Help Early labor???

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Blondie654, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. Blondie654

    Blondie654 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2013
    Hi there,

    I'm in my first hatch and have 6 pekins candled yesterday and looking great. preparing for lock-down tomorrow and turned this morning. Children looked through the glass on to (hovabator) and noticed one egg slightly away from the others and has a crack ion the side. I opened the incubator to (stupidly) pick it up and see it was a definite crack. I placed back as best i could quickly turned the others and shut it. I have been watching for a few minutes and the egg is gently swaying/rocking so i sprayed so warm water in to increase the humidity which is usually about 60 but once i opened it went down to 52. Its now 75.

    I dont know what to do! I assumed Pekins hatched same as other chickens on 21 days.. was i wrong?
    Should i stop turning the others?

    is it just early labor that can sometimes happen? Have i done something wrong????

    Ok deep breath.... trying not to panic! Should i get the brooder ready just in case?

    Thank you
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    First, don’t panic. That solves nothing and often makes things worse. But if that is your nature, you have my permission to panic as long as you get away from the incubator first.

    I’m sure you are talking about Peking chickens, not Peking ducks; there is sometimes confusion over that. Yes chickens are on a 21 day theoretical schedule. I call it theoretical because theory and real life don’t always fit. There are a lot of different things that can cause an egg to be early or late, heredity, humidity, how or how long you stored them, relative size of eggs, and just basic differences in eggs. A really big one is average incubating temperature. If the incubator is too warm, they will hatch early. If it I too cool, they can be a few days late. I used to consistently get early hatches where some were pipping when I went into lockdown until I adjusted the incubator and calibrated my thermometer so I finally got it right.

    I’ve had eggs hatch a full two days early under a broody and in my incubator after I adjusted it. I’ve had one egg hatch a full day before any other eggs pipped. I don’t know why, probably something to do with how it was stored.

    It sounds like you handled it pretty well. The eggs that had not pipped were in no danger from you opening the incubator. If they have not pipped that is not going to cause any problems at all because they are not going to dry out that fast. I’ve opened the incubator a few times with eggs pipped to handle an emergency. I did shrink-wrap one chick once but usually it is not a problem. Opening the incubator then is not something I do casually, only if I have an emergency that seems worth the risk.

    If that one is the only one that hatches early, that probably had something to do with the way it was stored, probably at too high a temperature. If your hatch is over more than a full 24 hours before the mythical mystical 2 days, you should tweak your incubator temperature, adjusting it down a degree or so. Try to make small adjustments.

    You can stop turning the others. They really don't need to be turned after 14 days of development, but since it's so convenient to stop turning when we go into lockdown, that has become the standard. I think that comes from commercial operations where they move the eggs from an incubator to a hatcher. It doesn't hurt to turn them after 14 days, it's just not necessary.
     
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  3. Blondie654

    Blondie654 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2013
    ok panic is under control (for now) and yes Penkin Bantam Chickens (buff columbians). I bought them from a farm he assured me they were fresh only a few days old. A nice new young rooster had be seen socializing with his hens and we were assured fertility would be good. We have 6/7 fertile so not bad!

    Ok so the ones you had hatch early did they survive? should i be optimistic or resign myself that this one will probably not survive?

    I will stop turning and hope the others stick to the preset time line and not follow in this rebels foot steps!
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Yeah, they survived fine. The earlier or later they are, the more chance of a problem, but there really is a pretty wide window of opportunity where things go pretty well. Most of this stuff is not precise at all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  5. Blondie654

    Blondie654 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2013
    thank you
     
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I had 30 Barred Plymouth Rocks hatch on a Thursday and Friday when they were due on a Sunday. Didn't lose a single one, but it sure confused me. I candled them on day 2, because I was so excited to check fertility... One was cracked so I opened it up to check fertility. They were developing more quickly than anything I've seen.

    [​IMG]
    Here is a video I took. Ridgerunner, what day would you think this is on?

    I'm guessing it's two days more than 48 hours.. That would explain why they hatched 3 days early.

    What's really strange is that I picked them up 4 hours away, and set them 6 hours after that.. so if they were being incubated by a hen for example, I would think me removing them and storing them for 10 hours at room temp would kill them all.. but it didn't..

    I had 40 eggs and 30 chicks hatched. My incubator was not too hot because I had other breeds placed the same day and hatched on Sunday.

    Mystery ;)
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I’m not a candling expert Aoxa. I generally don’t even try until seven days, but looking at candling pictures, I’d guess more like 5 days than 4 for yours.

    I’m not surprised that they were viable after ten hours away from heat, providing the storage temperature wasn’t too cool. Those eggs are usually remarkably tough. Life force is really powerful if we give it much of a chance.
     
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I'm quite a talented candler :) Usually 48 hours I can see unless they are incredibly dark.

    Either way, I really lucked out. I got some really good birds out of that hatch.
     
  9. Blondie654

    Blondie654 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2013
    [​IMG]

    here is the egg. We noticed it 2 hours ago. It was wiggling quite a bit at the time but has now settled down.
    if there is no change and no more wiggling, for how long do i wait (with no change) before i resign myself that she didn't make it? 24 hrs 48??
     
  10. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    From pip to zip it's between 2-24 hours to hatch.
     

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