Signs of When to HELP

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by fatcatx, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. fatcatx

    fatcatx Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hoping for a little guidance of the signs that it may be time to help with a hatch.

    I've read and reread Sally Sunshine's article https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/step-by-step-guide-to-assisted-hatching so I know first and foremost I should be patient. But I also know there can be a fine line between too soon and too late when you can't see what's going on in that shell.

    I've got shipped eggs hatching right now. The first pipped last night 7ish at the wrong end. *sigh* During the 12 hours last night it has barely made the hole bigger but broke through the membrane. During the night 3 more pipped and the first has popped out at 8:00 am. Last night was Day 20/tonight Day 21 (set Friday eve 3 weeks ago). Using my Brinsea bator. Humidity great, etc.

    Can someone who has been through this a few times share the signs when #1 may need help? Weak peeping? Loud cheeping? No progress after x number of hours? I was doing fine until the first popper. I swore I would keep my cool until this evening at the very least but would feel better if that logic was confirmed. If there is no more progress today, should I help tonight?

    On a related side note: why do chicks that have ext pipped die in shell? I would have assumed once they can breath air that buys them a lot of time. But I have read many threads that discuss cases of pipped peeping chicks that people try to help a day or two later and the chick is already dead but appears normal. Any insight?
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
  2. br0nc0

    br0nc0 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, I'm no expert and I usually go with my gut rather than by the book, but so far my hatches have been good. I prefer to wait and let the nature do it's course. In my experience, if the chick is weak and can't come out of the shell, chances are, it's gonna be weaker as an adult, be more prone to diseases etc. If I have a case where chicks are popping out with no problem but a couple are not making any progress, I assume there is something wrong with them, and I rarely help. On the other hand, I've had some bad luck with my 'bator lately, it died when about half the chicks hatched, so I was kinda forced to help. The most I helped was when I had borrowed an incubator and the humidity was waaaay off. I had 19 SLW ready to hatch, and only 2-3 made it on their own. Two drowned, and the rest had to be helped.

    IF I do help, I wait for about 18-24 hours after the first pip. If there is no progress by then and I really want that egg to hatch, I extremely carefully remove the shell around the pip, but make sure the membrane is intact. I remove about 1/3 of the shell, and then peel of the membrane with tweezers, still leaving the placenta undamaged. When I can see the placenta I can make an educated guess - if there is very little blood left, I might cut it where there are no blood vessels and slowly slide the chick out of it leaving the umbilical cord, or cutting it if everything is 100% absorbed. If there is still plenty of blood, I just make sure the chick is getting enough air and leave it in the incubator awhile longer, checking on it periodically (danger of placenta sticking to the chick). On my last hatch, when the incubator died, I had to pull out 4 chicks this way and all of them made it, even though they were not quite ready yet.

    Again, this is what I personally do. I'm pretty sure it's not by the book and most people (including me) wouldn't reccomend it, especially if you don't have steady hands and some knowledge about the anatomy of the hatching chick.
     
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    As a note......The pip should always be on the side of the air cell.....They pip counter clockwise upwards to the other side ...
    If pip is at top or bottom? Egg is in wrong position....I only assist if trying to come out and they can not finish the zip....I will chip away on the shell but not damage the cell......if still stuck after really letting them try , i
    I will peal back the cell along the zip line to assist......
     
  4. fatcatx

    fatcatx Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you both for the input. Problematic since pip is not in the air cell. Since these are rare eggs and it has been 18 hours since the pip, I pulled the egg out to check on it. It started peeping so good sign. Membrane is getting dry so that is a concern. I used the blunt (wrong end) of the tweezers to gently tap about 15% of what would be the zip which I hope is conservative enough. Left the membrane intact but it had already pulled away from that part of the shell. I put it back and increased humidity. Hoping if it is viable that will be enough help to get it through. I couldn't tell what position it was in. I didn't want pull on the membrane and damage a blood vessel.

    I'll leave it the next 6 hours then reevaluate. Hoping I didn't do too much or too little. Any thoughts?
     
  5. br0nc0

    br0nc0 Out Of The Brooder

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    Here are some examples of how I did it. Ideally, I like to do it the way it's made on the video, maybe even open it less than that. On the last pic you can see a chick that is fully ready to hatch, it has shell and membrane removed, and I removed the placenta as well after I took the photo. This was sort of a hail mary, it was day 25 I believe and a full day after piping so I decided to help the fella out. In the video you can still see the blood vessels, it's the same hatch, 25 days in and I helped out a little, but I left him in the shell so the blood would absorb properly.
     
  6. fatcatx

    fatcatx Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for the pics/video. Very helpful to see in "real life"

    I got lucky and he hatched! Checked after 4 hours and still chirping. Popped out about 2 hours later. Not sure if it was because of my help or in spite of it. Once he dried off and had a nap, he was up peeping like the rest of them.

    Thanks for the information and help. Glad to have it for the next time when things don't go as well.
     
  7. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I have assisted my share of hatchers and have not experienced that if they can't do it themselves they are too weak to thrive. I've only ever had one assisted hatch not grow into a healthy bird and that one lived for over a week and I believe it was a digestive issue that took it. Many times chicks have trouble, not because they are weak, but we have given them hurdles that make it harder. When you artificially incubate there is no law of nature as we've taken the process out of nature.

    Malpos can take longer to progress. They are skipping the step of pipping into the air cell and resting for 12-24 hours then advancing to the external pip. Unless I think something is really wrong, I wait until 18 hours after pip to get hands on. Then I expand the pip hole to check the condition/position (if it's possible) and if everything looks alright, I give it 24 hours. Then if there is still no progress I will start an assist. However, many times I don't get far because there is still prominent veining, so I replace and if they don't finish I try again in an hour or so. An assist should not be done if the vascular system between chick and egg has not shut down as this can cause the chick to bleed out, or be very weak upon "hatch". Whenever you start an assist and you run into heavy veining you should stop and replace the egg to the bator. They are not ready if there is veining.

    Anytime you have a large area of exposed membrane you can put a light coat of Vaseline or non pain relief antibiotic on it and it will keep it moist.

    Congrats on the hatcher! Glad he made it out for you.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. switzerchickens

    switzerchickens Just Hatched

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    Can someone help me out here? Please? We are new at this and incubated chicken eggs. This one started 25 hours ago and this is the only progress its made. How do i know when to help? It is moving still but not a whole lot. It pipped a day early and at the wrong end of the egg....just my luck!
     
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens




    Tap the incubator and peep loud to the egg to encourage it to progress!

    Try that......
     
  10. switzerchickens

    switzerchickens Just Hatched

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    It moves a little and i hear it peeping back at me. How long do i give it?
     

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