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Little 'helped along' chick SAD update :(

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Hi all,

I know I shouldn't give chicks a helping hand out of the egg, but somehow this egg got a bit dented yesterday, and I don't know if it's affected the way the chick would have naturally made its exit. Where the dent was there is now a hole, which has only got marginally bigger since this morning...at least 12 hrs since the dent became a hole. The chick is cheeping away like mad inside and the beak is poking out. I feel that I should help it a bit in case the dent in the egg has impeded its exit, but I would really like the opinions of more experienced hatchers. Today is day 24 for this egg! Below is a pic taken about 15 minutes ago:



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I helped a chick out last year in a similar situation. It's a tough one, if you leave it and it dies you'll feel terrible that you didn't help, but if you try to help and it goes wrong, you'll be left wishing you left it alone. The egg is covered in veins, which need to sort of 'dry out' or they'll bleed if you break them.


If you do decide to help out, my advice is take it really slowly, removing a small amount of shell, then leaving it for 5/10 mins before doing more. Also keep a bowl of water to hand and make sure the shell and white bit stays damp by dipping your finger in the water, then lightly touching the areas you want to moisten. I've only done this once and sort of made it up as I went along as I didn't have a guide to hand (wasn't expecting to need to do anything). Good luck (hatch)

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The danger is that if you remove the chick it may not have absorbed the egg yolk sack and the blood vessels in the egg wont have shrunk back so the chick will effectively starve or bleed to death :(


You could not interfere at all, its not uncommon for chicks to take a day to make progress, if you take a bit of damp kitchen towel and wrap the egg up for 30 seconds or so then remove the towel and replace the egg you may soften the membrane enough to allow easy progress


I've found a middle ground to be a 'head and shoulders hatch' which is where you pick away the shell around the chick's head and pull its beak bringing its head and shoulders out of the hole you made, moisten the edges of the egg around the chick and then replace it. This has the benefit of not interfering with the 'action' end of the egg where the chick is attached

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Thanks guys, I couldn't wait so I did give a helping hand about 20 mins ago...no visible veins on membrane once I had removed shell, and I didn't remove the membrane, I moistened the membrane with warm water and after about 30 seconds the chick broke free :D I put her straight back in with Sprinkle and will check to see how she's doing in a little while. I knew if I left it and the chick died I would feel terrible for not assisting. I also knew that if I broke a vessel and caused a death I would feel awful too, but reasoned that if the chick survived the birth then nature would still get to decide...if the chick is too weak to make it, then she probably won't make it through the night, but if all that was holding things up was a crushed shell, and she pulls through, then I think I will have made the right choice in helping out.


A first for me today...I have facilitated the births of lots of baby humans, but the first (and last I hope!), time I have assisted in the birth of a baby chick!!!

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Well done x this is one of the stressful parts of hatching! knowing if you don't help they will prob die and there's a high chance if you do help it will die x


I was in the same position last year, and like you knew I couldn't just leave pip to die without helping, luckily it worked like yours x but redwings advice about just getting the head end open is really useful.


Fab news x enjoy

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Thanks for all your replies :D The egg s/he hatched from was so tiny...probably about 2/3 the size of the other Poland eggs :shock:

Little helped along chick is still with us this morning and is fluffing up nicely, but is teeny tiny, I know s/he isn't premature as was in the egg 2 days longer than her siblings, but if I didn't know better I'd say she wasn't due for another week at least :lol:

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Glad to hear that little helped along chick is doing well.


We helped two out, the first DD's boyfriend who is quite knowledgable about hatching although reptiles rather than chicks said if he didn't it was not going to make it and the second OH and I did the next day DD's BF was working :( so it was either us or leave it and see what happened. I thought I had done the wrong thing as it didn't seem very well. As it was one of the last to hatch we left it in the incy for a day or so to see what would happen and it went from strength to strength and it is now a happy three weeks old Lavender Pekin but it is growing a nice little comb so I fear it may be a he :( . The first helped out chick was fine as soon as it excited its egg :D


Best wishes with the remaining eggs.



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Hi everyone :D

Thanks for all your responses. I just wanted to let you all know that I think I did the right thing...little helped along chick (name pending!) is thriving, thought I'd show you a few pics and a video from this afternoon:


Couple of minutes after assisted birth, put under mummy:



At about 12 hrs old, you can see how small she is comparing with her sibling in the next photo, taken at about the same time after birth!


Big bro/sis at 12 hrs old:



This afternoon: "it's Friday night, what film shall we watch?!"



And finally a short video clip:



Tina :D

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That's so sad, she was so small and gorgeous x

Keeping animals is tough because it doesn't take much to get attached to them which means our hearts get broken easily x you gave her a chance which she wouldn't have had otherwise x big hugs to you xx

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