Help! All of my eggs look like they have detached air cells

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Nicolla, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. Nicolla

    Nicolla Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am on day 11 and I have 30 eggs set. I just candled them and it now looks like almost all of them have detached air cells. What should I do for them? Have them upright? They were shipped eggs and I waited 15 hours before I set them. Will they not hatch if they have detached air cells? In many of them I can see the chick moving around. Sorry for all of my questions this is my first time. Thank you!
     
  2. adrian

    adrian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,

    Detached air cells will move all around the egg when you move them. If they are doing this, in my opinion there are a few things to do to improve your odds of hatching the eggs successfully.

    One, move them to an upright position, if they are not already in it. Egg cartons work wonders. In my opinion you want them very upright, not just slanted with the big end farther up, such as people often set them in Brinseas.

    Two, stop turning them-- for the most part. You've turned them adequately for the first 11 days and that is very positive. This is when the embryo needs turning most of all, to help the blood vessels grow throughout the egg and to prevent the small embryo and its yolk sac from becoming stuck to one side.

    From what I have learned about turning, which is more important in some birds such as parrots, it is mostly about the allantoic membrane, and its growth throughout the egg. By the halfway point in incubation, the allantoic membrane, which we see during candling as the network of blood vessels, should cover the entire egg. Which means you should see veining throughout the egg now, or very nearly. This is why during the second half of incubation, turning is far less crucial. This is lucky for your case. If I were you I would probably give them one rotation a day, in an upright position, but being sure that their air cells are always in a "normal" position at the top of the egg. Just "spin" the eggs in their cartons (if you choose cartons) once per day.

    Three, I like to turn the humidity down quite a lot, if it is not already low. The air cell when detached will probably not grow. Thus, the last thing you want is to have chicks hatching in wet eggs, and if the air cells can grow, you want to encourage it as much as possible. I'm thinking quite low, like 30% or so, if not lower. Some people incubate at these percents normally. I would also highly suggest that when you go into lockdown, you refrain from raising the humidity much (if at all) until you see external pips. Then raise it to around normal for hatching; 60-65%. Your goal is to have the chicks pierce through the membrane and breathe, with what air space they have. That is most important of all.

    I find that high humidity will soften the membrane, sometimes making it a bit gooey, and making the entire egg wetter. For a chick that may already have difficulty finding a dry space in which to breathe, the last thing you want is the membrane to be gooey and for there to be any liquid in its way. Usually, in most species, I do not bump humidity at all until I know they have internally pipped, but if you are very worried, 40-50% is probably a decent compromise. However, the membrane usually does not dry until it is hit by the outside air, as the inside of the egg is naturally moist. Fans will especially dry out the membrane. That is why it is probably best that you bump humidity as soon as you see the first external pip. Some eggs may be behind, but again, there are lots of compromises to be made.

    You also must make some decisions. In the end, it is generally preferable that the membrane dries and the chicks must be assisted out of their eggs than the chicks drowning in their eggs before they can pip. It is a compromise I have taken before. Sometimes, or in some cases, you may need to assist, but it is possible that if you are careful, things will be all right. For example, I had an egg with a detached air cell last year, a silkie chick, and from the start of incubation I incubated it in an egg carton and only rotated it a few times. I found the less I turned it, the more stable the air cell became. So by half point I stopped turning almost entirely. Around 5-6 days before hatching I did stop entirely. I went into lockdown as I usually do, with modest humidity, and lo and behold, that egg was the very first to pop out. Fast, and energetic, and without a single issue.

    It can be successful! I just highly recommend making sure you don't get the eggs too wet, and keep them upright and as still as possible from now on.

    That is just my experience. Take it with a grain of salt always, because as they say, YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
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  3. Nicolla

    Nicolla Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much for your response. I really, really appreciate it! I really think my air cells are very large so I'm concerned about lowing the humidity. I'm going to take a picture of my eggs air cells when I candle later tonight. I feel like I am missing something or evaluating them incorrectly or something lol. Thank you again so much!!
     
  4. Nicolla

    Nicolla Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here are a couple eggs I took pics of. Most of them look like this. They looked like this when I got them in the mail. I don't know what else to do : ( Are they going to die? I'm so sad.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  5. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The aircell was that big when you got them?
     
  6. Nicolla

    Nicolla Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yea : ( I got them from the buy, sell, trade forum. What does that mean? This is my first time hatching and I know they aren't supposed to be that big yet.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  7. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the aircells were that big when you got them, the eggs were a bit too old to ship in my humble opinion. Eggs will dehydrate a bit, but even eggs that I set that are 7 days old don't have aircells anywhere near that big. :(
     
  8. Nicolla

    Nicolla Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What do you think I should do then? Can I talk to the seller about it? What would you do?
     
  9. Sphinx

    Sphinx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When you candle them, can you see veining or moving chicks around?



    I had some shipped eggs with some pretty mangled air cells, and the chicks survived.


    [​IMG]

    This is a picture of one of my eggs with a damaged air cell. The chick hatched just fine.

    I did notice that some of my chicks pipped at the wrong end of the egg and didn't even pip into the air cell at all.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  10. Nicolla

    Nicolla Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote: Thanks!! I guess I will just have to wait and see [​IMG]
     

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