I call him or her Eggan.

    I did not realize that chicks need to stand soon after they hatch so their legs and toes will extend and support their weight properly as they dry off. The chick spent the whole night on his side because the surface in the bator was smooth and slick. When I finally did realize the chick needed a surface with traction under him I laid down paper towels. His little feet were quite stiff as he sat up on them the best he could. It looked painful because his toes were curled tight and he sat on the sides of his feet with his legs awkwardly twisted.

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    I thought for sure he would have to be culled but then BYC came to the rescue. I quickly searched the forum for advice about seemingly crippled chicks. What I read was that you need to give chicks at least a couple days and usually they are able to get straightened out. I also read posts about using a band-aid as a splint to hold the chicks legs under him.

    I gently stretched out Eggan's toes and spread them apart; then stuck a piece of tape on the bottom of his feet to hold them in that position.

    I made a small harness out of a paper towel and hung it in the bator. With the chick placed in the harness, it acted as a baby-bouncer. This allowed him to exercise his legs and begin to support his weight on the bottom of his feet rather than the sides.

    Regrettably, Eggan didn't like to be held in place by his harness but it did the trick. A few hours later I freed him and he was able to walk around clumsily.

    I left the tape on the bottom of the chicks feet over night.

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    My least favorite thing was peeling the tape off that next morning (Monday). Eggan is a Silkie chick so his little feet have fuzzy feathers on them that I didn't want to pull off with the tape, 'ouch'. I held the chick with his feet dangling into warm water. As the tape soaked in the moister I was able to peel it free.

    I don't know if the chicks' feet could have fixed themselves. I didn't like putting him through that strange process, but he now walked like a champ.

    It was fun to offer him water for the first time. He practiced swallowing it down and seemed to gurgle a little bit. After drinking he really pepped up and later tried a little food.

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    The next day (Tuesday) I was thrilled that Eggan had made it through a couple of days. He was the sole hatchling out of 8 eggs. On my way home from work I stopped at an IFA store and purchased the smallest bantam chick they had on hand. I named this new yellow and gray chick; Megan.

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    The first thing Megan did was enjoy a dust bath.

    Eggan was immediately fascinated with Megan's eyes and I blocked his attempts at pecking them until he finally turned his focus to toes. Megan turned out to be a very sweet and gentle companion for Eggan. It was a much more comfortable matter to eat, drink, and groom with another chick doing the same. Now I know I would never want to raise one baby chicken by itself and I've also been told it is best to have six.

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    Here are the two today. Eggan is now two weeks old.

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    Last edited: Apr 27, 2009
    1 person likes this.
  5. Huny

    Huny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh Christy, I love a happy ending [​IMG] Glad to see it worked out.
     
  6. GuppyLure

    GuppyLure Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Thank you, me too! Those first 24 hours after the chick hatched were nerve-wracking but now I'll be much more confidant the next time around. I wish you a successful and healthy hatch with the new batch of eggs you'll begin incubating this week. ^_^
     
  7. steffpeck

    steffpeck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    Erda, UT
    Very cute!! I am so happy that you had a "Happy Ending". [​IMG]
     
  8. GuppyLure

    GuppyLure Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Thanks so much Steffanie![​IMG]
     

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