Please Help Me! Hatching Chicks For The First Time And Am Stressed

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by asb, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. asb

    asb Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2010
    Okay, I am hatching chicks for the first time. I got a nice incubator and put 18 eggs in there, I was very careful and have done exactly what I supposed to be doing based on all of the research I have done. Yesterday was day 21 and at about 7:00 p.m. I had my first little egg hatch... not a single one in 22 hours since then hatched. A couple of hours ago one started "pipping" (is that what it is called?) Pecking its beak through the egg, I was very excited. Anyway, I have a few questions. I don't know anybody that has hatched chickens before, so I feel like there is nobody to ask, so I decided to sign up. I was so stressed last night that only one little chick would hatch and not have any friends that I woke up every 2 hours just to check on them. [​IMG] I have seen a few other eggs moving back and forth, so that gives me some hope.

    So here are my questions:

    1. Is it possible that other eggs will still hatch healthy chicks? If it isn't going to happen, I would rather not still have hope.

    2. Should I continue to leave the other chick in there that hatched 24 hours ago? When should I take it out?

    3. I know this sounds dumb, but I don't put food and water in the incubator for the chicks that hatched right? I really don't think I do, but I thought I might as well ask.

    4. Does it take a while for the chicks to get through the egg after they make the first hole? It seems like it has been a few hours and there has been no progress from my second chick hatching since it made the little whole. It is still moving though.

    5. Do I need to be worried about the healthy chick running around and moving the eggs and pecking at them?

    I am constantly staring at the incubator just hoping some will still hatch. I know that expecting 18 out of 18 to hatch would have been unrealistic, but only 1 seemed a little odd? Please give me any advice, this is all I can think about. I almost cried all night thinking that my little chicky won't have a friend. [​IMG] I would go buy some chicks to keep it company if I have to though. [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance!!!!!
     
  2. ky chicks

    ky chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2009
    I just had my first hatch last weekend, so I know how you feel! I'm certainly no expert, but I think you should still get a few more--especially if you can see them rocking. I only put 6 eggs in my incubator. One hatched Saturday, another hatched overnight, and 3 more hatched on Sunday. With mine, it seemed like they all took a long break after the pip. After a few hours, they really got to work--I loved watching them peck around the shell until they could push it open! I was worried about the chicks running around bumping the other eggs too. They really moved everything around in there, but the others did just fine! And no, don't open it to put in food and water. They can go for 3 days (I think--that's what I read) without any, since they absorb the yolk before they hatch. If you open the incubator, you'll lose valuable moisture. I have my fingers crossed for you! Let us know how it goes!
     
  3. asb

    asb Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2010
    Thanks for the reply! I keep pushing refresh over and over hoping somebody will reply I am just so stressed about what is going to happen to my little chickies. I did open the incubator about 5 hours ago for like 5 seconds, it was before the other chick started to pip and there was only one hatched and it was over 24 hours without any sign of anything else hatching. I opened it really quick because the water in the incubator looked low and I thought I would add just a tiny bit of warm water - I hope I didn't do more damage. [​IMG] From everything I've read it just doesn't seem very common that only 1 hatches and then still some more the next day and maybe the next? I've read that all eggs should hatch within 24 hours? That is why I am going crazy.

    My husband said well maybe that one that hatched early was from a different hen then the others and was at a different stage. hahahahahahaha I explained that it was when you incubate them that counts... hehe He is ready to comfort me if more don't hatch, I think he is just as concerned about them not hatching because he doesn't want to hear me mourn. [​IMG]
     
  4. funfeatheredfeet

    funfeatheredfeet Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 30, 2010
    The Beautiful Ozarks
    Hi! I have to smile. You sound alot like me. I cannot believe someone has not jumped in here to help calm you. I really am not a pro at this. I just had my first hatch finish on 06-30-10 and I had another set up to hatch 07-08-10 and it is still in the midst of hatching. I can tell you a few answers just because I had the same questions and read and read and read and finally found some of the answers, plus, I posted on here and someone finally came to my aid. Here's the answers that I can tell you about.

    1. You asked if healthy chicks could still hatch. I can just tell you that on my first batch, 16 hatched out of 19. The 1st egg hatched 06-25 and they hatched at odd times over the next 5 days. When the last three eggs did not hatch, I couldn't bear to just throw them away (just in case, there might be a chance) so I left them for another 5 days, just to be sure I was not wrong. Ended up, the last 3 didn't hatch....I took them out of the incubator very carefully (so they didn't explode in my hand). I put them into a gal. size freezer bag and QUICKLY sealed it. Got me a butter knife and went outside, laid the bag gently on the sidewalk, tapped lightly on the first egg, it exploded (Thank God for the baggie!) The egg contained a fully grown chick which must have died trying?? The other two, I tapped lightly and they cracked open, had a mini embryo which stopped developement very early on. So, I would tell you to let those eggs sit in the incubator, keep the heat where you should and keep the humidity as you should. I have to tell you I have a thermometer and keep it at 99.5 to 100.5 (in my dry air incubator, no fan). And, as far as the humidity, I do not have a meter for it. I just keep water in the little wells (1/2 full) and when it is lock down time, I add a small glass of water in the corner of the bator. (I have more info about humidity in one of your later answers.)

    By the way, sorry if my answer is long to put to you, but, I don't want to leave out what I have been through.

    2. I have wondered about this question of leaving the chick in there. I posted on BYC the same question. It is a confusing situation. I know alot of people say "Do not open the bator after lockdown because you could "shrinkwrap" your chicks. Then, others I know who have had chickens for many years tell me that they take the chicks out in batches as they dry. So....now the delimma. I will tell you what I've done. I had sooo many chicks running all over, falling all over and rolling all over the unhatched eggs, I, like you was a nervous "mama"...ha. So, with my hubby's help..he lifted the lid slightly and I grabbed chicks quickly!!!, then, to replace the precious humidity I had a big, warm sponge which I tossed into the center of the bator. (The sponge wet down the "papertowels that I had laid down under the eggs to minimize the mess"...this tip I got from somewhere on the net.) Once I saw the papertowels were soaked wet, I reached in and pulled the sponge out, the towels quickly replace the humidity, we were working so fast that the temp didn't drop much and went back up quickly. So...in answer to your questions about removing chicks....it is a decision you need to make. I worry about shrinkwrapping but I don't like 10+ chicks knocking everything around. I would really like this question answered clearly....maybe I should only incubate small batches of eggs instead of 20 or more...???

    3. As far as feed and water in the incubator...No. I read and have been told the chicks can go a couple of days (amazing) due to the yolk that they fed on in the egg. So, no, just have a brooder box ready for them. I am amazed at how quick they start pecking at the food. And, maybe you know this, but, I read to use room temp water in their waterer, not cold. And, also, when you put them in the brooder, one at a time, tip their little beak in the water dish so they will know where to get a drink. Works every time. You may have already known this stuff so I apologize if you did, (I didn't know) so just FYI.

    4. Does it take awhile for them to hatch after pipping (poking a hole). Well, I read it can take up to 24 hrs. on some....but, some of mine have hatched quick...like in an hour and some of them have taken a couple hours....and now that I think of it...I have had a pip in the morning and the egg will hatch much later in the night. So, with all the hard work...the chicks get exhausted and take naps, so it depends on the strength of the chick. I will tell you just a bit ago, I went in to check on two eggs that had pipped this morning. Both had been chirping and heartbeating, but for some reason the smallest egg, quit....the little chick was dead. I have the feeling all the chicks knocking that egg around might have caused this....it was like a game of soccer in there earlier today....made me sooo nervous. Who knows. I just hate to lose any especially after all the hard work to get to the moment of hatch and then die. Oh....(sigh), I hate it.

    Your last question, I'm sure I answered it somewhere.

    Sorry, this was so long. I just go by what I have researched and have been told. Like I said I am only on my second clutch and so far...16 out of 19 on the 1st hatch and so far, 15 out of 25 on the 2nd. I pray the rest hatch soon.

    Good luck to you....stay calmer than I do, goodness! hahaha...must be all part of it. Hope it gets easier! If you ever get any special tips, email me, I would appreciate any help too!
    Rhonda
    Sorry, I can't tell you what to do...like I said,
     
  5. asb

    asb Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2010
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!! Right after I was on here last I checked again and a totally different egg started to hatch and the chick was completely out within in an hour, it was so amazing to watch!!!! The other chick is cleaning it off, so cute! So now I am at the end of day 22 and I have 2 healthy chicks and another one that has been trying to get out for a while... we will see what happens! At least I have 2! I am so excited!!!! Thank you so much for your post, it was extremely helpful - all of it!
     
  6. Cattitude

    Cattitude Chillin' With My Peeps

    Congratz on your new babies!!! [​IMG]
     
  7. asb

    asb Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2010
    Okay, so it is day 23 and I have had 2 hatch a day apart and there are two that have pipped and are trying to get out, but it seems they have been trying for a while now. Do you think they will make it? I saw another egg that hasn't pipped moving a lot last night, so I still have hope that more will maybe start? Or should I start to realize it isn't going to happen with any others? I would rather not be so hopeful if it isn't possible really at this point? I poured more water in there through a straw so I didn't open the cover last night making sure it was humid enough... any thoughts from anybody?
     
  8. SportChick

    SportChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2010
    Louisiana
    If the eggs are moving then they are not dead and are likely to just be hatching late. Sit on your hands and give it more time. Don't open the incubator except to take out a chick. It can be 12 hours or more after the pip before the chick gets out so patience is key. If you listen carefully can you hear any peeps??
     
  9. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    Quote:
     
  10. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    Quote:What day did you set the eggs? What time of day? What has your temperature and humidity been?
     

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