First time EVER - chick just hatched!!!


14 Years
Aug 12, 2008
Mullica Twp., NJ
Today is Day 18 and our first chick just hatched!!!

I thought we'd probably have late hatches since our homemade 'bator seemed to hold a lower-than-ideal temperature range. There seems to be a second chick attempting to pip already, as well.

My DH and I actually had to do a bit of panicked trouble-shooting this afternoon, because the lightbulb blew out in the "ready-to-hatch" 'bator! The temp had dropped to 88 degrees before I noticed. We quickly moved the eggs to our new, larger 'bator that has 6-day old eggs still in the egg turner. Thank God I was home to keep an eye on the 'bators AND had a second incubator to use in an emergency. The first 'bator is now up and running, but I'm worried to move the eggs a second time to put them back.

I was so worried that the lower temp might have harmed the chicks, but we heard two of the eggs cheeping while we were moving them. I noticed the tiniest, little dent in one of the eggs at about 3 o'clock, and it appeared a tiny bit bigger when I got home at 5:45. I had to go out to pick up my son from band practice at about 8:30 and got home around 9:15pm. The first thing we did was check the eggs to find that the chick had fully pipped. After that, things progressed very quickly!

The chick tried stretching a few times to push the shell apart, succeeded in rolling itself over a bit, and then the top of the shell seemed to just split open. With only a few more pushes, the chick was able to pop right out the top. We were all very amazed how quickly the chick was able to hatch out completely. From start to finish, it went from pipping to out-of-the-shell in only about half an hour!

The chick seems to have some gummy "stuff" stuck to it's belly and underside... Is that the remains of the yolk sac? I'm assuming it's normal, since the chick seems healthy enough from my vantage point outside the 'bator. It's wet and tired, of course; but it cheeps at me whenever I tap on the side of the incubator. Please tell me if there's anything else I need to do, or check on, for our new baby and the others that will soon follow it.

I am SO EXCITED and PROUD!!! You'd think I had laid the darned eggs?!
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Good job on noticing & fixing your incubator problem in time.

The only thing I would say is that you should watch your humidity very closely. Ordinarily, you wouldn't want to open the incubator at all during the hatch because the chicks need high humidity to keep them from sticking to the inside of their shells. Obviously, you didn't have much choice, but now that they are in the new incubator, I would get the humidity up around 60-70% and try to keep it there. It won't hurt the younger eggs for the few days it takes to hatch, and it will greatly increase the odds of a good hatch from the pipping eggs.

The hatched chick probably is sticky, etc., due to the problems with incubation you experienced. Since it's acting normal, it's probably just fine--I had a sticky duckling in my first hatch, probably because of problems I experienced, and it turned out fine too. It is indeed the remains of the yolk sac, and probably not a big deal, but not ideal either. Because you already know you've been having issues, it's especially important to give them the best hatching environment possible. Which means--you have to leave that chick in the bator till the others hatch!! Even though that is very hard...

Anyway, congratulations! I never get tired of the immense high hatching gives me.
Congratulations on your first. The goo on the chick is natural and just left over yolk sack. With the ones to follow, don't be tempted to help them out of the shell. It can take up to 24 hours for a chick to hatch after it pips and starts to zip. We have had chicks pip and not start to zip for another day and then take a day to actually hatch. Let them dry completely before moving to a brooder. They can go up to 3 days before eating and drinking. But after they are walking pretty good then take each one and gently dip their beak into the water so they know where it is. Spread a bit of food on their floor so they can learn to eat.
Thank so much for the advice and info. The chick has moved around a bit inside the 'bator (maybe going over to cheer on #2), and it's cheeping from time to time (as a good "cheering section" should). This reassures me that it has plenty of strength and vigor. It is a Blue Andalusian, and it even looks like it might turn out blue (rather than black or splash), like both of its parents. We have some Blue Orps in there, too.

It's kind of bitter-sweet that the first chick to hatch is the offspring of our favorite rooster, Cobalt, and his mate, Sapphire, who we just lost to an unknown predator last week.
I'm glad I had some of Sapphire's eggs in the 'bator to act as her legacy within our flock. She was our BEST egg-layer, only missed ONE day since she started laying!
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Awwww. I'm glad you've got her babies hatching out. I love blues because of the fun of waiting to see what colors they will hatch out--ducks are the same way--two blues make blacks, silvers (splash), and blue. Gotta love it. I'm getting magpies in the Spring and planning to do some interbreeding to try and come up with a colorful duck that throws relatively unpredictably colored babies. Ha ha. I just realized how silly that sounds. But I'm actually quite serious and have actual plans for corralling the chaos.

And isn't it sweet seeing them cheer each other on? Sounds like your little one is doing just fine.
Yes, the chick is doing great! However... I just had even MORE incubator problems. It seems that adding or removing ANYTHING in these homemade 'bators causes the temperature to go all wonky, even when they've been holding steady for weeks! I just went over to check on things because the chick was cheeping quite loudly, and found the temp at 106! It's never gone higher than 101 before now. At least I know it wasn't up there very long, so I quickly opened up the 'bator (messing up the humidity, of course) to cool it down.

I've now adjusted the thermostat in the second 'bator again, but since I already had it open, I went ahead and moved the eggs and the chick back into their own "original" 'bator. The plus side is that I got to see that the chick is fine, and the gummy stuff was just a piece of membrane that got stuck to its butt, and came off pretty easily. I added another bowl of water to increase the humidity for them, also.

Now, I'm watching the big 'bator to make sure the temp stabilized so I don't cook my newest batch of eggs. I guess I won't be getting any sleep tonight, but that's okay... I'm too anxious and hyped to sleep anyway.
This hatching thing seems more of an "art" than a "science" so far!

P.S. - I hope the second egg hatches relatively soon, 'cause the new baby seems kinda lonely! (It keeps cheeping and trying to move up against other objects).
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Okay, well a lot has been happening. I've had to monitor and adjust the incubator a few times, so it's been really hard to maintain an ideal humidity level. There is always condensation on the inside of the glass window, but the shell membranes still seem to be getting kind of dried out. I've been using a wet Q-tip to moisten the exposed areas whenever I can, and have had to help remove the gummy residue that is stuck to the chicks once they hatch out. I also offer some assistance to the chicks if it appears that they're having a hard time ripping or breaking through on their own.

So far, 3 chicks have hatched out - all blues, two andalusians and one orpington.
They first two are doing great, and the third just hatched... It seems fine, but it's still too wet and tired to tell much else. Should be good-to-go by morning, hopefully. No other pips at the moment, so it might take another day or so for more action to report.

We lost our favorite rooster last week too. We decided to put some eggs in hopes that we get some off spring from him. He was just an easter egger, but he was gorgeous. He was also a very alert, protective, and gentle with his ladies. We felt hatching a few of his eggs would honor him in a way I guess. His favorite lady is an easter egger so we made sure her eggs were the majority of what we put in there. It's the first time I've hatched eggs.

I'm only on day 6 though. Hopefully all goes well at hatch time like yours has

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