How do I know if they need help?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Haviris, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. Haviris

    Haviris Songster

    Sep 4, 2007
    I'm sure experience helps alot, but in my experience some are alittle slow/late and come out on their own just fine, and others never make it out of the shell, and so far I haven't been able to figure out how to know the difference (until it's to late).

    So anyway I have 7 eggs in my bator, all looked good on day 18, yesterday was day 21. Up to that point I'd seen nothing, so I checked them over, still nothing from 4 of them, but I could see movement in two and hear chirping in the other one. This morning still nothing, and nothing at noon, so I checked them again, at first nothing, but then I heard light chirping with one, light crunching with one, and very active crunching with the third (still nothing w/ the other 4).

    I know I can be paranoid, but it just really sucks to get this far and lose them. I had one once that was on day 23, I was actually getting ready to give up and picked each up and to my suprise heard some crunching (this was at midnight), two hours later I heard loud chirping! I was so excited, thought I'd have a fluffy chick the next morning. Went to bed, got up at 8am (6 hours later), heard nothing, saw nothing, opened the egg and the chick was dead!

    I think I made a mistake, I have two incubators so that I could use one as a hatcher, a LG and a Havabator, the LG has given me nothing but trouble. I had eggs with two different hatch dates in my Havabator these first ones were due yesterday and the next are due a week from Sat., so I moved the first ones over 4 days ago, everything was set up and looked fine, but then the temps started flucuating some, didn't seem to bad, but I'm starting to think bad enough to damage my eggs.

    So what would you do? I was considering pipping the eggs for them, I know these three have already pipped internally, so I hoped this might keep them from sufficating.

    So what are your thoughts? Am I being over eager?
  2. Berynn

    Berynn Cooped Up

    Oct 13, 2007
    You are getting more than what I am getting. Mine are not chirping or moving. I am on day 20 I guess. I put the in the bater on Jan11 before noon. I just want to hear chirping or see rocking.:eek:
  3. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    I want to wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide to do. Some say wait, some say don't. You are the final decision maker here. Trust your gut instint. You say you are on day 22. Make sure you counted your days correctly. If you feel life maybe sliping away, then what do you have to lose in trying to help. It is truely fustrating sometimes. I will be praying for beautiful chicks. [​IMG]
  4. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Have you read the Intervention thread? It was a big help to me during my first hathing experience, a few months ago.

    Patiently staring down hatch #2...

  5. Haviris

    Haviris Songster

    Sep 4, 2007
    I double checked, and I definately counted my days right. I did read the intervention thread, it says if the peeping and moving seem to be getting faint, I read that first to see if it would help, it did and they do seem to be fading. I'm thinking at this point I will give them another hour or so and see if anything more has developed and if not pip the one that was chirping. I'll deside then on the one that was quietly crunching, and I'll give the more active one more time.

    It feels like a no win situations, either I help and they die anyway and I wonder if I killed them, or I do nothing and they still die! Sometimes it's just hard to know what to do. Maybe I'll get lucky!

    You have been more helpful then you know, I just wanted to be sure I'm not just being to eager. But it sounds like it's a judgement call with no right or wrong answer, so I'll just go with my gut!

    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    Here's my opinion:
    For one thing I believe you're doing too much checking. Most books and really experienced hatchers will tell you that once eggs go into the hatcher the hatcher doesn't get opened again until it's time to take out the chicks. Again most reliable sources will suggest leaving the hatcher closed until day 23 which allows time for stragglers to emerge. Each time you open the hatcher the temperature drops and humidity is lost during a critical period in the hatching cycle.
    Again, IMO, you definitely should not "pip" the egg for the chick and I even advise against helping chicks out of the shell. Here's why-nature is an excellent culler-chicks that can't make it out of the shell on their own are often defective in some way and often don't thrive after being "helped". Think about it. If you raise and mate chicks that couldn't hatch on their own are you likely to produce strong, robust chicks or more chicks that are weak and unable to hatch on their own. I admit that occasionally I don't follow this advise. Particularly when It's a chick from a pen I really want to reproduce and/or a chick from a pen that hasn't produced well. Rarely does a chick I've "helped" do well. Most are unthrifty and end up being culled later.
    IMO, one last time, I don't think it matters if you are a serious breeder or a backyarder with a handful of assorted birds. If you're producing chicks It seems to me it's in your best interest to try to produce strong, robust chicks. Remember, it doesn't cost any more or take any more time to raise a good bird than it does to raise a poor one.
  7. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007

    My opinion is.. pip the eggs. I'm a newbie, so take my advice for what it is. There is a terrific thread at the beginning of this forum with a sticky on it. Great advice there.

    I know with my last batch, only one egg made it to the end. She was peeping away in the egg. I went to bed. When I got up, she had died. It was heartbreaking, and I won't ever go that long again without helping.

    If they seem to be weakening, give them a hand! If they die, at least you tried.

    And for the record, I have a black cochin cockeral I helped out. I thought he was going to die.. now he's a healthy robust guy, and you'd never know he needed assistance.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

  8. Haviris

    Haviris Songster

    Sep 4, 2007
    Well I did it, I checked them all and two had gotten quit active and noisy so I left them alone, the other's peeping was getting very quiet, so I put a small hole in the egg, that was around 2pm it's now after midnight, he's still quiet, but is alive and seems to be making progress now, so I'm leaving him alone. One of the others pipped on it's own, the other has gotten very quiet, not a sound so I pipped his shell, I was sure he'd be dead, but he's not so we'll see if he makes anything happen. One of the other 4 are also now peeping, so hopeful I will manage to get a few atleast.

    I think sometimes it's necessary to help, I've had to do it in the past and haven't found anything wrong with the chicks I'e helped. In most cases I can't even tell which one it was after a day or two. I'd much rather help out and have a live healthy chick, risking a possibly unhealthy one, then to do nothing and lose them. I'm not afraid of risks, and if there's a problem, I will deal with it them!

    Anyway, thanks for the thoughts and opinions, you've all been very helpful!

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