Hands on hatching and help

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by AmyLynn2374, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    For a few months @RubyNala97 and I have talked about having a thread for Hands on Hatchers to come together and for help for those who want to be more involved or don't want to accept the "Never help a chick" theory. People have different methods of hatching, and that's ok. When you find something that works for you, you do it. Don't worry about what other's views are, as long as your method is working- that is what is important. This thread is meant for us hands on people. A place to come together and talk, exchange our "hands on" methods, or seek help in assisting or just to see how our methods really do work for us. We aren't a thread to debate the differences for hands on/hands off, there's a thread for that. We are strictly for people that want to experience hatching in it's entirety w/out being literally yelled at because you are doing it different or because you are being hands on. OH no you opened your incubator at hatch??? That's ok, here we understand and will help anyone who needs it regardless of wether you did something we wouldn't. One of the greatest and most knowledgeable things is candling, and you shouldn't be afraid to do it.

    A little about myself: I use an old LG incubator with fan attatchement, and I have awesome hatches. My last was 100%. I prefer a low humidity incubation method, and a high hatch humidity. I am VERY hands on. I open my incubator frequently during hatch and I have NEVER lost a chick that has pipped or started zipping. I seldom have post hatch mortality and my chicks are very healthy with no leg problems. And I am more than willing to assist my chicks if I feel it is neccessary. Why am I saying this? Because these are the things that a lot of hands off hatchers will swear to you will happen if you are not hands off. I respect a hands off hatchers philospohies and that's great for them. But I hate the fact that some would condem and put down those of us that don't share their philosophy. So if you are looking for a place to share your experiences and excitment in being hands on, without the worry of being scolded or threatened you won't be helped in a time of need, feel free to jump in and inroduce yourselves. Tell us a little about your methods and share pics of your flocks and chicks.
     
  2. RubyNala97

    RubyNala97 Overrun With Chickens

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    I read everything under the sun in preparation for my first hatch. When lockdown came everyone in the house knew that incubator would not be opened, under any circumstances until hatch was over and all the chicks were fluffy! I eagerly watched as my chicks hatched and then a chick zipped but did not push out of the shell. I waited and waited and hours went by, until instinctually I opened the incubator and gently pulled the top of the shell off, as a perfect beautiful chick popped out and looked at me, as to say "thanks". Since that first hatched I have assisted and helped chicks, quails, and peachicks come into the world. From non-progressers, to malpositioned pips, etc. The key for me is timing. Finding the right time to help, not to soon and not to late. Like Amy, almost all of my assists have gone on to be healthy birds. I use both a brinsea mini and an octagon 20. Both Eco models. I use a little higher humidity for incubation and like it very high at hatch. I keep a close eye on my eggs during hatch and have my own philosophy that as long as they internally pip I will get them out alive if they can't do it on their own. I used to be so nervous anytime I opened the incubator or touched a pipped egg and I would send Amy a million messages, just for the reassurance that it would be okay. I hope that's what comes out of this thread. Reassurance and guidance that you can save that chick!
     
  3. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    [​IMG]
     
  4. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    There are definitely precautions and I have my own set of guidelines as to when and what I will do to assist. My biggest philosophy is, "If you are comfortable with what you doing and it is working for you, your hatches are giving you what you want, then don't let anyone tell you that you are wrong or that you should change." Not everyone hatches the same and it's not about that. It's about results and if you are getting the results you want, don't let anyone make you feel bad about how you do it.
     
  5. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use a Hova Bator 1588 and swear by it. I am getting ready to buy a second one because I have become addicted to hatching. I can no longer wait the 21 days it takes for my chicks to hatch before I start a new batch. Haha! I have a bator full right now of BCM and 4 Polish that I threw in to test for fertility (didn't want to waste a fertile egg by cracking it right now cuz my girls are laying only a few a week - too cold!LOL! who can blame them?!).

    I too use a "dry"method during incubation - right around 30% and then increase to at least 75% for hatching. Once I did this my hatch rate went from the 30%s to the 90%s. I also help out when needed. I have had many hatches that no one needed help, and then others where 2 or 3 did. I am a Firefighter/Paramedic/RN by trade. One of the first things that I learned as a paramedic was that you can't kill a dead person... what does that mean? If they are already dead, you really can't hurt them. So you do everything that you can to help them. The only place you have to go from there is up. In my opinion, helping a doomed chick is the same thing. If they are not going to be able to hatch on their own and they are going to die anyway, then what's the harm in helping?! Yes I know, maybe the chick was not meant to hatch, maybe it will be a weak bird, maybe it has lots of issues and will have to be culled in the end. Maybe. But maybe not. Sometimes they just get tired. Sometimes they get turned around. When I use to work as an RN I worked labor and delivery. We did C-sections all of the time. Some were scheduled. Some were emergent. Guess what... some of those babies would never have survived a vaginal delivery. And after a C-section, some were fine and some had problems.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that if they are going to die anyway, why not give them every opportunity. If they turn out to be a weak bird, don't breed them. If they turn out to be special needs and you are not willing/not able to care for them - cull them later, then they are no worse off than before. But what if, just what if they turned out to be a strong healthy bird? What if they turned out to be your bird with the best personality? What if God put us there with our knowledge at that very minute to help that bird for a reason.

    I too do not fault those who take a hands off approach. But I like Amy agree that those of us that CHOOSE TO HELP need a place we can help each other and others that also choose to help! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

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    Just watching. [​IMG]
     
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  7. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I'd give you an ovation if it would let me...lol One of the biggest arguements is "we only want the strongest". I think people tend to forget that when we are artificially incubating that we ourselves cause many problems and make unneccessary challenges for these chicks that they wouldn't be dealing with in nature. My very first assist was a very malepositioned pipper. After hours of not progressing, I widened the pip to asses the situation. I had little toes waving at me from above the beak....lol There was no way that she was going to get out herself, so I slowly started an assist, doing a little at a time before replacing her and giving her rest time. Once she had a big enough hole and could pull her leg down, she was able to push out on her own. She ended up being one of my best layers out of my first group and perfectly strong and healthy. Had I not helped, she probably would have died in the shell from exhaustion or dehydration or something. So I am very much for assisting when necessary. I'm sure there's been one or two that I helped that may not have needed it too, but hey, there here and healthy...lol I have only lost one in maybe a dozen of assists that I have done, and I believe he had digestive issues, something going on internally. He seemed healthy after hatch but had very runny poo that got worse and 9 days after hatch he died. The first 7 days though he was active and seemed to be thriving, so [​IMG].

    I hope others will join the convo and share their experiences as well.
     
  8. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Friday!!! [​IMG]
     
  9. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

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    I don't help near as much as you guys, but I will occasionally. Just different hatching styles.

    But most of all, I do think it's important that people know the best way to assist, and I'm glad you started this thread to help talk people through it! [​IMG]
     
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  10. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Awe. Thanks. [​IMG]
     
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