Its Day 20 on my first hatch

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by vschutter, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. vschutter

    vschutter New Egg

    1
    0
    7
    Apr 3, 2016
    So I did not read any of the information on the last 3 days until just now. I picked up the eggs today and moved them after hearing chirping. Then I read about not touching them! Does anyone think I may have killed them? Do you think they will still hatch? There is evidence of pipping on one of the eggs and another rolled. Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. Erka97

    Erka97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    179
    23
    54
    Mar 30, 2017
    You definitely didn't kill them. I'm not sure where the rule about not touching the eggs came from, but in my opinion it's probably killed more chicks than it's helped. Hens don't lock their babies in a box at hatch time, after all.
    Of course, you should always be careful when handling the eggs not to shake them up too much or drop them, but otherwise this rule seems to be about the humidity in the incubator, which should be kept somewhat higher than it was during incubation for the hatch to keep the membranes soft and help the babies hatch -not extremely high though, I've got "mushy chicks" by following the water adding and lockdown procedures in incubator instructions before.

    Personally, I handle my eggs right up until the moment they hatch -though not all the time, just periodically to candle them and see how they are doing or help those that are failing to hatch on their own- and the only ones I may have lost because of this were bad off to begin with [that incubator was known as the Incubator of Death for a reason]. There are far more that are alive because of it, as the most common killer of fully developed chicks I've had is being malpositioned and suffocating in the egg, which isn't helped at all by the "lockdown" increase in humidity; either you find out what's happened and you do "egg surgery" to rescue them, or they'll die in this case. I've also had one or two drown in the egg, I don't know what to do about that one yet.
     
  3. MTRChickens

    MTRChickens Out Of The Brooder

    37
    0
    20
    Mar 13, 2017
    How can you tell if they need help or suffocate in the shell?
     
  4. Erka97

    Erka97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    179
    23
    54
    Mar 30, 2017
    With eggs that have pipped, they generally need help if it's been about 18-24 hours with no progress. When helping them, watch out for blood vessels and don't let them come out of the egg until their yolk is absorbed -if it isn't, you'll be able to uncurl their head and see it in there by their legs, shining a light in helps. Also if they're trying to "zip" the egg and don't seem to be making progress that's a problem, especially if you can't see the beak anymore -I just had one die that way last time I hatched.
    Eggs that have not pipped internally with the others, and especially those that haven't pipped by the time the others have hatched, are the ones that are probably malpositioned and will suffocate if they aren't helped. Another of my eggs died from this last hatch, because I was at school while it was trying to hatch.
    Most people say that you can't help an egg that has not internally pipped on its own, however I did just that when I saw that one of my eggs had failed to do so. The other eggs had already hatched, and this one was just sitting there. I could see a little movement when I candled it, but no beak and no cracks anywhere, so I made a hole in the top of the air cell to see what was going on. I couldn't see the beak at all, just the side of the chick, and the blood vessels looked weirdly dark -this means low oxygen, they should be a brighter red; something I learned from reading an article on hatching eggs without the shells. She was obviously stuck and running out of oxygen, so I started chipping away the shell, trying to leave the membrane intact as I searched for a beak. I ended up taking off half of the shell before I found it, and causing a little bleeding too, but when I did I was rewarded with the chick peeping at me and uncurling somewhat. She was pretty weak, so I made her a little bed in the incubator out of a sponge [that's how she got her name: Sponge] and she stayed there with her remaining bit of shell for about a day as she absorbed her yolk and got stronger, as when I got her out she was so weak she couldn't even open her eyes. She also had a leg issue and would fall over on her back any time she tried to walk, but after a few more days of feeding her mostly egg yolks with a spoon -that's good for helping the weak babies, I've found- she was a lot stronger and could only be told apart from the others because she was a little smaller.. She's nearly a fully grown hen now.
    She's the reason I tell people to check their eggs around hatch time, especially if it's the last egg or few eggs and isn't doing much of anything, because if I hadn't she would have died.
    I hope your eggs don't need any of this, though. Most don't. Good luck with them, and I hope you have several fluffy baby birds in a few days.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,019
    2,498
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY

    :welcome

    No, you didn't kill them. I too handle my eggs right up to hatch. But, make sure that your humidity is up past 65%. I prefer 70-75%, if you are opening the bator.
     
  6. MTRChickens

    MTRChickens Out Of The Brooder

    37
    0
    20
    Mar 13, 2017
    Well, I've been checking them. Had to lower the temp some. I think the warm water I put in there might have uped the temp. But the humidity is as high I can get it.
     
  7. Erka97

    Erka97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    179
    23
    54
    Mar 30, 2017
    Make sure it does not go too high as well, I guess condensation in the incubator is not a good sign as this increases cases of drowning and "mushy chicks." Weirdly enough, I got mushy chicks all the time just by following the water adding directions; to avoid that I have to add no water during incubation and then possibly a little during hatch time.. I guess this all depends on where you live and what works best for you, hatching eggs is a lot of trial and error.
     
  8. MTRChickens

    MTRChickens Out Of The Brooder

    37
    0
    20
    Mar 13, 2017
    I don't have a lot in it. Mostly it runs dry. I just added a little to increase the humidity. I got it down to safe range.
     
  9. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,019
    2,498
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY

    Anything above 65% and under the amount that gives you condensation is good.
    Again, drowning and "mushy chick" is NOT a product of high hatch humidity. It is from incubation humidity (the first 17 days) being too high.
    Running too low at hatch increases the chance of membranes drying out in pipped chicks preventing them from being able to progress. Condensation in the air means chicks breathing in moisture laden air which can lead to respiratory issues.

    Because the manuals with the incubators often promote humidity that is too high for the incubation period. They do not take into consideration any of the variables that affect individual humidity needs. http://letsraisechickens.weebly.com...anuals-understanding-and-controlling-humidity
     
  10. MTRChickens

    MTRChickens Out Of The Brooder

    37
    0
    20
    Mar 13, 2017
    Well as of this morning, none of them will hatch. I found the lid off half way with teeth marks from the dogs which they never bothered until this morning. By sure how long it's been off. I moved it somewhere else. It'd take a miracle. Eggs weren't touched but I'm pretty ticked.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by