sticky chicks?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chefchick, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. chefchick

    chefchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yesterday was hatch day... out of 32 eggs that made it to lockdown I got:

    20 that hatched no problem late Saturday and thoughout yesterday, and are eatingup a storm and pooping like crazy.;

    2 that hatched over last night and are still in the incubator and seem ok

    2 eggs started to hatch but stopped and were dead in the shells, dried up (Sticky chicks???) I tried carefully picking away the shell, but they were already gone. (this happened Saturday night while I was sleeping)

    and one this morning was pipped all the way around but also looked like the sticky ones, so I carefully helped it out and gave it a warm rinse and put it back in the incubator. I checked it at lunch, and it still hasn't perked up. I dont know if it will make it or not.

    there are two more with pip holes. i can see their beaks and they are chirping so hopefully they will hatch without intervention.

    There are five other eggs not doing anything, but I am not sure of they didn't develop because they are green/dark shelled.

    My humidity was wonky the whole time. The air in my house must be terribly dry. I had to add water almost every day, added warm wet washcloths to boost the humidity, and had my only sponge in there. What more could I have done? I have hatched several times before, and have never had this problem. Why would a few of them be so dry and yucky, and the rest be just fine?
     
  2. chefchick

    chefchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ended up with 25, but the one I helped still isn't walking...I am afraid we may have to cull it. How long should I let it go? It dried up nice and fluffy, but just lays there or rolls around. it's chirping like crazy. I left one of the other chicks with it for company, but I don't want to keep that one out of the brooder too long, either.
     
  3. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It can take a full 24 hours for some chicks to "find their legs", if they were later to hatch than others. The fact that it's chirping is good. If they're quiet and still, that's a bad sign.

    Was there a lot of fluid/goo in the eggs that didn't make it? I'm not sure what you mean by sticky. If you mean sticky as in excess fluid, they didn't lose enough moisture during incubation. Since so many others made it out just fine, then it may have been a shell density thing. If the whole hatch had been like that, then it would have been an issue with too high humidity through out incubation. Did the others dry really fast, or stay sticky for more than 12 hours? Did any dry with gunk on the fluff?

    My last hatch had one chick who couldn't pip, the shell was super thick. I heard tapping for 2 days, peeping through the shell. When it stopped peeping and still hadn't pipped, I went in after it on day 22. She was weak, but she pulled through. Took a lot more to break into that egg than any other egg, it was no wonder she couldn't get it started.

    Usually in a hatch, there is at least one that pops out as the early bird. Then the majority follow that day/night. Then the stragglers start up, and that's when you have to start thinking about going in after them or not.

    If you open the incubator to get the first ones out, that can be problematic to those that are pipped. When the lid opens (even a tiny bit) it sucks in dry, cold air. Instantly shrink wrapped chicks. They then get stuck into place. If that happens to a strong chick, it will cry and cry and make an ever larger pip whole, but it can't turn itself to zip out of it. If the chick is weak, it will peep a little bit, and then just give up. But it depends on the air of the room the incubator is in. This time of year with the heat on, the humidity in the room is around 20%, with temps at 62-72. That drastic air difference is the worse on eggs in the middle of hatching. It really is an instant gush of air, no matter how fast you move or how low you keep the lid to contain the humidity.

    I always give 3 days before making a cull decision. With a little help they generally make it, or you lose them quickly. We've only had to cull one, but it had a deformity. There really was no saving it with time. I'll also give vitamin water the first week, for those who were last out and not as strong as the first out.

    Sometimes they all make it out just fine no matter how many times you open the lid. Other times the whole lot of them will get shrink wrapped and stuck, it seems to be that it depends on how much moisture is still in the egg.

    Were these your eggs or shipped eggs? If they were from someone else, that adds a whole lot more variables to it.
     
  4. chefchick

    chefchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks for all of the info. I guess I learned my lesson not to open the incubator when the air is so dry....I have done it before with no problems, even a few days earlier when my baby quail hatched. I have never had anything like this happen. These were eggs from my hens. I used my el cheapo Hovabator, still air, but with a turner. It seemed like I was adding water every day, beacause the air was so dry. My hydrometer was reading about 30% most of the incubation. I added the warm wet washcloths during lockdown, and even more water to the bottom tray, always being careful to add really warm almost hot water. I did remove chicks twice during the hatch just to make room, and very quickly handed the babies off to hub or the kids, but switched out the washcloths when I did. The two that died after pipping had both pipped large areas, but overnight, they dried up and died. the chick i helped was very crusty, so I rinsed him off with warm water last night, and carefully blew him dry with the hair dryer. a couple of the other chicks had a little bit of crud, but the other chicks seemed to help pick it off and they are all fuzzy now. All of my babies get vitamin water and they are on starter crumbles.
     
  5. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Really it's hit or miss every single time, no matter how many times you've hatched. I've been hatching on and off for 16 years now. The only difference between now and then is that I know what and why. The issues still pop up, you never do get to perfectly seamless hatches unless you always use the same egg source, the same incubator, and everything happens exactly the same as the last time.

    I've had perfect, no hassle hatches. And some you could make a horror movie out of, and everything in between. Usually it goes well, specially out of my own eggs when I have direct control over the parent stock and their health. It's untelling how it'll go with eggs from a stranger, it adds like twice the amount of possible variables to affect the results.
     

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