sad - lost a chick

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by amberscave, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. amberscave

    amberscave In the Brooder

    Aug 25, 2013
    North Central Florida
    I know in the big scheme of life, losing a chick before it hatches isn't a big deal, but it still makes me sad and I don't know where else I can vent about it.

    I had a chick crack it's egg earlier this morning (about 6 hrs ago). It was breathing well, chirping etc. I made sure the inner membrane had an opening because last hatch I lost one when it cracked the shell, but not the membrane. I had been checking on it every half hour (along with two others that have cracked). I just went to check on it and it wasn't breathing. After much prodding, I decided to break it out , seeing no blood on the membrane & getting no response from the chick. It's head was some how turned under its wing and I assume he (yes I've decided it was a rooster) suffocated.

    Last two hatches, I lost one who didn't break the membrane & two we saved by breaking the shell away. One hatch was incubator, one under a hen. So this is the second i have lost in hatch. Anyone have any ideas why they are having such trouble getting out? These are eggs from free range birds. I know when I boil my refrigerated eggs, they nearly impossible to peel. I have some tough shells & membranes. The kids have even dropped eggs and they don't crack. Eggs are pearl Leghorn & red star. My barman and partridge eggs seem to have no problems.

    I have made sure my humidity it high and even moisten the membrane if I see the egg has cracked a while and its started to get really dry.
  2. SDCarter

    SDCarter In the Brooder

    May 9, 2013
    Hot Springs, Arkansas
    I had the same thing happen last month when I lost a chick. The chick had the shell almost completely "unzipped" & then died. My hens egg shells are very thick too. The other 5 hatched fine.

    I'm new to chickens so I'm curious to know how to fix this problem too. My hen eats layer pellets & has access to oyster shell if she wants it.
  3. loveourbirds

    loveourbirds Songster

    Mar 27, 2013
    waverly ohio
    to thick of egg shells can cause this problem. low humidity, low temps during incubation, and the list goes on.

    i have not heard of anyone who can get 100% hatch rates all the time. if its eggs from your farm, and you hatch more than 7 out of 10, you are doing good. on shipped eggs, if you hatch over half is good.

    here is a link that may help:
    this link is on assisting hatches, in case you need to:

    here is a list of common problems:
    lack of ventilation
    uncalibrated thermometer (never trust the one that came with the incubator)
    to much humidity - larger than normal chicks, slimy bad smelling hatch.
    to little humidity - chicks will only pip part way and stop, egg shells stuck on chicks.
    opening the incubator to much - late hatch along with low humidity symptoms
    moving them around during the hatching process - may cause them to have to pip multiple times, wearing them out before they hatch.
  4. amberscave

    amberscave In the Brooder

    Aug 25, 2013
    North Central Florida
    Well I had 8 successful hatch out of 10 the first and 10 out of 12 the second. This is the third and so far 2 successful, 1 died, and one halfway but has been halfway all day. Not sure how many of the others are viable, possibly 6. So I guess I have had good success and just expecting perfection. My OCD nature ;)

    Thank you for your comments (both of you). It makes me feel so much better to know that I am not alone (or screwing up).

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