I am a terrible person and just killed a thriving chick thinking it was dead...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MisfitMarie, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. MisfitMarie

    MisfitMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I put a dozen random pure bred eggs into my incubator awhile back. I'm fairly new to incubating. I skipped day 7 and figured that I would candle today, day 16, and then again before lockdown. I pulled out three clear eggs that had absolutely no sign of development. I pulled out a fourth that had a thick-looking ring around it and some wonky dark speckled marks about nickle-sized in diameter on one side of the egg that I had never seen in an egg before. I watched for a few minutes against the candling light, saw no movement, and assumed that, along with the ring, it was an early death.

    I am an absolute idiot.

    I took the eggs downstairs and proceeded to crack them open. Sure enough, the first three eggs spilled out pure yolk. No sign of anything having developed.

    Then, I cracked open the fourth egg.

    What I spilled out onto the plate was a live chick, not fully developed. It was twitching, moving, probably reacting to being opened up. The odd dark specks that I thought might have been some weird bacteria? They were feathers, tiny little black starts of feathers. Having only hatched darker eggs up until this point (but many of them), I must have been thrown off by the tiny red leghorn inside of a light white egg. He must have had his back pressed up against the shell. And the funky thick red thing? I have no idea... seemed to develop despite that.

    I was mortified... and pretty positive, at that point, there was no way to take back what I had I done.

    I have been carrying this sick, heavy feeling around all day. I wanted to cry... I'm sitting here at work still thinking about it.

    I don't ever want to remove "bad" eggs from the incubator again. Granted, I don't want any exploding inside, either.

    I have no problem eating chicken eggs. I have no problem eating chickens fried, baked, etc. I grew up on a small farm and know how it goes. Chicks are a food source. But I have a big problem with killing a innocent chick out of ignorance/total lack of experience. That REALLY bothers me.

    Sigh... Thanks for listening. [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I've done it before. It's devastating. I was sure the eggs were on day 25 and the chick was about to hatch.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  3. MisfitMarie

    MisfitMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is a terrible feeling... Day 25, that must have been rough. It would have looked like a fully developed chick at that point. I couldn't imagine. [​IMG]
     
  4. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I did the same thing on my first hatch. my first egg cull at day 10 I removed the clears. At 16 (I think) I had determined I had three that were dead. Opened the first one, it was living...albeit not for long. I felt lower than low. I quickly gathered up the others I had pulled and stuck them right back in the bator. wasn't taking the chance again. Now I only remove the clears and distinct blood rings. Everything else will stay in the bator until the end unless I start smelling something. I couldn't handle doing that again. It's hard, but I think it's a common, (though unfortunate) learning process.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Don't feel bad. I think it happens to everyone who hatches at some time. I had been incubating rare shipped eggs from across the country, and on day 10 I tripped over my small incubator cord, and saw 4 little sets of eyes in a pile of eggs on the floor. It made me sick, and feel so guilty. We've all been there.
     
  6. Aliciahess

    Aliciahess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh I'm so sorry!! Don't blame yourself,just take it as a learning experience. I haven't had the guts to open any eggs I cull..also harvest my own chickens but something very diff about a new baby.
     
  7. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to either, but I have gained a lot of insight and knowledge by doing the eggtopsies, but only after the hatch is done unless it's a no brainer bad one. If I am on day 14 and it hasn't progressed past day 5 it's pretty apparent. but if there is even the slightest question of viability (and for me anything more than just a spot or half filled at lock down is questionable), they are staying in until the hatch is done.
     
  8. MisfitMarie

    MisfitMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all of the replies! I'm still really bummed, but I'm feeling a little better. It helps to know that I'm not alone. The best I can do is to just learn from it and never do it again. I think, from now on, I will only be culling the OBVIOUS clears or OBVIOUS CLEARS WITH RED RING. If I ever see anything "strange" or "weird" again, especially now that I know what dark feather fuzz looks like through white egg shell, they will be going into lockdown until it's Day 25 or I start smelling something bad...

    I hope that chick died quickly, and it will serve as a solemn reminder to be extremely careful with these developing embryos. I agree with some of the above comments, that it's different with a baby chick. I can quickly and humanely harvest happy free-ranging chickens and put them on the dinner table. But wasting a little life like who never got a chance to live from no fault of its own? That just sinks straight down into my gut.

    Here's to no more newbie mistakes!
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  9. Sabz

    Sabz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey Marie! Want to hear another newbie mistake so you can feel slightly better?

    Well, my first hatch was 3 weeks ago. I had only one fertile egg. It hatched and I spent ALL night with him in my arm, or sleeping on my stomach (I had a wool pijama on, he wasn't cold at all).

    I gave him about 40 kissed, I smelled him (there is a strange smell to a baby chick.. like the inside of the egg mixed with feather smell).. I remember his little feet so yellow and smooth, very different from mommy hen's feet.

    And then it was time for me to sleep. So I put down little baby in the incubator, went to sleep.. and my cat ate it!!!!!!!!! ARGGG.
    Next morning I jumped out of bed, impatient to see the baby.... and instead I had a half chick on my carpet!! I had to touch it, pick it up and dispose! yuk yuk yuk...

    I will say like others, we learn by our mistakes. I had read sad stories about opening eggs, so I don't. I have some hatching today, and I think all the white eggs are not fertilized but I was too afraid to open then, I am waiting.

    But I had no idea those eggs could explode!!! ouf.. I hope they don't.
     
  10. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I doubt there is any of us who have incubated who has not made this same mistake, some of us have made the mistake more than once.. [​IMG]
     

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