First hatch

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Fliese, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. Fliese

    Fliese Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2012
    Hello! I am on day 21 of my first hatch. I had eggs shipped (Icelandic) and had 4 duds and 3 eary deaths, leaving me with 7 eggs. I candles them all before lockdown and they were looking good. Yesterday, there was some peeping from the eggs. At 3 this morning, tree weren't any pips and at 730, there was a chick running about.

    Well, now it's 230 ad the little chick is still alone, no other pips even. It also looks crusty on it's back. at first I thought it just wasn't dry, but now it's really looking more dirty than damp. Its belly is fluffy. I've read that chicks can get yolk on themselves and if so, it needs to be cleaned off. If that's the case, do I open up and remove the chick to wash it off or do I wait? As this little guy runs all over the incubator, it's rolling some of the other eggs. Should I be righting them (which I could do with a pencil through a vent hole) or do I leave them? The humidity in the incubator is 75% and I could get the humidity in the room up to about 65% in a few minutes' time, if I needed to open up to get the on chick out (to reduce shrink-wrapping, although like I said, no one has pipped). At what point do I give up on the other eggs?

    Thanks for any advice!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Congrats on the one chick hatching, hope the others do also. If nobody has pipped I wouldn't worry about lowering the humidity for a short time, especially if you can get the humidity back up fast. I usually take chicks out about once a day anyhow and just try to time it so nobody is in the middle of hatching, and get it back up quickly. Are the eggs just laying loose in the incubator? If the eggs have normal air cells I usually just leave them alone, even if the hatched chicks kick them around... if they are in egg cartons or stacked somehow and the chick is putting them upside down or something I would right them. I usually give the other eggs until day 24 or 25, but usually candle again to double check before discarding or opening the eggs. With the crusty chick, if you take it out and clean it, just be sure the brooder is warm enough so it doesn't get chilled.
     
  3. Fliese

    Fliese Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2012
    Thanks! I did take the chick out and tried to clean it off with a warm, damp cloth, but that didn't do much. I finally just rubbed the chick's back and that seemed to do the trick, although it looks a bit like it has dandruff now. Ha! I moved it to the broader and put a mirror in to keep it company. I think my humidity only dropped to 72%, so it was like nothing.

    The other eggs are just sitting free. I did take the few seconds to space them out from each other again and righted the one that had been completely turned over. We still don't have any new pips and I don't think I hear any chirping from in there, but it's a little hard to tell because there is a noisy chick in the room now. No one is wiggling either, so I'm feeling pretty pessimistic. Only time will tell, though.

    When you candle before discarding, how can you tell if they're still alive? Candling on day 17, I could see a tiny bit of movement in some, but mostly it was either the egg was very dark or it wasn't. I can't imagine I'd be able to see much at this stage. What exactly would one look for? Hopefully the others will get on board for hatching here soon. It'll be a shame if there's only one (who appears to have a recessive gene that means it's a non-breeder).

    Here's a question: I have 15 hatchery chicks that are a week old as well. I think the loner would be happier with other chicks, but I'm afraid they'll all attack the baby. When does the whole caring about new birds thing kick in? Do I need to quarantine these guys from each other? That hadn't occurred to me with new hatches, but maybe I do? I guess I've never had babies so close on age that I've thought of mixing them before.
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    With really dark shelled eggs you are pretty much left with hoping to hear cheeping when you tap on them, or try the water test https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ng-egg-viability-for-late-or-overdue-hatching Usually you should be able to see some movement when you candle, especially near the air cell in lighter eggs... a really good BYC article on hatching eggs, talks about what you should see candling https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hatching-eggs-101 When you do open the older eggs up, open from the top where the air cell is, so in case you still have a live chick you can just put it back in the incubator.
    I mix hatched chicks and ones I've gotten from reputable hatcheries if they are about the same age ... figure the risk is pretty small. I usually wait until the younger ones are a couple of days old and doing well, then just start mixing them by putting one or two smaller but older ones in to start and combine them over the next couple of days into one brooder... usually chicks are fine for the first two or three weeks being mixed.
    Hope the others hatch.
     
  5. Fliese

    Fliese Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2012
    Thanks!
     
  6. Fliese

    Fliese Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2012
    Well, the room with the incubator was starting to get a... unique... smell to it, so I went ahead and did the float test. All of them floated to show them as viable, but none were moving. I also candled them all and three of them didn't look to have developed any since the day 18 candle. There was still light coming through on the pointy side and there was no movement. I broke open the air sacks on those three and confirmed death. They looked nearly developed. Their eyelids were either translucent, or there was a membrane over the eyes. Feathered and all. I don't understand what happened. They didn't drown in the air cell and they weren't shrink-wrapped. None had popped internally. The yolk was still there and quite a bit of the albumin was there too.

    I didn't really see any of the eggs moving at the 18 day candle; I only remember seeing one move. Probably my loner. The remaining three are taking up more room in the egg than the ones I pitched today; basically the whole egg other than the air cell is dark and I can see some veining around the edges. I don't have much hope, since I can't detect any movement, even in the float test, but I figure I'll give them until day 25 before cracking into the air cell. Does that seem reasonable, or should I call the whole thing a wash since they aren't moving, chirping or making any scratching noises and the one hatch happened more than 48 hours ago?
     
  7. kimmommy23

    kimmommy23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 8, 2014
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    I'm so sorry about your chick losses. I don't know anything about hatching as I just started my first so I can't offer any advise but I hope you get a couple more.
     

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