To help? Or not to help? Pls share your experiences.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by minpinmama, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. minpinmama

    minpinmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 24, 2010
    Although I'm very new to hatching out chicks, I'm not new to animal care, farming, etc.
    Many times you hear 'Do not help' and when a problem comes up one never knows if that
    is the right time for intervention. Last night researching, watching youtube videos, using care
    and common sense we freed three chicks who seem to be doing quite well this morning
    although one is a little on the weaker side (just a little) I'm sure like myself a lot of us
    newbies would love to hear from the experiences of others who felt the need to assist
    and the outcomes. I realize some will be for it and some won't. But it would be a great
    learning experience to us all,to hear both sides. Thank you
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  2. bantaclear

    bantaclear Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 14, 2011
    High River
    Im with you. Im on day 19 right now and i was worried about if any of them needed help.
  3. helomech

    helomech Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2012
    East Texas
    My wife has had to help all our duck and geese eggs hatch so far, this is our first time hatching geese and duck eggs. All are doing fine, and some are still hatching. They are walking around eating and drinking. Never had much luck with helping the chicken eggs though.
  4. minpinmama

    minpinmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 24, 2010
    I only intervened when they pipped and didn't make any progress in 12 hours, continually
    being weak, chirping but not even trying anymore and seeing the membrane getting really dried.
    I'd not worry to much, I had a weird situation and it may very well of been the reason for the starting to shrink wrap chicks.
    Luckily all three I intervened with are well and fine.

    If you have done all you're suppose to (proper temps, humidity levels and not open the bator days 18 thru hatching you should be fine.
  5. LegginMF12

    LegginMF12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2011
    Yucca Valley
    I will intervene only if they have been pipped for close to 36 hrs. I just finished my hatch on Friday and the only chick I helped was pipped for over 30 hrs and zero progress on the zip, he was also 2 days late. Then I will only open the area at the air cell and see if they are shrink wrapped. If they are shrink wrapped I free up the parts that are stuck and wet down the rest and back in the 'bator they go. The one I helped on Friday had pipped and partially zipped. You could clearly see where he was shrink wrapped. I ended taking him completely out of the shell. BTW if a chick has heavy bleeding on their bum a quick fix is flour! Put some in a bowl and dip their whole bum in it. ( I was out of the antibiotic powder)
  6. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    We completely help if they've pipped but made no progress after 12 hours. We assess what the problem is (we've had experience with the following issues while hatching):

    1) Shrink wrapped. Was our first hatch and the hydrometer was off by 20%! We opened enough of the egg and slammed up the humidity so that it was able to get itself out the rest of the way. The chick is now a healthy strapping rooster.

    2) The chick was a stargazer. It had a Thiamine ( Vitamin B1) deficiency due the breeder's birds lack of proper supplementation. She wasn't strong enough to fully unzip so we helped her enough that she could get out the rest of the way. We gave the chick proper support nutritionally and by her 2nd day, she was perfectly healthy and is now a huge lovely Lavender Orp layer.

    3) The chick was enormous! Too big for the egg. He wasn't able to get past pipping (over 12 hours), he didn't have enough room in the egg to maneuver into position to unzip. We ended up removing a full half of the shell and rolling him out of the egg. He's now a HUGE Lav Orp rooster named "Hot Fuzz"...he was the fluffiest of all the chicks.

    Sometimes it's our error that prevents a chick from hatching. When we help, we do just enough so that we can see their beak and that they are able to breathe. After that, we try and let them do it themselves because if they can, we know they are normal, healthy and strong, they just needed a little hand. It's a value judgement to help or not.

    We look at it this way -- if we were in the same situation, we'd want someone to give us every chance possible. And if the chick truly isn't healthy, it will die after it hatches anyway so what's wrong with making sure a healthy chick didn't die in the egg because of some odd ball situation like human error.
  7. Sphinx

    Sphinx Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 10, 2010
    I said before that I wouldn't help hatch- natural selection and all that. Then I actually started to hatch chicks.

    I have now helped two chicks out. The first time, it had been pipped over 24 hours and had partially zipped, but was trying to push out without zipping as much as they should. I zipped a little bit more, and she popped right out. Unfortunately, she had spraddle leg. I'm not sure if it was a defect before and that's why she couldn't properly hatch herself out, or if it was an injury due to the prolonged hatching time. Regardless, her condition got worse, and I ended up having to cull her two weeks later. I regretted helping her, because I got extremely attached to her and took her death very hard.

    The second chick I helped had been pipped for 36 hours or so, and had made no progress. He had pipped through a vessel and I wondered if the blood loss hurt his strength. He seemed to be getting weaker and weaker. So, I finally peeled him out of the egg. He was exhausted at first, and seemed a little smaller, but within a few days, he was perfect. He is now almost two months old, and a beautiful little cockerel.
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I've never helped. I'm on probably my last day of incubation. I had 23/36 eggs hatch, and there's one in there that hasn't shown any progress. Just pipped through the membrane and shell. I took it out because I thought it was dead, but then it peeped at me, to right back in it went. If it doesn't show any progress within the next couple of hours and is still alive, I will probably help it zip, just to see what happens. The remaining eggs are showing nothing. No pips, no peeps. I'll leave the incubator going till tomorrow - that will be Day 24. But I don't know that I would help any of them if they get started and can't get out themselves.

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