[UPDATED] CHICK PEEPING AT DAY 13 (yes, really!)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by CajunFeatherz, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. CajunFeatherz

    CajunFeatherz Chirping

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    Hey all, so I bought a bunch of eggs to put in my incubator two weeks ago, put them in on 3/13, today is 3/26 and I woke up this morning to hear peeps coming from the incubator.

    One of the eggs last night had a shell chip but the membrane was intact, and I thought well that's weird but put a piece of electrical tape over it and went to sleep. My husband woke me up saying "I think your eggs are peeping" and I was like "lolok Beardy I doubt it" (we have chicks on the porch in a brooder, figured that's what he was hearing) and went back to sleep. Imagine my surprise when I walked out into my living room to find my husband was correct, there was a peep coming from the incubator.

    My heart dropped to China. The egg with the crack wasn't a crack at all, but the chick attempting to pip. I flew into action, contacted my chicken consultant guy, he told me to remove the tape, moisten the membrane with a qtip, turn up the humidity, turn off the auto turner, and lock it down until she has hatched.

    She has already broken thru the membrane and is LOUDLY peeping. Looking back, I kept candling these lavender orpington eggs and they looked highly developed really early on, but I kept thinking well, maybe the shell is just super dark. Now thinking about it, I think the very nice but very country lady I got them from probably just had a few eggs beneath her hen and just scooped them up to give to me. I imagine the hen was setting the eggs already, and they were in the incubator within an hour, so they probably just continued to develop.

    Has literally anyone ever had this happen and if so are there any tips you can give me for what is now likely becoming a very stacked hatch? This is the very first time I have used an incubator for hatching and I'm a type A planner so this is a little bit stressful because I don't want to ruin the entire hatch. I know you typically do not assist a bird in hatching, but when you have a situation like this should I be prepared to help in case the membrane dried out too much? Any help is super appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
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  2. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    Yes, do be prepared to help if required. But what a surprise! :lol: The chick will probably sit for 24 hours from that first pip (on average) then the unzipping part should take about an hour. Keep an eye on it at that stage and if it's just making its pip hole larger then it has got stuck (which could happen if the membrane has started to dry out). Or it may get some of the way round and stop (due to the same reason). In those cases you would step in and help out just enough so that the chick can do as much work as possible. But hopefully it can do it all on its own. :fl

    I wouldn't worry too much about the other eggs with regards to the humidity. Did all of the eggs look to be around the same stage of development when you candled? They may not be too far apart.

    This article is well worth a read while you wait:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/step-by-step-guide-to-assisted-hatching.64660/
     
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  3. CajunFeatherz

    CajunFeatherz Chirping

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    Thank you SO much for the reply! She appears to be still pipped in the same spot as this morning and her breathing is definitely heavy panting, though since this is my first hatch I can't say if it's more or less labored than normal? I'm keeping an eye and I will read the above referenced article immediately.

    In regards to the other eggs, I bought eggs from a few people and threw a few of my own in there. Of the eggs I bought from others, only this woman's lavender orpington eggs seemed dark / well developed the entire time. Every other egg still just looks like blobs and vascularity. If I had to guess, I'd say these eggs were one after the other consecutive lays, so I may be looking at 7 days of stacked lavender orpington hatching. :barnie

    For now she is still peeping regularly so I'm not terribly worried but since she has not changed position since last night and the membrane is whitish, I am assuming she probably is stuck. I do want to extract before the membrane itself becomes glued into her feathers, so I know I'm playing a dangerous game waiting but I'm hoping I'm just nervous and wrong.
     
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  4. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    White membrane is fine - yellow is when it's starting to dry out. Is the chick gasping every now and then? That indicates it is still absorbing the yolk so don't do anything until it has stopped doing that. Chicks do breath fast so I wouldn't worry too much at this point.

    Hopefully your Orpington eggs will be reasonably close together so that, once they are done you can give the other eggs a few days of low humidity to catch them up if their air cells are looking like they need it.

    What fun! Do let me know how you get on.
     
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  5. CajunFeatherz

    CajunFeatherz Chirping

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    I will!!! Thank you for the advice!! To me she appears to be open mouth panting but I can only see the top of the beak and egg tooth poking out of the membrane. The membrane that's still closed around her and exposed is beating quickly but as you said they do breathe heavily after all. I am a little worried about the high humidity for so long because the others are due to hatch right behind them, if they hatch the way I am afraid they will. I'm also afraid to open the lid and candle them (I use a Hova Bator Genesis) to see where they're at, so I'm just keeping things on moderate lockdown pretty much.

    I should be able to update by this evening since her initial pip was actually last night. Will definitely keep you posted as this is such a bizarre experience it's worth discussing I think lol
     
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  6. CajunFeatherz

    CajunFeatherz Chirping

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    Alright, the saga continues.

    A second chick has pipped, and after reading up a bit, I realized both of them are in bad positions as they were not treated with proper pre-hatching methods since I did not know they were hatching :/ one of them has pipped pretty far down on the side, and the second one that just "pipped" appears to have just broken through the shell, but when candled the beak appears to be internally pipping in the air cell.

    I have moistened the membrane of Chick A a few times, who is still loudly peeping and poking through but has not rotated or zipped at all. She is nearing the 24 hour mark, so I am getting nervous.

    Chick B I think may have just knocked shell off as she turned to the air cell? Idk.

    orpingtons are notoriously large birds so I am not that surprised that there are complications even if without the added issue of having the eggs moving and in the wrong position for hatching. However I am nervous because I'm having to really walk this fine line between 'nervous first time hatcher' and 'actual need for assisted hatch.'
     
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  7. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    Chicks that pip straight out do tend to take longer to hatch, adding the time that they would've been internally pipped to the amount of time they are externally pipped. You can use vaseline or coconut oil on the membranes to keep them moistened.

    I've never had a chick pip in the wrong place before (I hatch quail) but from what I've read, even if the chick is pipped at the wrong end they are generally able to hatch unassisted. But I know how nerve wracking it is and what a judgement call it is as to when to step in and help. I've gone in to help quail chicks I thought were taking too long only to discover that they aren't ready and there are still live veins in the membrane. Some have needed at least 36 hours to be ready to start unzipping, so it can vary a lot.
     
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  8. CajunFeatherz

    CajunFeatherz Chirping

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    I predict a sleepless night! But the coconut oil tip is a lifesaver thank you. I saw that bacitracin could be used but I don't have any on hand and we are kinda rural. Luckily, I'm crunchy enough to have plenty of coconut oil on hand.

    I think Chick A's (who has been dubbed "Lotus" due to the shape she chipped in her shell) membrane vessels have dried up considerably as I've been watching but the membrane is beginning to darken and that is where the concern truly arises. I'm hoping she starts zipping around any minute now though as she is much closer to the air cell than she certainly could have been considering her circumstances.

    Should I be worried about any type of premature drying on this chick that knocked shell away from her side? I will try to add a photo of the position of both pips and perhaps later tonight if possible a photo of them candled.
     
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  9. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    Just keep the humidity up for them and fingers crossed they'll get here in the end without too much trouble. Love the name Lotus!

    I had a quail pipped for more than 36 hours. I'd tried to help out once 24 hours had passed but made the poor thing bleed. It wasn't doing any chirping so I wasn't very confident that it would make it, or even if I should help. But it held on and the next day it was still the same - still alive, still not cheeping, still with live veins, still breathing. :barnie I really thought it was a goner but as the day wore on I could see that its breathing was getting more shallow because the inner membrane was shrinking and squeezing it, despite high humidity and coconut oil regularly applied. I figured it deserved a chance as otherwise it was going to suffocate and started to peel back the membrane. There was still a bit of blood, but not much, and as soon as its wing peeled back from its eye and it looked at me I was so glad I'd helped. It was perfectly fine - just a real slow poke, not helped by me trying to help. Yet I've had others (not often thankfully) that externally pip and that's as far as they get, and I wonder if I should've helped.

    It really is so difficult to know when to step in. So if you do decide to try and help just go really carefully and slowly so that the instant you hit blood you can stop, apply a bit of pressure, and wait a bit longer. :fl
     
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  10. Crazy_with_kidz_and_chicz

    Crazy_with_kidz_and_chicz In the Brooder

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    I "helped" one first hatching early in March and it died. I probably broke a blood vessel. I had not read to only take the shell to help and not the membrane. I didn't help the second hatching. that one more than 24 hours after the pip. pipped in morning 17th and born night of 18th. just kept the membrane damp because it was browning. first one to pip and last one out of 5. she is going strong now day 8
     
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