Urgent - malpositioned chick made a hole, but no progress in 12 hours

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Maria G, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. Maria G

    Maria G Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 1, 2015
    Argh! My hatching is not going according to plan.

    Yesterday was day 0, and I found 2 pipped eggs in the morning, and then a third pipped egg yesterday evening. This morning, one chick was running around in the incubator, the other two had made no progress.

    When I returned from work today - 36 hours after the first pips, one was dead, and the other one seems malpositioned. The hole is a decent size, but it is just hacking at air in the middle of the hole. Since it was 36 hours after pipping, and one had already died, I decided to try to help. I was a bit rough, so it started bleeding a bit. Let it rest for 3 hours now, only moistened the membrane - the chick seems active, but zero progress. It has pipped towards the pointy end, so it looks like a malposition.

    Sooooo.... to my question: Do I need to help it (I think yes), and how should I do it? Should I open the end where the air sac? Or should I zip away where the chicken has started?

    Btw - one more egg has started zipping now, and the last three show no action... Something is not right, even though all 7 were fine at the last candling...

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

    Maria
     
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    First of all pip to zip can take 24 hours in a normal pipper. In a malespositioned pipper it can take double that because they are skipping the step where they normally pip into the air cell. When they pip normally internally they usually take a good 24 hours before making the external pip. Generally during this transition time the chick is strengthening its lungs and learning to breath air, finishing absorbing the yolk sac as well as the veins retracting/drying, whatever you want to call it and they also are resting and getting ready to externally pip. When they pip directly into the shell and not into the air cell, the are skipping this step (well, THEY are not actually skipping this step, they are still trying to do this step while we are out here skipping it for them because we forget they still need that time even though in our minds they are on step two. (They really are a step behind.) So, we think patience is hard enough with a normal pip...it's doubly hard with a malespositioned pip.

    Now the assisting part. I recommend you read this: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/step-by-step-guide-to-assisted-hatching It is the best info on assisted hatching you'll find.

    When assisting -gentle and slow, giving the chicks time and a chance to rest and finish by themselves is important.

    Hope your lil malepositioner makes it out healthy!!

    What has your humidity/temp been for incubation and hatch??
     
  3. Maria G

    Maria G Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks!

    Ok - I'll be more patient now - I just thought I was running out of time since one seemed to have died of exhaustion, and it had been 36 hours since external pip. (Oooo! Maybe it wasn't dead!!! Didn't open the egg fully, but it didnt respond or breathe...)

    I have read the 101 guide to assisted hatching several times, but I can't figure out how I am supposed to help a malpositioned chick that has a good external pip - I don't understand if I should zip where the chick has started (in the wrong place with lots of blood vessels), or around the air sac - making a totally new opening in the egg.

    I'lI need to make a decision soon, because I have to go to bed in a few hours... Might just leave it to nature + not disturb the other egg that has started to hatch...
     
  4. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    When you do assist you slowly increase the pip or zip that the chick has made. I use tweazers and chip away at the egg only at first and then I wet the membrane. This makes it easier to see the membranes. If the membranes are still real biig and noticeable, then chances are good that it isn't ready yet. I do a little at a time and replace the egg so that the chick can rest and attempt to help itself. I repeat this every couple hours until he has gotten himself out or I have finished the job.
     
  5. Maria G

    Maria G Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 1, 2015
    Thank you!

    I might try a little bit before I go to bed. Does it matter which direction I zip? Towards the air cell or just go in a circle around the egg? Or follow the direction the chicken started?

    Soooo many questions :)

    The other hatching egg looks better so I am hoping it will go well, and that the remaining three will follow. Not too sure though, at the end of day 22.

    M
     
  6. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Just around the egg.
     
  7. Maria G

    Maria G Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, so I zipped with a tweezers all the way around. Let it rest for a while, and then zipped carefully in the membrane. I bled a little, so I stopped and will leave it for the night now. The reason I zipped the membrane, is that it doesn't look right - thick and leathery, and seem to stick to the chicken. Not like my two first hatches, which went just fine.

    Maybe the humidity is wrong? Last time I candled a lot, opened the lid, forgot to refill the water, forgot to switch off auto turning and auto cooling - everything was a mess, but the result was perfect. This time I have done it by the book - and the whole process seems off.

    Looking forward to getting a broody hen instead - this incubator stuff is giving me a heart attack. And a stiff neck from staring at the bator. And circles under my eyes - I can't seem to go to bed without knowing how it all goes...

    :)
     
  8. Maria G

    Maria G Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok - so it is morning here now. Found the chick that I zipped out yesterday was dead - the membrane had stuck to it like glue. I probably should have stayed up, waited for the blood vessels to recede and helped it loose gradually. The other one that started hatching yesterday evening also seemed weak and completely stuck in the same position. I zipped away the shell, and the membrane was all tan coloured, so I zipped away that too - no blood at all. The chicken was very weak and had a bloody bump in its rear. I cleaned and dried the incubator and put it back, so I'll see if it perks up.

    I did eggtopsies on the remaining 3 eggs. One clearly malpositioned and dry. One internal pip and dry, one with no pip and a bit squishy - probably died a few days ago.

    Very frustrating to lose 5 of 7 chicks when everything looked perfect at lockdown. I suspect it was something with the incubator, because I have hatched eggs from the same breeder successfully before, and all chicks had developed fully.

    Thanks for all your help!

    M.
     
  9. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Awe. Sorry to hear that.
     
  10. AllyC

    AllyC Just Hatched

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    I have literally just had the same as you and am completey heart broken. First 2 were wriggling about all over the place day 18 and first pipped on day 19! Zipped within 20 minutes on day 20 morning without any problems at all but still nothing from that 2nd one. Candled etc and it and the aircell had moved to the bottom with what looked like a broken up blood ring & no movement (movement seemed to cease after day 18 with that one)
    Opened up about day 25 - malpositioned, was pretty small for how it should have been on that day. Had died before the yolk was fully absorbed so most probably between its day 18-21 transition.
    My next 2 eggs were put on lockdown when that last one was candled - didnt want to dispose of it just in case (their day 21 was the first 2's day 25)
    On days 21 & 22 I could hear one pecking but nothing and upon candling it was malpositioned! I had spent 2 days assisting and it seemed to be doing so well but gave up eventually. Was so close with this one, really seemed like it was going to make it!!

    The 2nd one from the 2nd lot had stopped moving by day 21 also and from candling looked like no life. Upon opening, malpositioned but perfect absorption of yolk and reduced vessels etc fully formed chick which I''m guessing must have run out of air. Tiny egg tooth as well so I doubt that would have helped.

    I know theres not much to be done with malpositioned chicks but I am absolutely devastated.
    More so upset about my one little chick being alone. No idea whats going on as have had successful hatches before.
    Now to find a breeder or someone local(ish) with young chicks for sale but I don't seem to be in luck :(
    If anyone is in or knows a breeder in/near Hertfordshire UK please inbox me! !

    I have 10 mallard eggs in another bator so am now even more nervous about those due next week, especially since they are my first ever ducklings. Any advice on duckling hatchings please reply!

    Literally can't cope with the heartbreak, they are like my own babies [​IMG]
     

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