WHEN TO HELP? A real test of patience!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Anigozanthos, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. Anigozanthos

    Anigozanthos Out Of The Brooder

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    We set three Welsummer eggs in a little RCOM incubator, discarded one that was clear at day 17. Day 19 egg 1 pipped, then we had 24 hours of no further progress. Day 20 egg 2 pipped, while we were still watching egg 1 for action. Finally at 10pm last night (about 30 hours after it first pipped) our first little chick hatched. Now she is kicking about, fluffing up nicely and making herself known whenever we walk by, while egg 2 is still moving but showing no further progress 18 hours after it pipped.

    The last time we hatched (our first go) the eggs pipped overnight and hatching was done by 3pm that day. This time the length of time it is taking is very trying!
     
  2. Anigozanthos

    Anigozanthos Out Of The Brooder

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    Our little chick has now been in the incubator nearly 24 hours because I don't want to risk the second egg. How much longer is it safe to leave her in there?

    The second egg has now been pipped for around 30 hours, the little chick is definitely still alive and making (very slow) progress, so I don't really want to muck with the humidity now. At what point do I need to consider intervening?
     
  3. jorey

    jorey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The first baby should be fine for 48 hrs. The yolk sac will provide it with what it needs for then.. congrats
     
  4. Anigozanthos

    Anigozanthos Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    This is the egg 32 hours after it pipped. It's been knocked about a fair bit by the first chick and right now it is still moving but has not made any further progress than this for about two hours. The other chick has been pecking at it and pulling at it's feathers. Should we try to chip some more shell away to help it along?
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Actually the yolk feeds them and provides water more like over 72 hours and possibly over 4 days though I don't wait that long for sure. I take them out as soon as the hatch is over. Sometimes that's less than 24 hours and sometimes it's stretched over more than two days. You are doing the right thing by waiting. It's not an absolute guarantee that would cause a problem by opening the incubator but it is possible.

    That was easy. When to intervene is the hard one. As you have seen each hatch is different and each egg can be different in the same hatch. Some pop out fairly fast after pip and some take forever. There is a lot going on inside that egg, absorbing the yolk, drying up blood vessels, and a lot of other stuff, including just resting. If you intervene too early you can kill the chick. If the chick is in trouble and you wait too long, it can die. It's a hard decision.

    If you see yellow foam coming out of that pip hole it is certainly time. That doesn't always happen but sometimes it does. That is an emergency. I've saved some at that stage but even if that foam doesn't happen, many of the chicks I've helped die within a couple of days anyway. It really is a hard decision with no perfect answer.

    A few years back I helped a turkey that was early but that foam started. The turkey made it. When I opened the incubator I shrink wrapped a chicken chick that had pipped. I had mixed turkey-chicken eggs. That chick had pipped an air hole to breathe through. It was stuck through the rest of the hatch. When the rest of the hatch was over that chick was still alive. I helped it out and it made it. That's the good stories. I've also killed chicks by trying to help them. I thought they were in trouble but they had not absorbed the yolk or I ruptured blood vessels. I think they probably were not strong enough to make it anyway but how can you tell?

    I've decided the best thing to do is to wait as long as you can stand it but some are not meant to make it.
     
  6. jorey

    jorey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I knew it was 72 hrs but I prefer to err on the side of caution when I give advice. Sorry to cause any misunderstanding. If you search for hatching 101 and go towards the bottom there is info on when to intervene and how to assist. Great info.
     
  7. Anigozanthos

    Anigozanthos Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the reassurance. It's midnight here now so I guess I will wait it out until morning and reassess.
     
  8. Anigozanthos

    Anigozanthos Out Of The Brooder

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    Morning came and there was still no progress. The chick was still alive but not making any noise or moving much. After searching the article jorey suggested and then reading some more we decided to assist as the part of the membrane we could see was turning brown. He had completely absorbed the yolk so I feel good about our decision to assist at the point we did.

    We took the other chick out of the incubator and put her in the brooder, and this little guy is still in the incubator drying out. He is getting more active and more noisy now so I am hopeful. But he still seems weak. Any further advice now would be much appreciated!
     
  9. sepaditty1

    sepaditty1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hopefully he'll perk up when he gets some food & water. Do you put vitamins/electrolyes in their water? That could help.
     
  10. Anigozanthos

    Anigozanthos Out Of The Brooder

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    I haven't put anything in their water in the past, but I will if you think it will help. Should I keep him in the incubator a little longer, or pull him out to feed him? He's been out of the egg about 7 hours. He's moving around a lot more now.
     

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