Mid hatch question with pic

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by 10sevol, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. 10sevol

    10sevol Out Of The Brooder

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    This guy is egg #10, and will 10 out 12 of viable eggs to hatch since Thursday. You can see his beak, and he's being very loud and wiggling around quite a bit, but he's been pretty much just like this since last night. He's making a little progress, but he's taking a beating from the other hatchlings. They see the little beak working and just peck away at him.

    I finally decided to remove some of the hatchlings to a brooder, but I hope in doing so, I didn't stick this guy in his egg. I looked at it pretty closely, and the membrane appeared dry and stuck to his body. Obviously, he can get air, but I'm confused whether to continue to wait it out. So, I took a warm paper towel and used it to gently moisten the shell and membrane. Other than that, I haven't done anything.

    Should I continue to wait it out? Removing some of the other chicks helped with the pecking issue. I hope I just didn't create a problem by opening the incubator.

    Thanks!




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  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    If the membrane is stuck to him, he will likely need help. You should be able to see where the veins are and gently, slowly, pick off tiny bits of shell and membrane. No large chunks. If a bleed occurs, stop; generally it won't be an issue though, just means slow down. Sometimes assisted hatchings get keen when they feel the egg is mostly off and they kick strongly and can tear their own umbilical cords, but if you go slowly enough it shouldn't happen. He might not need help but I can't say for sure.

    About this bit...
    Quote: That's a cannibal trait. It's bred in, not natural to the species. It's a problem. It was a smart move to remove them but they will always need keeping a close eye on and expect they will turn into feathered piranhas if ever they see blood; maybe they won't even wait but will obsessively pick at one another until blood shows.

    Bad trait. I culled it out of mine. Since it's very heritable, it's easily bred out especially via culling those who show the warning signs, and then you get a harmless flock of chooks you can leave injured and ill birds among without any violence done, even if there's blood and open wounds. Not all chooks turn cannibal when needing protein or bored, your chicks are a prime example. They're still living off their absorbed yolk sacs, they're not hungry; they've just hatched, they're not bored. They're just mentally abnormal because of a recent ancestor line kept under unnatural conditions.

    Anyway, best wishes with them.
     
  3. pjquail

    pjquail Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had 2 chicks 2 days ago get stuck in their shell and I tried to help them. One was already dead, and the other lived for about 3.2 seconds outside of the shell. If you do decide to help it, please just be prepared, and expect the worst (something I really didn't do) Good Luck!
     
  4. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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  5. 10sevol

    10sevol Out Of The Brooder

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    Update: I've been working with this little guy all day. He's out and chirping loudly (which I take as a good sign). I think I did the right thing, as he was really stuck in there. I picked a little of the shell away in areas where I could flake it somewhat easily away in little pieces. The membrane was stuck hard to him...I guess from where he pipped out and couldn't move, and all that air that could get in the shell dried it out. I really have no idea.

    Anyway, I picked away at it, and kept it as damp as possible with a wet cloth. I started taking off bigger pieces when it was apparent he was breathing really fast and shallow.

    I never saw any blood. The yolk was fully absorbed. Outside of some pieces of membrane stuck to his feathers, he seems ok.

    I hope I did the right thing. I just saw no way he could get unstuck from where he was. Even with 3-4 interventions throughout the day, it was a challenge for him to get unstuck.



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  6. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    Pleased to hear he's ok and out of the shell. It's good you saw no blood and the yolk sac was absorbed he was obviously ready to hatch. Sometimes these things are sent to try us!!! Good luck and well done :jumpy
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
  7. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Sounds like you did the right thing beyond a shadow of a doubt; he wasn't going to make it unassisted and the fact that he didn't bleed means he was way, way past due.

    However there is a chance he isn't viable, after all he was on his way to failing to survive hatching before you intervened, something may still cause him to fail; if so, don't beat yourself up about it, it was not your fault. Trust me, it's pretty obvious when a chick dying during assisted hatching is the human's fault... It happens very fast, with plenty of bleeding, generally.

    If you keep and breed him/her be aware that this can be a heritable problem in some cases.

    Best wishes.
     
  8. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    All baby chicks come into this world with a pecking response or instinct. Pecking at everything in their environment is how they explore the world around them. Don't worry about your birds becoming feathered great white sharks. Cabbalism in chicks is usually a response to environmental stress like crowding or too much heat.
     
  9. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    'Cabbalism' is a religion. ;)

    Cannibalism is a bred-in trait.

    Studies have shown it can be bred in and out within a few generations, and certain breeds are renowned for the trait, especially commercial intensive-producing sorts like layers and meat birds, as compared to heritage breeds.

    I culled it out of my flock and they no longer attack even birds with bleeding open wounds.

    Cannibalism is not something non-predisposed birds will ever exhibit no matter the circumstances; starvation won't trigger it never mind overcrowding, and those are the two only logical reasons for it to ever surface... It's specific to certain family lines only, not the species as a whole.

    Those who are predisposed will exhibit it at the drop of a hat; it's almost funny how many things are cited as reasons why. None of them are logical explanations of the behavior exhibited; 'they're bored', 'they're thirsty', 'they're too hot', 'they're hungry' --- they're aberrant, they're often not even hungry when they do it (as the just-hatched chicks are demonstrating), they're predisposed to viewing one another as food and obsessively attacking one another. It's a mental aberration, a diseased instinct; not natural and not inevitable. If you want to put up with cannibals it's your choice but it's not some intrinsic and unavoidable trait.

    My chicks never exhibited any cannibalistic traits once I culled it out, but before I did, I found they would, as the OP noted, attack hatching chicks. They would rip them out of the shells and continue attacking. This is not natural expression of inquisitive pecking instincts at all. We've bred many unnatural behaviors into them, and bred many natural behaviors out of them, but cannibalism is not endemic to the species.

    If they show signs, be aware they will almost always pose a risk of launching into a feeding frenzy at the sight of a drop of blood.

    Best wishes.
     
  10. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    I am not going to make too much out of it but if cannibalism could be as easily bred out of a chickens' blood line as you say then every breed, but especially commercial intensive-producing sorts like layers and meat birds etc. that are subject to intense breeding or inbreeding to remove objectionable traits like going broody, slow weight gain or poor feed conversion then cannibalism would have been eliminated or bred out of commercial or intensive-production sorts of chickens years and years ago.

    Because every commercial chicks' beak is cropped off soon after hatching to discourage cannibalism and also because it requires real human workers who are paid actual cash wages to do this work, you would think wouldn't you that all those well educated poultry scientist would be working on a solution to this money losing cannibalism problem like they did to find a way to sex chicks by feather color instead of paying Japanese guest workers each a 1/4 of a million dollars a year to do the job manually. So I humbly suggest that you offer your services to the commercial intensive-production chicken industry so that you can help mankind breed a better commercial bird and at the same time every year save the tips of the beaks of billions and billions of baby chickens. It shouldn't even require Genetically Modify Engineering to achieve this breakthrough because you already have the seed material in your own Heritage Chicken flock and your Heritage chickens are all the same species as Commercial sorts of Poultry are so you would only have to breed your birds into the commercial lines then select for the good traits inherent in both the commercial and heritage blood lines like high egg production, fast weight gain, good feed conversion and no cannibalism.

    If you paten your cannibalism free blood line you and your children stand to make multi millions yearly. Good luck! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014

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