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is it ever ok to help the hatch?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by mhawley, May 9, 2007.

  1. mhawley

    mhawley New Egg

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    May 5, 2007
    I thought I saw an earlier post along these lines, but couldn't find it again today. I've always heard that if chicks couldn't get out by themselves, they wouldn't be strong enough to make it. But some of your incubation posts have indicated that there may be times when one should intervene when the humidity levels are not right.

    We live in a very dry area of California (0 humidity). My eggs are being hatched by the hen. There is one that pipped a day or so ago, but hasn't hatched yet. It appears to still be alive this afternoon and is being moved around by the mother hen, but isn't making any progress. Am I right in letting this one win or lose on his own? Thanks
     
  2. jimnjay

    jimnjay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2007
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    I would have a hard time letting it die. Humidity will prevent very helathy chicks form being able to get out. I had one last year just uncurl in my hand after I peeled a little of the shell off. It was fine and was a beaufiful chick. I usually just take some of the shell off not the membrane. I peel away from the pip site and complete the circle where it would otherwise unzip the shell. It is a judgement call but I have a hard time letting them peep and know they want out and are not able to turn. The membrane in dry climate clings to me quickly so they can't turn. If the chick is not healthy then you will have to deal with it but you may have a perfect baby in there. I have helped many and only had one die. One other one had a severe cross beak and I had to put it down but I gave it a chance at least.

    It is a judgement call, if they are easily replaced by other eggs and other hatches then you may want to let nature take its course but if you paid good money for shipped eggs, then I would take a chance it is a healthy baby that is stuck.
     
  3. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    IF it was in a bator/hatcher rather than a hen and IF it had been 24+ hours since it pipped, I would say yes, help, bit by bit. HOWEVER, I have never had this situation with a hen. But, from what you say, she is trying to help it. If it were me (I am not telling you to do this, this is only about what I would do) I would gently, slowly crack the egg beginning with the pip and then cracking all the way around. Not up & down, but around. Not peeling off any shell, but just cracking it. I also would give it a light spray of warm water every once in a while in hopes of softening up the membrane if it is dry. Not too much, though, as the chick could drown. Then I would put it back under the hen and check it every hour or so. hth.
     
  4. eggchel

    eggchel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    That is such a tough call to make.

    I live in CA too and have had trouble keeping the humidity high enough in the incubator, especially for ducks and geese. So, there have been occasions when the membrane dried out before the baby could get the shell separated, or where the membrane stuck to the duckling and actually made it so that the baby couldnt move! In those cases, I help it out.... carefully. If the membrane is dried out, I start by wetting a Q-tip with very warm water and I try to just moisten the exposed membrane enough that the baby can continue on its own.
    If you have to peel any of the shell off, do it very slowly and STOP if you see any blood. That means that it is too early and you should wait longer. Usually, I try to only help enough to get past whatever obstruction is stopping it from hatching, and then let it do the rest of the job by itself.

    good luck

    chel
     
  5. mhawley

    mhawley New Egg

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    Thanks everyone for your input. Y'all were right about the membrane having dried out. It was dried to the chick, trapping it. Using a kitchen atomizer and a swab, I was able to moisten it enough for the chick to eventually free itself. It was a fighter and looked healthy but didn't live an hour. By the way, the hen rejected it and immediately tried to kill it. Anyway, thank you again for all the advice. It was very much appreciated.
     
  6. eggchel

    eggchel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Awwwww, Im really sorry that it didnt make it. [​IMG]


    chel
     

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