Need advice now, please...


8 Years
May 28, 2011
This is our first time incubating chicken eggs. My husband set up 'bator w/auto turner. Kept constant temp of 99.5. He didn't, however, read the part about humidity. We hit day 21 Thursday (if his count was right), and I started researching myself for what to expect. I came across the humidity issue and figured we must have killed the eggs. To my surprise, though, last night, we heard peeping! We were very happy, of course, even though it has only come from one egg out of 30. The chick pipped the egg last night and has done some peeping and zipping through the night, but it seems very, very slow. I'm concerned about the membrane being dry because we didn't humidify. Should we go ahead and intervene? It's been over 12 hours, and the peeping is much less and quieter. I'm afraid the chick may not be able to break out. It's breathing, but quiet now. PLEASE HELP A.S.A.P. I don't want to lose the only chick it looks like will hatch! Thank you! This thread give a lot of great info. Remember though, whether or not you intervene is a personal choice. Good luck!

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So, here's the update...I checked the egg, and it was quickly drying and matting and had labored breathing. I couldn't see the beak anymore, just a matted mess, so I couldn't take it! My husband and I performed surgery on the egg, and the chick made it out. She/he is resting under the heat lamp, and we're praying the stress wasn't too much for it. Chick looks good, but it's huge! It clearly would not have made it out on its own. there's another peeping, moving egg. It's trying to pip, but hasn't pipped through yet. We've marked it to watch for a while. Can the shell & membrane be too dry for a chick to even pip? Oy...this is MUCH more stressful than having my own babies!!!=oP
Yes, when I discovered on day 21 that we needed to be hydrating, I added water to the tray. It's been in there 2 days since then and just started peeping this morning. It's quiet now. I'm so nervous to have these little lives in our hands! I'm afraid after the last one that this one can't pip the shell, but I don't know if pipping is a problem or just zipping? Ahhh...
I don't have a hydrometer(?) to check it. I was ignorant of all of this until I started researching. This was my husband's project, and he just asked me to keep the temp constant.
I have a hobabator and I have to fill all the channels to keep my humidity where it needs to be the last few days, but I live in Utah so that might be part of why I need so much water in there.
The channels are all full of water, so hopefully the humidity is good now. We live in Tennessee, so humidity is not usually a problem here. In fact, these eggs that are alive probably survived from humidity in the room. I'm just concerned about the hatching process if the eggs are too dry. Plus, I'm wondering if our days are off. My daughter wrote the due date on her calendar, so it's possible to be off a day or two. I'm trying to be patient now and wait it out on the other eggs we heard peeping. Praying for hatching chickies!

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