URGENT Early Hatch

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by amberkeel, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. amberkeel

    amberkeel Hatching

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    Last night when checking on the stage a hatching clutch, Momma got upset and stepped on an egg. The shell exploded off (all but a quarter of it) and there sat this chicken that was intact inside the membrane. Fast forward 12 hours, she is sitting in an aquarium, on top of a wet rag, wrapped in a wet paper towel with a heat lamp on and a wet sponge in the aquarium. Temperature is sitting at 95-100.
    The little guy is chirping, with his beak out and it seems most of the yolk is absorbed (or maybe it exploded when mom stepped on it). The membrane around the side of his head seems stuck to his head a little bit, so I have him completely wrapped in wet paper towel except the little area around the beak. I would help him hatch out but I can still see some blood vessels around the top of the head when I wet the membrane. I need some advice, I am in over my head here. The chick is chirping and I want to help it so bad. In order to speed the blood vessels drying out, should I remove some of the wet paper towels? let it dry out a bit? Do I keep it wet and wrapped with only its beak sticking out? The poor think keeps trying to drink the water when I wet the membrane around its head. I have been up all night with this poor baby. I dont want her to die :( HELP!

    I should mention that 3 of the chicks from this clutch have already hatched, so I dont think she can be TOO early, can she? ugh.

    Thank you for any advice or help you can offer.

    -A
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité

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    [​IMG]

    The blood in the vessels needs to be absorbed along with the yolk before the chick can hatch, so as long as you see active vessels, keep them damp and give them more time to complete the process. You can check on the progress by dampening the membrane with a wet Q-tip every now and then. It can take around 24 hours or longer though, depending on how far along it was when the hen stepped on it. If the chick wants a drink you can carefully dip it's beak in some water, just be careful you don't wet it's nostrils as well. Good luck!
     
  3. amberkeel

    amberkeel Hatching

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    Thank you so much for your reply Sumi. I will keep the set up as is. Could I be keeping her too wet? The poor dear literally has almost no shell. *shaking head* Do you feel my "sad excuse for an incubator" is warm enough? 95-100? How long after she gets out of the membrane (assuming he lives) do I keep her in the incubator? Would I keep her on a wet rag at that point?
    As you can tell, we have only had our Black Copper Marans for 4 months, and are so excited for the babies! I didnt think about this sort of extreme complication :/ I promised this little guy that I would name him miracle and never throw him a freezer party if he just lived. :)

    I'm so glad I found this forum. I have felt so scared for this baby chick and worried I am doing it wrong. Just having people to talk to and give advice really means so much.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité

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    As long as the membrane stays damp and the vessels doesn't dry out it's fine. Incubation temperature is around 99*F, so you are fairly close, it's warm enough for the little one. Once it's ready to complete the hatch you can let it dry off and fluff up and then go slip it under the broody hen. This may work better if you wait until evening, when she's sleepy and less likely to kick up a fuss and reject the chick.

    Good luck with the little one and keep us posted!
     
  5. amberkeel

    amberkeel Hatching

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    Well, I cannot believe that we did it, but 24 hours after this post, her vessels dried up and she was ready to come out of her membrane! I can hardly believe she lived through this. Before this experience I had no idea that a baby chick could live in her membrane for 36 hours before hatch! I did as was recommended, just kept her wet and warm, checked on her every hour. Gave her tiny drops of water to keep her strength up. Once all the bright red blood vessels went clear and withered away, I knew it was time to help her out. Membrane was rather tough, but with some q-tips, tweezers and wiggling, she was free. She is currently a little runtish with a rather matted head, but the rest of her is all fluffy. She is a scrapper that stands her ground with the older, healthier two. I'm just so proud of her. As promised, I named her Miracle and she will never be thrown a "freezer party".

    I really love this site, and appreciate the advice. I will post pictures of her and her sibling today!
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. amberkeel

    amberkeel Hatching

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    [​IMG]
    This one is of her all wrapped up in her warm, wet synthetic shell (a.k.a. guaze and paper towels) Notice her cute little beak? she pipped and squeaked for water every hour ;)

    [​IMG]
    This was her in the membrane after we had already been nursing her about 18 hours. She kicked out of it with her feet a little too soon as you can see by the blood
    we worked hard to keep her wrapped and calm while the blood vessels in her head absorbed and dried out for the next 12 or so hours. I may have waited too long, but
    I didnt want to take any chances.

    [​IMG]

    This is her and one of her siblings as of today! She is the one drinking from the fountain. Her head is still a bit matted, but other then that she is doing great!
     
  7. sumi

    sumi Égalité

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    Wonderful! Thanks for the update and "well done" to you and little Miracle!
     
  8. coffeychicks

    coffeychicks Songster

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    Awesome reading this I do love happy endings
     

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