What to do - 24+ hours pipped and not zipping

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by daisydog16, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. daisydog16

    daisydog16 Out Of The Brooder

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    This is our first time incubating eggs. The egg I need to ask about had a really odd start, so I'll take a minute to tell the whole tale.

    We have chickens, and our cream legbar went broody. Try and try we couldn't break her, over a week, so we figured we'd order eggs for her to sit on (more rhodebars, I wanted an autosexing breed, ordered from someone well-reviewed on eBay and not too far away from us geographically) and an incubator to heat the rest. While waiting for the eggs to arrive, our rhodebar went broody. So we gave them each a couple eggs to sit on and put the rest in the incubator (Brinsea Mini Eco). So it was obviously a spur-of-the-moment decision.

    The rhodebar didn't commit to her broodiness and was on and off her eggs quite a bit, so after a couple days, once the incubator arrived (the eggs got here way faster than the incubator, so we started the chickens with eggs before it arrived) we took her eggs from her and put them with the others. So those eggs got sort of an on-and-off head start to the others we still have left after candling and culling. We figured today would be hatch day for the eggs left that started under chickens, and tomorrow/Saturday for the eggs started later.

    Long story short, in the incubator we have three eggs due to hatch in a day or so from now, and one that we figured would hatch today-ish.

    So the egg in question, the one that was under the rhodebar, moved to the bator.

    She pipped yesterday, on the wrong end of the egg. She actually popped quite a hunk of shell off, but did not pierce the membrane. I figured if she was pipping but in the wrong end and not piercing the membrane (and I watched her fight awhile and not pierce it) that she might be getting pretty desperate for air, considering logically she couldn't really get any because she wasn't in the air sac. So I dabbed the exposed membrane with a little water, could see a couple little veins, and managed to clip just a tiny hole in the membrane without drawing any blood. She immediately began gasping very hard, and I felt I'd made the right call. I still do feel I made the right call there.

    So, that was about 26 hours ago. I figured it would take her awhile to zip because of the veins I could see in the membrane anyway, that she didn't have that internal pip time to warm up her lungs and absorb yolk, so that most of the yolk absorbing would need to happen while she was externally pipped.

    About noon today, it looks like she might have knocked into her pip hole pretty good, either maybe in an attempt to zip or just on accident, and knicked one of those veins I saw pretty good. There's a dime-sized blood spot that dripped onto the floor of the bator (I also have that rubber no-skid padding in there). I suspect, however, that my well-meaning but impulsive children snuck in and opened the incubator, as I feel like the egg was moved. They swear up and down that they didn't but they are kids, and despite my warning didn't realize the potential consequences. I am slightly worried about shrink wrapping, but the humidity is good and I know they didn't have it open for more than 45 seconds (I had a camera set up taking time lapse pictures, and they knew it, and snuck in in between shutter clicks).

    With a flashlight in the hole, I can see that the chick is still moving and breathing. I haven't heard her peep at all. She responds to noise and gets more active.

    Please reassure me that I shouldn't do anything, to let her do her thing and if she hatches she hatches, and if she doesn't then it wasn't meant to be. That's my plan. But if that's not a good plan, let me know, too. Is there a point where you would intervene at all? And THANK YOU for reading all this, I know it's practically a doctoral thesis at this point.

    - Lisa
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
  2. Whittni

    Whittni Overrun With Chickens

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    Nature is a fine course to take because there could be a very good reason for the babies not hatching, like deformities internally and externally which could put you in a situation where you'd have to euthanize the chick shortly after you bring it into he world.
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    To help or not to help is a decision you have to make yourself. Considering the chick is malpositioned, it may not be able to rotate in the egg, in order to zip and complete the hatch. I've had that happen, assisted, and got perfect chicks for my troubles. If you decide to go ahead and help, or need more guidance, here is an excellent article on the topic: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/step-by-step-guide-to-assisted-hatching
     
  4. daisydog16

    daisydog16 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey folks,

    Thank you so much for your replies so far. It's incredibly fitting that my first egg ever to hatch has complications. :)

    After letting her hang out the whole night, I woke up this morning and thought she had died, she didn't respond to taps on the incubator, repeatedly. I took her out (on top of a heated-up heating pad and hot, wet paper towel just in case) and as soon as I moved her she started really moving and peeping - the first peeps I have heard from her! She hadn't changed position at all, and it put her at 40 hours since she pipped. I suspected she couldn't move - either because of position (the shell is pretty pointy on that end) and/or a little bit of a drying-out membrane.

    So I decided to unzip the shell, just the shell, and nip into the membrane just around the pip because it was a little dry and had that coagulated blood on it from where it bled earlier I figured might make it hard to break.

    As I worked to break the shell off, I could see on the far side from the pip there are still a couple of red veins in the membrane. So it seems like she just pipped REALLY early and still had just a bit of yolk absorption to do. I may have started helping too soon, honestly. But everything I've read, scouring message boards all over the place, I found people who talked about hatching 32-36 hours after pip but that anything after that seemed a bit of a death knell for the chick - I figured if I was going to lose her by not helping anyway, then I had nothing to lose by helping. So, I'm hoping I didn't help too much, but I didn't draw blood at all. I dabbed warm water all over the exposed membrane, and put her back into the bator with a wet paper towel. I had to leave for work then but hubby is home today, with strict wait-and-see, no opening the incubator instructions until I can get home later today. Hopefully a couple more hours of hanging out, some high humidity and a little bit of the work done for her will give her enough of a head start.

    In other news, the one egg left under my original broody hatched overnight! I went out to peek under her this morning and saw legs and fuzz instead of an egg! Will check that one out later today, and hope that the hen is a decent mom (my hope is ideally to see if she'll adopt the chicks out of the bator too), but I have a brooder all set up that any and all of the chick(s) can move to just in case.

    I'll keep you guys posted.
     
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Congrats on the successful hen hatch! Please do keep us posted on the little fighter. You're doing really well with her so far. [​IMG]
     
  6. daisydog16

    daisydog16 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am close enough from work to home that I ran home during lunch. She was still in her shell but breathing well and snoozing, but had kicked herself a little loose, and was snoozing with her head on her chest and one wing extended. but her head and butt still in the two halves of the egg still connected. It was so cute. :) But there didn't seem to be anything 'wrong' otherwise that I could see. Beak, head, that wing, I could see both feet, they all looked normal to me.

    My older kids are home, and my daughter just texted me that she's fully hatched now! I don't know anything past that, I won't be home for a bit, but that she was able to kick herself fully out has me hopeful that she'll be OK. I will post a final update when I know more, and remember to take pictures.

    Thank you again. So much! We are all so lucky for this board. I do much more reading than posting but it's been an invaluable resource, and all the veterans and moderators hanging around are what make it so. You guys are awesome.


    - Lisa
     
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  7. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Thank you for the wonderful update! I smiled reading about her snoozing, poor thing must be so tired after that long hatch. You've done very well with her and I'm glad to hear she managed to hatch o.k. Please do update when you get home and show a pic of the little troublemaker!
     
  8. daisydog16

    daisydog16 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, no rest for the weary here. She's out and moving around, chirping and looking super feisty, but with a bit of yolk sac still unabsorbed. Hopefully that will resolve itself. But she's practicality trying to run laps around the incubator.

    If I were to try to put her under my broody with the other chick, should I wait for the sac to be absorbed first? Or just until she dries out? Or is she better off with a mommy hen asap regardless?

    Including a picture of the troublemaker.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. daisydog16

    daisydog16 Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
     
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  10. daisydog16

    daisydog16 Out Of The Brooder

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    Goodness.... looking at this picture I wondered if her feet were normal, like do they all come out of the egg like that or what? And as I'm sure someone would have noticed and told me, no, those curls don't go away on their own. So now both her feet are band-aided so her feet bones can harden straight. I've moved her to the heated brooder box, and she's fluffing up and the sac seems to be drying up and is definitely smaller and not as red.

    If this girl makes it she's getting a name like "Basket" because she's turning me into a basket case!!
     

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