Zipping then dying???

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Three Cedars Silkies, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. I'm in the middle of a hatch and have a question for you more seasoned hatchers. Have you ever had a chick zip 1/2 way around the egg, then die before being able to zip the second 1/2.

    I just had that happen with a NHR chick. I was literally watching it zip, then it seemed to stop for a rest. I kept watching off and on for the next 20 minutes and then noticed no movement. I took it out, completed the hatch and the chick had already died. Within 30-45 minutes of beginning the zip!!

    He was a very large chick...could that have been the problem??
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I've had it happen a few times....some even got further than 1/2 way. I don't have a clue why it happens....wish I did.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I've had it happen, too, once or twice. One was foaming at the opening, too. No idea what's up with that. Wish I could be more help.
  4. Jayare's Chicks

    Jayare's Chicks Songster

    Aug 25, 2007
    Florence, Alabama
    I just had that happen to me again about 2 hours ago. The 5th chick had started zipping and took a break and when I looked in on it again about 30 mins later it was dead. I get about 1 or 2 of them on every incubation lately. These chicks seam to have some unabsorbed liquid still in the egg shells and I think they drown in the egg if their beak is at the top when they are zipping.

  5. This shell was dry but not too dry. No foam...absolutely nothing. Chick was in the correct position with it's head under the right wing. I'm thinking that it was so big it couldn't turn in it's shell to continue the zip and just smothered. I'm so bummed...If it was a defect or the foaming thing or too much water I could understand it.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Songster

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    I had that happen a couple times but it was with shipped eggs. So I don't know if the egg was damaged inside and the chick made it to that point but couldn't finish hatching. Maybe the chick was weak but it sad to lose one that close to hatching.
  7. Mom 2em All

    Mom 2em All Songster

    Apr 20, 2008
    Southeast Michigan
    I lost a total of twelve that way this time around. Nine total hatched out, doing well. Isn't that terrible? High humidity, perhaps...but this last batch last night and today- most of the chicks were upside down, pipped at the bottom....drives me crazy- they were in a turner, then into a carton- never ever laid them on their side even once.

    Lots of liquid in the shell. I tried saving the last one. I was so sad- it wasnt dead, still barely moving- and I broke away the shell at the bottom, but it was too late/never meant to be.
  8. So sorry, mom2emall...[​IMG]

    I've been much more careful about the humidity this hatch...making sure it's not more than 40-45% days 1-17 and 65-70% on day 18 through hatch. So far I haven't had any upside down pips and no extra water in the shells!!

    I keep my eggs in carton during the entire incubation and just turn the cartons. I also leave them in there for the hatch, so the large end has been up the whole time. Less opportunity for them to get upside down. [​IMG]
  9. mthrclckr

    mthrclckr In the Brooder

    Oct 4, 2007
    S.F. Bay Area, CA
    I had one that only had to kick off the two "halves" of the shell. I left it for 15 minutes, confident that I'd return to a perfect little peeping chickie, and instead, all movement had ceased. I took the chickie/egg out, slipped the chick out of the shell, and I'm embarrassed to say, I started little chest-compressions to try and revive it. But to no avail... It was perfectly formed, not overly wet, and even the yolk was completely absorbed and the yolk sac fell right off. NO clue why it died [​IMG] . The other two from that same hatch were so sticky, I had to do 95% of the hatching for them, but they survived and were/are fine. The last egg from that batch was peeping but never pipped. Next day, I opened it up (knowing it was dead). It was COMPLETELY cross-beaked and the skull was so badly malformed, it appeared only to have one eye. I'm glad Nature took care of that one... It would have starved to death, anyway.

    It's really impossible to say why these things happen. And it really sucks when it does happen. All we can do is enjoy the healthy little peeps that do make it out and stick around. I average a miserable 2 chicks/batch (shipped eggs only), but these two chicks are always SO precious to me. I always get a bunch of quitters (so I know that fertility is usually not an issue); the ones that make it to the end yet don't hatch are total bummers. Some things just aren't meant to be... If you know you have your incubating and hatching conditions on target, then you just have to chalk these random losses up to "one of those things." Sorry to hear about everybody's "last-second quitters." It's really upsetting, I know.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: