Hatching Emergency--Is this chick alive?!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by SpinChicky, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. SpinChicky

    SpinChicky Just Hatched

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    Hello! First time hatcher here. My Easter Egger was on 6 eggs, and it appears that last night (Day 21) she killed 3 chicks as each pipped. This morning I rescued 3 eggs, and brought them inside to an emergency makeshift incubator--A cardboard box with a wet washcloth, a heating pad underneath, a heat lamp above, and a mug of boiling water to produce some moisture (and some plastic wrap over the back half of the box).

    Minutes after coming inside, a beak broke through a shell. The chick pecked at the hole and cheeped for about 10 minutes, making a hole about the size of a pencil eraser. It went suddenly still and silent, and hasn't moved in about 7 hours, or made a sound.

    I'm fairly certain the humidity level isn't nearly high enough, but don't know how to create humidity in this makeshift cardboard box. It looks like the membrane is pretty dry. We're keeping the temp right around 100.

    The other two eggs haven't shown any indications of movement.

    Anyone have suggestions? I know I need to be patient and that it can take a day or more for the chick to emerge. Should I be concerned that it hasn't moved or made sound in 7 hours? How do I know when the chick with the drying membrane needs assistance?

    Any advice would be wonderful. I'll have an incubator ready to go next time!

    Thank you!
     
  2. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

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    Hi SpinChicky - have you picked up the egg and tapped on it, or whistled/cheeped near it? Often the chick will respond to you by peeping.

    I had a broody baby-killer too, so sad after you've been waiting for 21 days. [​IMG] Have you candled the fat end of the other eggs to see if you can see anything?

    Good luck!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Neezers Farm

    Neezers Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    I had a similar situation with my previous hatch. Read "Phyllis, the miracle chick" in the emergencies forum.
     
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  4. SpinChicky

    SpinChicky Just Hatched

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    Thank you so much! @FridayYet I will try that and @Neezers Farm I will read the post right now!
     
  5. SpinChicky

    SpinChicky Just Hatched

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    Update (with a sad outcome and some gruesome details):

    Got back home and took a look at the chick 16 hours after it pipped. There was absolutely no change or response since it had suddenly stopping cheeping. We moistened the membrane with a q-tip and carefully chipped off the shell around the hole, and it became quickly evident that the chicken was cold and stiff and had been gone for some time.

    To better understand the process, we went ahead and took the rest of the shell off. The bottom half of the chicken/egg still had very bright blood around it, but there was a clear line of demarcation between the bloody and clean areas, almost like the chick had been dipped in dye. It was folded into the fetal position and didn't relax once the shell was off.

    There are two eggs left; I candled the fat ends without moving the eggs. One looks like it has a faint red ring around the air sac, and the other doesn't look like the egg is very full. I'm thinking we probably won't end up with any chicks in this first hatching experiment. We were really eager to have a mama raise them, but perhaps an incubator would be better until we have some more experience.

    I'll update if we get any surprises--how long should I wait before disposing of the eggs (this is the end of day 22 and there is no smell)?
     
  6. Neezers Farm

    Neezers Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    I always water candle any eggs that have not pipped or hatched 24 hours after last chick hatched. I was surprised to find a viable egg that did successfully hatch once. You just place the egg in a cup of warm 100 degree water and observe for any signs of movement. The egg will wobble if there is a live chick. I'm sorry about the chick you lost. What I learned from Phyllis is to go ahead and remove some of the shell to investigate, when there doesn't appear to be signs of life.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  7. SpinChicky

    SpinChicky Just Hatched

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    Soooooo... @Neezers Farm I just got back and water candled the eggs. One was absolutely dead, and when I put it in a bag and sealed it, it exploded. [​IMG]


    However, the second egg sat in the water still for a long time, then suddenly jerked. Someone in the house had turned the heat lamps on too high and the the temp went to 116 overnight, so someone else turned it off, thinking the eggs were not viable, dropping to 76... and when the egg got warmed back up, it started moving in the hot water! [​IMG]


    So now, I've got it wrapped in wet paper towels, in the cardboard box with a heat pad underneath, a heat lamp above, plastic wrap over the box, and wet paper towels in the box to generate humidity (photo below)


    Any other suggestions? It's now day 23...what should I be looking for, when do I call it quits?

    Thanks!
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Neezers Farm

    Neezers Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    I would just leave it in the incubator at the proper temperature and humidity to see if it pips within the next day or two.
     
  9. SpinChicky

    SpinChicky Just Hatched

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    Thank you! We are doing this with a makeshift emergency incubator, so I don't have any way to measure humidity, and we are trying to keep the temp correct.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
  10. SpinChicky

    SpinChicky Just Hatched

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    Update:

    It's now about 37 hours since rescue egg #1 pipped.

    Rescue egg #3 is in the makeshift emergency incubator. The temp is steady at 100-102, and the humidity is high. It's nestled in wet paper towels. No movement or sounds yet. We decided today is actually day 22 instead of 23. Or, 22.5. I'm hoping it will pip or do something by tomorrow.
     

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