POST MORTEM ON CHICKS THAT DIDN'T MAKE IT OUT OF THE EGG (have you seen this, and what's the cause?)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Chicken Keith, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Chicken Keith

    Chicken Keith Chillin' With My Peeps

    I did a post mortem on 3 UNPIPPED eggs that were on Day 23 of incubation.

    A VERY FASCINATING SIGHT I BEHELD:

    The chicks' posterior was at the large end of the egg, with the heads at the small end. Like a "BREECH" baby!

    Has anyone ever seen this before? What's the cause? Incubator operator error? OR genetic defect? Could my incubator have been at fault, since the large ends of the eggs were never raised too much higher than the small end? In other words the eggs laid on their sides at all times. It appears as though the chicks drowned when it was time to hatch because they had no air sac at that end to puncture.

    These were Cuckoo Marans, and I can attest that Cuckoos are easier to hatch than the Black Coppers! But these little chicks were fully formed and had absorbed most of the yolk into their tummies. It appeared these chicks were at the exact age normal for pipping.

    When does a chick go into position for hatching? Obviously before the pip but when?

    Hope someone can answer this. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. BackSwampGirl

    BackSwampGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 17, 2008
    Richlands,NC 28574
    Hey there, after you stop turnin the egg.That is when the chick is getting in postion to to pip.Usually you will hear it peep 1st,and then it will soon pip.Did you have a auto turner or turn by hand,3x a day.Up to day 18 and stop and wait for them to start peeping and pipping.Maybe this will help some .
     
  3. Chicken Keith

    Chicken Keith Chillin' With My Peeps

    It was an auto turner. Turned once per hour. 24 times in a day. Then went into lockdown on day 18. Turning that often does not (has not) seemed to have affected hatches in the past.

    I've hatched hundred of eggs in this incubator before, and really did nothing different, other than I noticed some eggs had been positioned large end down, not up. I wonder if that made a difference?
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  4. BackSwampGirl

    BackSwampGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 17, 2008
    Richlands,NC 28574
    Always place the small ends down.And yes I have done both myself.I just lost 33 Silkie eggs,out of 34.And the 1 that made it done really great.I think sometime it is just not meant to be.Or could have held them to PO to long.I am sure that is what happened to mine.And this little 1 I got was expensive!!!!!!![​IMG] But that is the way it goes when we order eggs we never know.And I always beat myself up about it.But Tater Tot,the 1 that made it is very strong and spoiled.
     
  5. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    The standard is to position the large end up. Always. That's where the air cell is (in shipped eggs it can become dettached but that's another issue) and that's where you want the chick to end up facing. I don't know how, when the large end is up the chick knows to go towards it, but to help with your trouble-shooting, that was probably what caused them to be "breech" in the egg. Have you had eggs turned with the small end up hatch ok?
     
  6. Chicken Keith

    Chicken Keith Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yeah, you're right. And i knew that. But I didn't correct it. Turn-X 7 incubators are a little user UNFRIENDLY that way. You see, eggs lie on their side with these style incubators. I have a theory why eggs actually do hatch as breech, and that's due to a very oversized air sac. I hatched some OEG bantams in 2007 which had pipped at the pointy end. The air sac covered (and you're not gonna believe this) but about 60% of the volume of the egg. The air sac was HUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE!!!!!!!!!! When the chick pipped at the pointy end, it actually punctured the air sac!!!! That tells you how huge it was. The purpose of the air sac is this is the chick's first breath of air. And this first breath immediately initiates a biophysical response of exhaling carbon dioxide. The CO2 initiates the hatching sequence in the brain of the chick. If the chick's first breath inhales egg white instead of air, then it drowns.
    Yep, know that. I just didn't do it. [​IMG]Sorry about losing 33 eggs. What kind of incubator? Tator Tot??? ha ha Love it!!![​IMG]
     

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