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Old 04/15/12, 08:09 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lambertville, Mi.
Posts: 123
Help a chick break out of the egg??

I have several BCM eggs in the incubator. The chicks have poked holes in the shell but havent emerged. The shells are VERY tough. Could I...should I help break the shell?
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Old 04/15/12, 08:18 AM
Windgefluester's Avatar  
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: chattanooga
Posts: 285
a lot of people sad you not have to help them, when i had eggs in the incubator and i saw the chicks cant get out alone, i helped them.... and they grow up great how the other chicks...
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Old 04/15/12, 08:48 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 614
I read somewhere that you shouldn't because it indicates there is a problem with the chick or that it is genetically weak and you wouldn't want to keep it if you planned to breed.

That being said I helped one in first batch of eggs. It was the first one to start pipping and three days later, after all the others had hatched, it was still trying to emerge. It managed to get its wing out and that was it.

S/he is fine and honestly I have no idea which one it is now.
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Old 04/15/12, 09:05 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: North of Toronto
Posts: 2,148
I had eggs with a little hole in them that stayed that way for hours then the chick finally decided to make the extra effort. That said, I did help one of the late bloomers in my second batch that seemed to be having a hard time when most of the rest had hatched. Couldn't tell you which one it is now.
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Old 04/15/12, 09:11 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lambertville, Mi.
Posts: 123
Awesome help as always. I'll give the little guys a few more hours and maybe give 'em a little help. I lost a few the in last hatch that I thought I should have helped. My Maran eggs have very tough shells that are hard to crack in the kitchen. I can't imagine what a little chick must go through!
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Old 04/15/12, 09:28 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,416
I have read that the BC Marans are "different" to hatch because of the thick shell. I will try to find what I had read that helps.

But, I have helped chicks out and it has worked well. But BE CAREFUL.

It does take a chick a while to emerge after the first pip. That time and that struggle is part of the master plan and they need to go through it.

Extra humidity is needed to help them get out. But too much and they might drown.

The blood veins have to be dried up ( no blood in them) before the chick can come out. If you help one, chip the shell slow and careful and at the first sign of blood STOP and wait a while. If a vein along the shell bleeds, the chick is not ready to come out.
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Old 04/15/12, 09:33 AM
Windgefluester's Avatar  
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: chattanooga
Posts: 285
when i starting to help the chick break out, i saw this video on you tube.... it helps me
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Old 04/15/12, 10:34 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 12,448
If the humidity is right they won't have a problem breaking out of the shell.
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Old 04/15/12, 02:33 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Washington
Posts: 2,839
Much depends on the humidity. We have a still air incubator with no turner and I don't have a hygrometer, so have to rely on experience, observation and my judgement. If it appears that the chick really is taking too long or having difficulty, I may intervene.

Once you open the bator though, you're kinda committed i think since you lose the temp/humidity conditions you were trying to achieve. If you have a good incubator and the temp/humidity readings are accurate - I believe you should rely on it, and imagine you wouldn't have many problems, even though it seems like the chick is struggling. How many hours has it been? Our model is pretty much a toy, so I tend to keep my eye on them and tinker as i have to,and I assume a great deal of risk when I intervene in the first place. Nature typically knows best - but a styrofoam incubator with some water canals and a couple air holes isn't exactly nature either, so in some respects, it's practice and intuition. (For ducklings, the humidity game is even trickier, yet I've had successful hatches).

I can sort of determine what's going on by how dry the shell or lining seems to appear, or how much of the shell is sticking to the chick if one makes it all the way. If I DO choose to remove and help peel, the moment I see blood, I stop! Not ready yet!

I think (THINK) it takes some where from 12 - 24 hours from pipping to hatch, so don't be too impatient. There are benefits toward letting the chick do this on its own. Again, rely on your equipment if its reliable stuff. I think you'll be better off unless you have a less than ideal set-up,... as we have.
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Last edited by LFRJ; 04/15/12 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 04/15/12, 08:21 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lambertville, Mi.
Posts: 123
Crap..........I thought that I had learned that patience thing years ago! Everything worked out fine without my intervention. Like the country song says "If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans" Thanks all, I learned something today....
BTW I did bump the humidity
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Old 04/15/12, 09:33 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 453
I had one hatch yesterday......after nearly 24 hours with a little tiny pip. Stayed that way for 20 hours, then hatched all by herself!
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