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Author Topic: HOW LONG!!!  (Read 2408 times)
Jerrymac
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« on: May 11, 2009, 05:54:42 PM »

This morning there was an egg in the incubator with a hole pecked in it. And there are cheeps every mow and then. But these many hours later there is still the same hole in the egg. How long do they take to get out of the egg once they start?
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Natalie
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2009, 07:33:44 PM »

I have had them take anywhere from a 2 hours or so up til almost an entire day to completely zip around the egg.
They get tired and rest, fall asleep and then wake up and begin again.
Just don't open the incubator or you will dry up the membrane and shrink wrap that chick in its shell.
If a chick starts to zip and then the lid of the bator is opened it sucks the humidity right and literally shrink wraps the chick, the membrane just inside the shell will dry out like paper and close in on the chick, they can't peck out of that and it suffocates them.
If there is a reason why you need to open the bator, like a chick is in trouble then you need to throw a wet cloth in to keep the humidity up and you better be darn quick doing it.
Your baby is probably just resting. Sometimes they fool you and hatch as soon as you turn your back.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2009, 07:36:20 PM »

It Is getting after it now. Lots of chirping and a nice sized hole.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2009, 09:47:10 PM »

So I am suppose to remove this little chick after it dries, or will it hurt to stay in there for a while?

Just don't open the incubator or you will dry up the membrane and shrink wrap that chick in its shell.

So I have to wonder about when they are in the nest.
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Cindi
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2009, 10:47:36 PM »

Natalie, whah!!!!!  After I read your post, so many things have made sense with some of my poor hatching in the incubator.  Really, I am not kidding you.  I had about 90 eggs last summer in my incubator, only about 34 of those hatched, rather annoying and I truly wondered what on earth I had done wrong.  Being so new to the incubation scene, I really was just running on some very limited knowledge.  I have done more studying on incubation, and hope that I will have better results this time.  I set eggs in the incubator nearly two weeks ago, I have another week to go and the hatch should begin.  I hope that I have done these unborn youngsters better this time around.  Learning, learning and more learning.  I remember that I did open that incubator door several times during the hatch, not a doubt in my mind I shrinkwrapped many an unborn.  Makes me feel rather dumb.  But so many great lessons are learned by mistakes.  Ken and I candled the eggs on day 12 and it looks like there were only 3 unfertile ones, hope things are going well. We saw the dark embroyos floating in the egg and the airspace.  Beautiful days in these great lives, health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Natalie
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2009, 09:30:29 AM »

Cindi, I hope you have a better hatch this time around. There is alot more to using those incubators than you would think.
Humidity is key.

Jerry, the hens control the humidity very well, after they start to hatch the mama hen doesn't get up and leave them but she knows whether to move off of them a little or keep them covered, she will help them out if necessary and let the ones die that she senses are weak and either won't make it anyway or will have problems.
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Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2009, 11:17:01 AM »

Natalie, I sure do realize about the humidity thing.  Once upon a time, there was a gal here who spent quite a bit of time.  Some will remember her.  It was Angi Hanover.  She has not been active for quite sometime, well, at least I don't see her posting.  She was a hatcher of birds and she contended to use the dry incubation method.  There is so much talk about dry versus humid.  Wish that there was a set thing.  I would think humid.  I say this because beneath the body of the hatching bird mother, the moisture from the mother's skin would create a humid environment.  Especially ducks.  The ducks bathe many times a day when they are brooding, can't believe how clean they are.  Yes, I am learning.  The problem with my incubator is that it is an old style Sportsman, and I didn't get a manual with it, just winging it, reading all I can, I really need some lessons, smiling.  Beautiful days, to live, love and share with others, health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Natalie
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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2009, 03:59:45 PM »

I have heard of people doing the dry hatching and its suppose to be less messy but like you said, under the mama hen can be so humid that her feathers are wet from sitting on those eggs.
Too much humidity is bad too because it can cause the babies to drown in the shell and be born with deformities, if they even hatch.
I have had all kinds of hatches, believe me I am still learning.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2009, 09:45:04 AM »

So far I have 22 out of the egg. One seems to be struggling to get out....should I help??? there is one or two that had a hole popped out yesterday and they still haven't done any more. Wonder if something went wrong there? Guess we will see.

Oh by the way. Some were not due to hatch until today. They were put in a day later.
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Cindi
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2009, 10:16:10 AM »

Jerry, I have heard that you shouldn't help the chick out of the egg, unless it is so stuck that it can't get out.  I have helped a chick out once and it just eventually died. It may look like it needs help, but the egg yolk is still stuck to the baby for a few minutes until the attachment dries on its own.  Don't help I am thinking.  Have a wonderful and awesome day, health, life.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Natalie
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2009, 12:21:59 PM »

You are doing good Jerry,
                 I usually don't help, but have on occasion if it seems what happened is that the chick is getting shrink wrapped because I wasn't able to keep the humidity up which sometimes is a problem.

There was another time that I had chicks hatching early so by the time the other ones were hatching these ones were already a couple of days old and needed to be out of the bator to eat and drink because their their yolk sacs were dried up.
They were also pecking the new hatchlings as well so I had to get them out of there.
 I had someone hold the cover open a crack while I reached in there and rounded up the older chicks and move them to a brooder and then I threw a wet cloth in there because it would take too long with the cover open to fill the water wells properly.

 I noticed a hatchling struggling to finish zipping the shell.
Upon closer inspection I realized that he was shrink wrapped because of me opening the bator.
Normally I don't help but I felt like this was my fault and the chick would have survived if I hadn't opened it to get the older chicks out.

I will tell you what I did in case you ever need to do this but like I said, do not do it on a regular basis because if they are too weak to break out of its shell its probably too weak to live but there are exceptions to that rule.
That is my official disclaimer since alot of people recommend against helping period, but I have done it.

I took the egg out and saw that the membrane was indeed dried like paper all the way around the part of the egg that the chick had alread zipped around.

You will need a few wet paper towels soaked in warm water and a pair of tweezers.
Also, a trash bag or bucket to throw the shells in.

I soaked a paper towel in warm water and wrapped the egg in it for a couple of minutes, doing half and half at a time until the membrane was moist and I could pry the shell apart.
Do not have the paper towel so wet that it drips water into the shell or you can drown the chick.
If you can poke holes in the membrane a little so it can breath first its good to do that as well.
the baby comes out all folded in half and kind of just pops out.
If the shell comes off in pieces and is stuck to the chick keep soaking the area with the wet paper towel.
This is when you may need the tweezers to help pick the shells off of its feathers or around delicate places like the eye or the beak.
If you let the shells dry on the chick they are very very hard to get off later. Ask me how I know that. Wink

Anyway, I put the baby back in the bator for a while just like I would if it had hatched out on its own until it was warm and fluffed out.

When I realized that there was another in the same predicament I helped her out too.

He is now a big, make that huge, beautiful blue cochin rooster running around my yard and she is his loving wife with the biggest fluffy butt and feathered feet I have ever seen who never leave eachother's side.
My little cochin couple walking around the yard together all day, I swear if they could hold hands they would.

Again, there are people who would never have done what I did because they refuse to interfere, but I also know people that have helped chicks out if they felt it was due to humidity or temp problems and not mother nature.

Its a judgement call, assess the situation and do what you feel comfortable with.

Good luck to both of you with the hatches.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2009, 05:53:14 PM »

The update.

So this mourning I got 19 chicks out of the 'bator cause they were panting and it seemed really hot in there with the crowd. Yesterday I got three chicks out. So as Natalie said I think I dried some up.

Two more hatched since then on their own but I started worrying about four others. So I helped two out of the shells and have to wait to see if they make it. The other two were dead. So that accounts for 28 of them. 13 eggs do not have any signs of chips. Will give them a couple of days.

No I haven't figured out the candling thing. I can't tell anything from the ones I tried to candle.
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rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

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Natalie
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2009, 09:37:50 PM »

Jerry you are doing real good.
 Incubating eggs is so unpredictable with so many variables anything can happen.
So far though your percentage is great.
You were right to take those other chicks out, thats alot of babies in the bator running aroun and they probably were getting overheated.
Plus like I said they get bored and start pecking at the newer hatchlings.

The ones that were dead in the shell could have just quit. It may have had nothing to do with you opening the bator which you had no choice in anyway since it needed to be done, but sometimes you just get quitters and you never know why.
They may have quit a couple-few days before the hatch even.
Finding fully formed chicks dead in the shell is actually quite common, even when its under a broody hen.

I hope the rest goes well for you. Its tough sometimes to know when to call the hatch.

I should not tell you this   Lips Sealed but once when I fininshed a hatch and there were some unhatched eggs I was on the fence about tossing the eggs.
 I kept wondering whether I was making the right decision but they were late hatching so I cracked the eggs to prove it to myself and 4 of them were alive but the egg shells were like rocks and they couldn't peck out.
The first one I cracked I was so nervous because I didn't know what I would end up finding but as soon as I broke the top of the shell the chick peeped really loud and pushed its head up out of the egg.
I helped him out and he was fine and healthy.
I got the nerve up to do the rest of them and had 4 other chicks do the same thing and I almost threw them away.
Some had a liquid start to seep out the cracks and I did not go any further since it was obvious there was no chick.
I think it was day 23 and the others started hatching on day 19 so this had been going on for 5 days so I think it made me feel like it was later than it was and they weren't going to hatch.
Those shells were so hard I actually had trouble breaking them so I really highly doubt they would ever have gotten out by themselves.
I still have all those chickens running around my yard.

Candling is much easier to tell after the first week but then by the time its the second week the only thing you can see is dark shadows, it takes some practice to know what you are looking for.

I don't use those candlers. I went to walmart and bought a small powerful flashlight, the kind you would keep in your glove compartment.
They are the metal ones that come in different colors and cost like ten bucks.

After the chick has been in the bator for 7-10 days you can take the egg out and shine the light straight down on the egg in a very dark room.
They usually recommend you do it from the bottom but I can never see anything that way.
Just don't turn the egg upside down or you will tear the air sac and break the veining.
Keep it upright just like when you took it out of the bator.

You can see something that looks kind of like a chicken-dinosaur swimming around in the egg.
If you see nothing at all and you are sure there is nothing you can chuck the eggs or leave them until the next time you candle. I usually leave them because I want to make sure.
Some eggs are so pourous that you can see right through them and they are clear for sure and those I toss.

If you ever see a very bright red ring going around it but no chick then its a bacteria ring and you need to toss that egg right away.
If it explodes in the bator it will infect everything.
Don't confuse this ring with the regular dark ring that you will see at the top of the egg where the air sac is.
This red ring will be clearly red, not the dark ring where the air sac is, plus the egg is usually clear so its easy to see.

Also, you can see red veins all through the egg if you have fertile eggs.
Thats the easiest and the earliest way to see if they are fertile.
If you candle early and see veins you can put them back for a few days and then check them to see if you can see the baby swimming around.
Its actually pretty cool, if you shine the light the baby chick starts swimming around the egg, the light disturbs them and makes them move.
You shouldn't candle too often though, you won't be able to see much after the second week anyway, just a dark shadow but the egg will have some more weight to it.

You will be a pro at all of this by the time you are done.

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Jerrymac
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2009, 07:01:24 PM »

I have 26 live ones.

Out of the other 15

Two were not fertile

10 were very under developed and dead

1 looked fully developed but dead.

The other was.... ummm.... welllll..... Alive!!! shocked BUT as it was bleeding from where I opened the egg and seemed several days from ready to hatch, I went ahead and got it out of it's misery.  Cry

But 26 is enough for now. Got a hen sitting on 12 more.... was 13, one got broke today  tongue
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rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

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Natalie
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2009, 10:05:11 AM »

You had a good hatch rate Jerry.

For future reference.
When one of them is bleeding when you open the shell you can stop and wait a while and then pick a little more of the shell away if it starts to bleed again then wait and just do it in increments.
They are just absorbing the last of everything they need, they may or may not survive. I have had it both ways.

So you sure are going to have alot of layers for next spring. They will even start this fall.
Good luck with the broody hatch as well.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2009, 06:57:05 PM »

I just figured the poor thing was a bit under developed and just wouldn't make it. I really hate to watch things suffer.
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rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

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Natalie
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« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2009, 08:42:58 PM »

You have to make those calls sometimes, I have too. If he was underdeveloped then he would not have made it or would have had issues anyway and there is no point to prolong its suffering.
I admit that I am very squeamish about doing anything drastic to put something out of its misery but when I have to put down a new chick I take a few papertowels and soak them in antifreeze, then put them in an old coffee can, put the chick in and put the lid on.
It literally takes only a minute or two before the fumes put it out. I am sure its not pleasant but its all I can handle when I am home alone. Read, hubby comes to the rescue for anything else.
I read about that method on a chicken forum I belong to.

This is the part no one tells you about when you are riding home with your little box of fluffy chicks and thinking wow this is so cool I am a chicken owner now..........

I have a girl with a major cross beak that I am worried about.
She didn't have it as a hatchling and it was very slight when she was a month or two old but it has steadily gotten worse to the point that I don't know how she eats.
Actually I do..now. I caught her inside the big feeder, the big silver feeder that hangs from the ceiling of the coop, she gets right inside it and goes to town.
The first time I walked into the coop and saw the feeder rocking back and forth I was like what the ?
Then I saw my little addie with the cross beak.
When she gets too big to fit in there she may figure out that I have been filling up a big deep tub for her with crumbles that she can stick her face into.
Right now because she can jump into the feeder she ignores the other option I gave her and the other biddies eat out of it instead.
The thing is she is the friendliest little thing in the yard. If I go outside to garden she jumps up on my shoulder and she will follow you around.
Everyone just loves her, isn't that the way it always is though. The snotty ones never have anything wrong with them.
Who knows how things will end up for her but I am keeping my fingers crossed. Hopefully she will always be able to eat but if not I can't let her suffer either.
So the trials and tribulations of raising chickens.
Ya did good on this hatch Jerry. I hope you get alot of hens out of the deal.
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