Talk Me Down!! I feel like I need to help this egg hatch!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ChickenIzzy, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. ChickenIzzy

    ChickenIzzy Out Of The Brooder

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    I am a first time hatcher. We built a homemade, cooler-style incubator. It really is less than ideal, we've had some temp spikes and drops, but our eggs seem to be making it to term (according to candling). We've already had one make it to term. Candled it the morning of day 22 and saw movement, but it never pipped. We eggtopsied it and the only strange thing we found was some creamy white stuff in the egg white (maybe like meconium in humans? Don't know), but the yolk had not been fully absorbed... it had passed away during that process. This is my second term egg. It's day 22. No pips and I saw movement this morning at candling, but I can't help but feel like I could have saved the last little guy and don't want this one to die too!!!! Someone talk some sense into me!
     
  2. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens

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    I have never had, or even heard of, a chick that did not pip ever surviving after being helped out. I would write this one off too, but wait another 2 days before tossing it out.

    Keep trying! I hope you got eggs free or cheap to practice with. Next time get some mixed breed eggs and set a few and see what happens. Read, read, read, about how to incubate successfully. I would especially focus on calibrating your thermometer and hydrometer. My best guess it that one of those is off significantly. You can judge how well you did with humidity by candling and observing the size of the air cell (the pages you read will have drawings about the size of the air cell). With now hatch, judging the accuracy of your thermometer is a lot harder, but try using a people thermometer, since those must be very accurate in the same range that your are incubating.
     
  3. ChickenIzzy

    ChickenIzzy Out Of The Brooder

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    They are all free, they come from our flock. Ours are free range chickens and we started with about 20 (two being roosters), but due to accidents and illness over time, we are down to only 6 hens and the two roosters. We are hoping to rejuvenate our flock, and they are mixed breeds. Like I said, we have a great fertility rate! It's just getting them to pop out in the end.
     
  4. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    If you had opened that egg, with that little chick having not absorbed the yolk his chances would have been no better than what they were. Chances are the membranes would have still been significant and between the chances of causing excessive bleeding from the membrane and the yolk rupturing, helping would have most likely ended the same way, but I believe with more guilt. (If I had just left it alone, it may have been ok.)

    I am a more liberal hatcher. I will assist if I feel it is absolutely necessary, I am an avid candler, And omg, I'm not adverse to opening t he bator after lockdown if I feel there's a need and as a matter of fact I take my chicks out before the hatch is over. (A lot of people find those things taboo.) However as more liberal as I am, I personaly would not assist a chick that hasn't pipped. I MIGHT (haven't been in the situation yet) make a small pip hole if I have heard a chick peeping (meaning it has internally pipped) and it's been over 24 hours, but only big enough that I know there is air getting in.

    Assisting a chick that is having trouble hatching out is a lot different than opening an egg that the chick hasn't pipped and most likely isn't ready to.

    It's hard thinking about the possibility of loss, but I have learned that to hatch and raise chicks it is something that you have to accept as part of the endeavor. I do wish you luck....and lots of patience. :)
     
  5. ChickenIzzy

    ChickenIzzy Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your words AmyLynn! That egg didn't make it and we had a few more losses after that egg. For some reason they kept being fully formed, made it to day 21 (or 22 in some cases), but they died during yolk absorption. We had set a total of 9 eggs before and two weren't fertile. Two were early quitters, but the others all met the same demise.

    Due to the history, I became a little more hands off. I laid off on candling so often and actually reduced turning as well. I had an egg that hit day 21 yesterday and this morning I went to candle, just as a 24 hour post check and heard peeping! It had internally pipped and two hour later it had an external pip!! There has been no progress in the last few hours, no more holes or anything, but he's still wiggling and peeping, so I'm trying to maintain my composure. I may help later this evening just because I can't see letting him go all night without help if he needs it. But he has already pipped, so hopefully that means he's 'ready'. This is the closes to hatch we've had, so I'm super excited! Will update soon!
     
  6. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Awe. Sorry to hear that. Is there extra moisture in the shell of these chicks, or shrink wrapping?
     
  7. ChickenIzzy

    ChickenIzzy Out Of The Brooder

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    We've eggtopsied all of them and can't find any clues. There is plenty of air pocket and plenty of fluid in the inner membrane. With the chick after the one I originally posted about, I aided in hatching. It was day 23 and it hadn't pipped internally or externally, so I opened a window in the air pocket. We could see the chick moving occasionally, so I left the inner membrane intact and put some bacitracin on the membrane to keep it moist and transparent (because of a suggestion I had seen). We watched the chick for a while through the viewing window and it was fine for a while and then I actually saw it have a seizure through the membrane, and then nothing. After about 10 minutes of not moving, I opened up the egg completely and saw that the yolk was unabsorbed just like the others. So I'm not sure. She was a beautiful chick. I am so sad that I didn't get to see her grow up!
     
  8. ND Sue

    ND Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So sorry. Maybe get a better incubator? That would be too sad. I have had to help some hatch and think along the same lines as Amy Lynn. Those styrofoam incubators aren't too bad or expensive. When you say cooler type, do you think there is too much room in it to keep the temp/humidity in the right zone?
     
  9. ChickenIzzy

    ChickenIzzy Out Of The Brooder

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    It is a DIY styrofoam cooler and it has enough space I think. Our biggest fault is there is no fan and I think that may make the heat and humidity not even if that makes sense? My husband got a small computer fan to install, but we're going to wait until after the Easter batch is done, I believe. The only thing I did different this time was be less hands on. I reduced turning (I was doing it the three times a day recommended, but slowed it down to only 1-2 times per day. I candled a lot less often too, like once per week.

    I do think that I will be investing in an auto turning/ 'real' incubator before next spring, but I don't know if there is anything else I can do to better this one for now, other than adding the fan to make sure temp and humidity are consistent.
     
  10. ChickenIzzy

    ChickenIzzy Out Of The Brooder

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    My first live hatch after all those failed ones! He/she's perfect!
     

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