Late last night (late on the 19th day - I put them in early in the am on day 1), I started hearing one egg. Around 10:30 pm, I noticed a crack in the egg. This morning, the same egg had not progressed further overnight, but when I turned on the room light, that stimulated that same egg to wiggle more and put an actual hole in the egg in addition to another egg starting. They are from my Buff Orpington hens, so I know that sometimes the larger breeds take a little longer. However, how long should I give my eggs to hatch from the start of pipping? I did stop turning them on day 18, but I did noticed that last night the during the beginning of the pip, the water in the chambers had dried out, so I quickly added some more. I did not disturb and eggs and left the incubator open for less than a minute.
My questions are:
How long should it take to hatch after pipping.
Is late in day 19 too early to start to pip?
Would the fact that the water chambers were dry for a few hours make it difficult for the chicks to get out or did I catch in in time?
I know not to offer assistance, but from what I have read there is a point when you can offer assistance. My first "pipper" has a very strong voice, so I am assuming they have the potential to be a very strong chick, so I am wondering if eventual assistance should be considered?
Sorry for all the questions, but this is my first hatch on my own. I was raised on a farm, but my dad always let our hens do the job. I incubated my eggs because I am also hatching turkey eggs and wanted some chicks to show them the ropes and my new hens are slow to be broody this spring.
1. Anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours. Sometimes more. Be patient.
3. It could. But you opening the incubator was likely worse.
4. Voice has nothing to do with strength. Many a weak chick has been the loudest in the bunch. It is best to let nature take its course. The more you mess with that chick the more you compromise the hatch of the others. Only after everyone else has hatched and you're ready to clean up the bator and move them to the brooder should you open it and attempt to help.
__________________ I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. - E.B. White
It can take up to 24 hours from pip to hatch. Keep the door closed on the incubator . If your humidity is below 45% add a warm wet sponge to the incubator . If the humidity is over 55% do not add the sponge. With all the rain and high humidity here in NY I am hatching without extra water or sponges this Spring. The humidity in my house is 49% and I am having trouble with too much moisture in my hatching eggs.
Get yourself 3 things..a stout rope,a heavy chair and a good friend. Have said friend tie you to the chair until the hatch is over. I have killed more chicks trying to "help" than I ever saved.( I am a slow learner sometimes). 19th day is early to help..let them go the full 21. Those chicks need to struggle; now is when the yolk sac goes into the chicks belly. If you release them from the egg too soon most will die.
It does get easier after a few hatches..wait untill you see your first empty shell that the chick picked all the way around and popped the whole top off! Nature is amazing!!
" As needs-MUST!!"--- in other words..a gal does what a gal has too!
While there's a good many things to learn by reading books, sometimes I think these are more of a hindrance.
This morning I saw that the long awaited Muscovey hatch had arrived. One duckling was fluffy, up and about the other eggs had many cracks and pips...but none were out, sigh. So I 'helped open the shells up - noted the unobsorbed yolk...and now am dreading going home to see the carnage. I wish someone was there with a rope to tie me down this morning...sigh.
I find it hard to wait and let them be... however, when the baby is in the shell, its blood vessels are lined out along the inside of the shell, much like a placenta, so that it can exchange air and moisture with the outside. When it starts to breathe, it uses the air cell and pips a hole for more air. Then it absorbs back its blood supply into its belly and any of the yolk that is left and seals that up, THEN it is ready to enter the world. It can take it a while, even a day, to finish that process. If we help before it has absorbed its "placenta" back into its belly, we will kill it.
One thing I have done that seems to help a weak duckling is to (after its been pipped for a long time - like 8 hours or more- and not making progress) use little hemostats to tear the membrane another 1/4" and to be sure it doesn't dry out too much (the membrane gets really tough and rubbery and it can't escape) by misting it. I figure the duckling still needs to work its way out and exercise the legs and lungs, etc. A duckling that doesn't work enough on the way out may have an open, wet navel and curled up feet. This baby is in danger of not straightening out and of infection of the navel. Then you end up putting tape on the feet and hoping it is strong enough to make it. This is rare on ducklings that I don't help to hatch.
It's difficult to determine when and how much to help. Err on the side of caution, your results will be better and your chicks stronger in the long run. Messing with the incubator to help one weak chick risks fluctuations that harm the others too. I've saved a couple of slow ducklings when the others are done by tearing the membrane that little bit and chipping away a wee bit of shell, dampening them and putting them back for a couple of hours, then doing a wee bit more.
I understand the desire to help, I get very attached to my babies, even while they are still eggs. It helps me to wait, knowing more about the process they go through as they hatch. I find it fascinating!
Learned my lesson. Fortunately, all the muscovey ducklings appear to be healthy, within the day - they had finished obsorbing the yolk, and were fully feathered. They appear to be healthy gaggling behind the muscovey hen and chirping along. We'll see how they develop now, but that is the last time I jump to 'help' the birds out of the shell.