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Can I help a chick to hatch ?

Carlarua
by Carlarua

I had a batch of eggs under a hen, who all have hatched on this Tuesday, right on time. I had 2 bantam eggs - for which I was told the gestation time was 18 days instead of the 21 days for ''normal'' chicks - so I put them under the hen 3 days later than the other ones, so it would hatch at the same time as the others.

I've candled the bantam egg yesterday evening, and I could actually feel movement through the shell and could hear chirping when I cupped it against my ear. Considering the chick was due to hatch 36 hrs ago, and the egg was still moving about 2 hrs ago, is the chick in trouble, and could I help it hatch ? It's a Barbu d'Anvers bantam, and I was looking forward to have one of them, so I want to make sure it has the best chance. Or is the trouble with hatching a sure sign the chick will be too weak anyway once it would get out ?

many thanks

Carla

ETA : I just wanted to mention that the eggshell  is complete, and not ''pipped'', so no outward visible signs of hatching

 

last edited on
woolandfeathers
#1
by woolandfeathers

I have never had bantam eggs hatch sooner than standard chicken eggs!

I fill my incubator with a mixture of all my hens eggs and they all hatch within a day or two of each other whether bantam or not. I would not help it if it hasn't pipped as otherwise it could bleed to death

www.woolandfeathers.co.uk
dixie
#2
by dixie

No leave it!! you will kill it if you help. some just take longer, its cheeping and alive so leave it to do its own thing.

www.madaboutpigs.co.uk
chickenlady
#3
by chickenlady

Leave it - bantams don't usually hatch any quicker than large fowl.

Preserve wildlife-pickle a rat!
Carlarua
#4
by Carlarua

I just checked it, and the egg is now cold, not cheeping or no movement and the broody hen has been taking longer to come back to her nest to feed and drink. Just to be sure, I'll leave it there until the normal 21 day hatch time for normal eggs (which is tomorrow)+ 24 hrs. I didn't know about the 21 days for bantams. Thanks for the advice ! I have the suspicion I'm a wee bit lacking in the virtue called patience ... {#Embarassed}

woolandfeathers
#5
by woolandfeathers

Unfortunatley if all the other chicks have hatched a couple of days ago and you put the bantam eggs under her a few days after the other eggs the hen may have given up on this egg which is why she is away from the nest a little longer now and she may have stopped turning them at the wrong time due to the dicrepancies in timings. I would leave it be and not upset the hen and just see what happens now...

www.woolandfeathers.co.uk
Carlarua
#6
by Carlarua

Well, I've been a bold girl and opened the egg. I took the shell off tiny piece by tiny piece with tweezers. The chick's head was sticking out between the shell and tough membrane, and it started chirping once I put it onto a hot water bottle , so I proceeded nipping off the shell, and carefully removing the middle layer. 6 hours later, it's nearly out, I'm just waiting for it to stop oozing blood (just a very tiny bit from the blood vessels of the inner membrane). It's still alive and getting more active. Now I'm wondering what to do with the yolk connected to the chick. I want to put it under the mother asap, but without any restriction to movement

Not a clue what was happening there, maybe it was just too cold and on it's way out and not enough energy. I've had a prowl on the net and know it wasn't recommended to take nature into your own hands. but I figured i had nothing to loose.

woolandfeathers
#7
by woolandfeathers

The chick would normally absorb the yolk sac into its abdomen as part of the hatching process and it is that yolk/goodness that normally keeps it alive without food and water for the first 24-48 hrs so as you have helped it out the egg I am not sure if that will now happen? It may well have hatched itself naturally as I think you said earlier that it still had another day to go as you set it later than the others??

I never interfere with any eggs that are hatching unless the chick is almost out the shell where on the rare occasion that humidity has dropped the chick can virtually be out but running round with a piece of shell still attached where it has dried out too much, this can deform the chick as when it hatches its bones etc are soft and if it can't stand up properly etc its bones harden in the wrong position in which case I carefully wet the membrane and help it loose. Other than that I never interefere!

Good luck!

www.woolandfeathers.co.uk
last edited on
MARKS
#8
by MARKS

We  helped a struggling duckling out of its shell yesterday and it is a weak little thing compared to the others that managed unaided.

It still had a trailing yolk sac that has now shrivelled and gone but I doubt it will ever be a healthy bird, if indeed it survives.

Carlarua
#9
by Carlarua

I left the yolk sac on during the night, and it's still alive, and chirping away. Since the connection between chick and yolk sac was shrivelled up and the yolk completely dry, I snipped it off.

The mother hen rejected the chick straight away, and would have pecked it to death within a minute if I would have left it under her. I've tried again this morning, but no joy, the other chicks are now 3 days old and already pecking about in the hen yard. So I'm left with a tiny chick. I can't see any deformations, it's doing normal chick things. I'll crush up some chick crumbs and give it water and hope for the best.

 

MARKS
#10
by MARKS

Looks like you and I both have a new family pet Carla. We did exactly the same with the yolk sac and put the little mite back in the incubator with little or no chance of survival.

Aint nature wonderful? That survival instinct is so strong and he made it!

 

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