Natures way of culling?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by X2Farm, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. X2Farm

    X2Farm Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Homer, GA
    So I've got chicks hatching out right now, Speckled Sussex... (Homemade hatcher, cabinet style, temp holding at 99.1 about 1/3 of the way back into the tray and humidity at 60% )

    I noticed something a bit strange... (Now, these eggs have all been in the same bator, moved to the same hatcher, all conditions the same...) While 2 chicks have hatched out vigorous and healthy, I was peeking in the window and looks like one is partially stuck to the membrane right by its beak/eye (big hole in shell, easy to see w/flashlight). Mind you, I've not opened the bator except for the morning of day 19 (yesterday) to add some more water. The egg right next to it hatched out just fine... as did one up one row and 2 over.

    There are several other breeds hatching out in this batch, that are all hatching fine, in various other spots in the same tray as these.

    Is that Mother Natures way of saying something aint right with that one chick? Possibly it wasn't strong enough to zip soon enough after pipping before the membrane dried a little?

    I guess I'm just scratching my head over why this one chick, when everyone else in there seems to be doin fine... Mother Nature or Incubation problem?

  2. JPHorvath

    JPHorvath Chirping

    How long since they all have hatched? If the little chick is not making progress you can assist to get her out.

    You must have clean hands and fingernails, wash up good! Get clean towel, little warm water and Q-tip. Just quickly open incubator then snatch the egg out. Your room must be warm no drafts. Place the egg on the towel and carefully pick the shell away from the chick, don’t be taking to long you need to do this swiftly. Stop if you experience blood in the membrane place egg back in incubator then try again in couple more hours. There will still be pink blood vessels but they should not bleed. Dab the Q-Tip in the warm water to soften the membrane where it is dry if needed. The membrane will need to be torn open very carefully. Be certain to watch the eyes during this time.

    Now I have read different opinions about not fully releasing the chick from the egg. Some say this would be considered allowing the chick to complete the hatching process. I have also read that the final push sets the legs into the hips. That I don’t think is true possibly not for all breeds. I have fully assisted a chick and she is getting around fine.

    If the chick has not hatched yet and it has been several hours snatch that egg and get her out. Once you are finished getting the chick out put it back in the incubator for the evening to allow it to dry off. Good Luck!
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011
  3. X2Farm

    X2Farm Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Homer, GA
    Thank you for that reply! I've had to deal with stuck chicks before, but the situation as a whole just got my wheels spinnin... I've got about 30 more in there not hatched yet, lots of pips and some partially zipped (they've all made progress within 12 hours since none were pipped this morning) so the hatcher will stay shut.

    I just got to thinking that, possibly, the chick would somehow be weaker then its faster hatching counterparts, having took so long and not even more then one large pip hole. It was the first egg to pip (checked hatcher about noonish today) and hasn't made anymore progress aside from pecking the shell completely off the pip hole.

    As it is in breeding, you want the healthy, vibrant and vigorous chicks. It seems that applies to the hatching process too? Or is my thinking skewed?

    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    In my opinion your thinking is right on target. Not every egg is neant to hatch for the very reason you cited-the chick is weak or otherwise defective. I don't "help" chicks hatch because I don't want the genetic material of a weak bird introduced into my breeding program. If these were the eggs of a bird in the wild there'd be noone to"help" the weak chicks hatch. Nature would dictate that the defective chick not hatch. If interested in reproducing only healthy, vigerous fowl one would do well to listen to nature.

  5. WallTenters

    WallTenters Songster

    Feb 16, 2010
    Sweet Home, OR
    Because there's always that doubt in my mind - is this because of my incubation errors (mostly humidity - perhaps this chick was at a vital stage when you opened the window to add water), or really because of nature? I will dab warm water on them to get the membrane unstuck, but I do think that a chick that can't hatch on it's own maybe shouldn't. I wouldn't help a chick all the way out of it's shell. I think if it's strong enough to pip, they usually will come out as long as they can get through that membrane. If it gets too exhausted from pipping to continue, well, it's probably not meant to be. But giving up and stopping and just being stuck are two different things in my book. [​IMG] I think it's a very personal decision.
  6. X2Farm

    X2Farm Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Homer, GA
    Quote:You bring up a very good point! I've had to help some when I knew my opening the bator to pull out some chicks caused some drying out. (ie-I could see several of the poor biddies had just gotten a touch shrink wrapped)

    It is tough, to see what seemingly is a perfectly healthy chick, pip and then get a bit stuck, when all the other chicks around him are hatching out like popcorn! But, that was what lead me to pause and consider maybe it wasn't meant to hatch out, know what I mean?

    NYREDS-that is also my thinking... since conditions are optimal in the hatcher, its one of those things where I think possibly something just might not be right with that chick and its not meant to be.

    Of course, for all I know, the chick hatched out anyways between last night and now. I try to stay away during hatch time... helps keep me from bein so nervous!

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