Hatching problems-1 chick out

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Lbeverl1, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. Lbeverl1

    Lbeverl1 New Egg

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    Dec 31, 2010
    Savannah, GA
    So this is my first time incubating eggs and things went pretty well until lock-down when the thermostat got bumped while I was taking the turner out and the temp. was in the 90's for 8 or 9 hours. So the hatch was delayed and nothing happened until day 23 when 1 egg pipped. It waited about 13 hours after pipping to start zipping but I was good and resisted temptation to step in. Around 11:00 last night it started making good progress zipping and I went to bed around midnight thinking I would have a chick in the a.m. I got up this morning to the chick being at a standstill at the same point I left it last night, with weaker chirping and MUCH less movement so I stepped in. The membrane had dried out all around the edges and the chick was very strong but completely stuck. The chick also seemed pretty large, absolutely zero wiggle room in the egg but I don't know if that's normal or not? I did my best to keep the humidity up in the incubator and added a wet paper towel when I took the chick out and put the wet washcloth in with him when I put him back in. So there was only a temporary drop in humidity to maybe 67-68% and now it's up around 80%. Two more eggs (possibly a 3rd) have pipped this morning and I am about to have to go class and I'm freaking out!

    So my questions are these: Should I do anything special for the little guy I had to assist? He seems really strong, he was struggling to get out of the shell the whole time I was wetting the membrane for him, and he's already gotten up on his feet a few times. Should I expect the other chicks to have the same hatching problems or did the membrane dry out just because this little guy took so long (it was a full 24 hours before I stepped in and about 7 of that he spent half-way zipped)? Finally, is humidity at 80% good for hatching chicks? I've searched and searched on the internet and seen values ranging from 60-100% for required humidity.

    Any help would be SO appreciated! I'm thrilled to have one baby chick but so worried that it is going to die and that the same thing will happen to all of them!
     
  2. Baralak

    Baralak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Some where in the 60% range is good... 80% is too high.

    What kinda bator do you have?

    Your hatched chick should be fine.
     
  3. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    In my opinion 80% is not too high. I get my best results with humidity above 75% in lockdown. If you genuinely didn't open the bator through all of lockdown and you still got a chick that was stuck to the membrane, it sounds like your humidity wasn't high enough. If he looks strong and has been up on his feet already then I'd imagine he'll be fine. Don't be too quick to jump in and help the others just because you had to help this one. If he was okay for 13 hours after pipping then these ones most likely will be too.

    I think I've read that bigger chicks sometimes have trouble zipping just cause of the lack of wiggle room in the shell. Maybe that was part of the problem.

    Good luck with the rest of your hatch.
     
  4. TarHeelBlue

    TarHeelBlue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 2, 2011
    Yukon, Oklahoma
    I had the same thing happen to one of my guys = When I got home from work he was still stuck in the shell with it zipped about 1/2 way. Took him in a washcloth to the bathroom with the hot water (shower) running. Felt like I was in a sauna. Slowly finished zipping for him, membrane was tough, so helped with some of that, then put him back. He was out in about 2 minutes. [​IMG] I was so afraid he wasn't gonna make it. But this morning, he still isn't as active as the others, but looks good. Hurray for you!!! This hatching thing is touch, but don't give up.[​IMG]
     
  5. Lbeverl1

    Lbeverl1 New Egg

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    Dec 31, 2010
    Savannah, GA
    Thanks for your replies. This has been a nightmare. The chick that is out is doing fine, and seems to want to help the other chicks hatch the way he's bumping them around. The two that had pipped this morning, however, had dried out membranes by the time I got home today. I took them out and into the humid bathroom to try to moisten the membranes for them and peeled back a tiny bit of shell to see what was happening. I could see blood vessels in the membrane on both of them so I stopped there and put them back in the incubator but I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to help them some more later on. I feel so guilty that I have messed up the hatch this badly!
     
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Be sure to have a cup of hot water handy, and some Q-tips, to moisten the membrane for them, if you intervene. It's not sufficient to peel away the egg shell. It's best if they can kick their own way out of a moistened membrane.

    Just sayin'.
     
  7. Lbeverl1

    Lbeverl1 New Egg

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    Dec 31, 2010
    Savannah, GA
    I've been doing that, trust me I read a LOT about what to do before I started poking around with tweezers:) It worked too!! Both of the eggs that I had to wet the membranes for have finished hatching on their own and seem ok, maybe a little weaker than chick #1 but not bad.
     
  8. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well? How many you got? How they all doing?
     
  9. Lbeverl1

    Lbeverl1 New Egg

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    Dec 31, 2010
    Savannah, GA
    Only those three hatched. I still have the incubator with the other eggs running mostly because I had a nightmare last night that I threw out eggs with live chicks in them! So I'm going to leave it running for another day just to ease my mind. One of the three chicks died. I'm not sure what was wrong with it, it wasn't walking well but it didn't look like straddle-leg. I did my best trying to feed it and help it get stronger but it was dead this morning [​IMG] I cried for about 15 minutes. The other two seem really healthy and are eating and drinking well so I'm happy about that. Ugh, I knew hatching eggs is hard and I didn't expect to get an amazing hatch but I wasn't prepared for the stress and the GUILT. I've got my fingers crossed that at least one of my two survivors is a hen because I live in city limits and any roosters are gonna have to go live with my parents.
     
  10. gavinandallison

    gavinandallison Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2010
    Matthews, NC.
    Keep in there! We hatched our first set of chicks3 weeks ago - Silkies - started with 12 eggs, lost 3 at lock down, then 2 more after that! We helped one, he was totally stuck, warm water, a sponge, tweezers and q-tips. Little one was exhausted, we would have lost it but we didn't. Am so glad we did what we did, as it is now our favorite one!

    What type of incubator and gauges do you use?
     

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