Phyllis, the miracle chick!

Neezers Farm

Jul 15, 2016
New Hope, Florida
This is only my 3rd hatch, so I am learning as I go. This is the story of Phyllis, the miracle chick which was hatched 7/14 at 9:37am. She was incubated in a homemade incubator with 40w bulb. Once during early incubation, there was a power failure for several hours. I did my best to keep eggs warm. During the middle of incubation, the bulb burned out during the night. Temp had dropped to 80 degrees for unknown length of time. I did not candle eggs, but continued incubation and turning. I quit turning eggs on day 18 and continued to monitor temperature and humidity. One day 21, there were internal pips as evidenced by sounds of peeps, but no external pips. I had to leave for several hours on day 22. When I arrived home, the power was out due to a storm, I don't know for how long. It was 80 degrees in the incubator. One lethargic chick was partially hatched and two eggs were pipping. I had to think fast how to warm the eggs. I turned on the heater in my car, moved the incubator to my car and stayed with the eggs to keep the car around 100 degrees. Once I could see power was restored, I moved them back into the house under the light. Several eggs hatched without difficulty and were doing well. Two of the eggs that had pipped earlier were no longer showing any signs of life. I decided to remove a small bit of shell to see what happened. I found the membranes were dry and shrink wrapped. Humidity was 65%. I misted and wrapped the eggs in moistened paper towels. I removed one of the chicks. It was lethargic, but peeping and seemed alright. The second chick I assisted to hatch is Phyllis. Once I removed enough shell and membrane to see the chick, I saw a still, quiet chick gasping for breath. The membrane was very dry and leathery and stuck to chick. I could see blood in the umbilical cord and the yolk was not full absorbed. I knew chick would not survive if removed now. I carefully wrapped the chick in remaining shell in moistened paper towels and placed in a warm dish in the incubator. I took a nap, since I hadn't slept all night. I didn't expect chick to survive, but I wanted to give it a chance. When I got up, 3 hours later, I was surprised to find chick still alive. Still lethargic and gasping, but the cord blood was gone. I gently removed the chick from the remaining shell and membrane and wrapped chick in a warm moistened paper towel and placed chick in a warm dish in the incubator, so other chicks could not disturb. The chick was still and quiet, almost lifeless except for signs of struggled breathing. The yolk sack was not drawn into abdomen yet. Chick was still and quiet for a few hours, but then started to chirp and crawled out of paper towel. Shortly after, the chick stood and walked. She was weak and rested a lot. By evening, she was beautiful dry and fluffy, walking and hopping like the other chicks. I kept her in the incubator overnight and gave her some food and electrolyte water.
The next morning she was moved to the brooder with the other chicks and fit right in. She is now a happy healthy little chick!
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