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Date Posted: 13:54:33 03/12/10 Fri
Author: Don
Author Host/IP:
Subject: Re: Helping a hatch and bleeding
In reply to: Holly 's message, "Re: Helping a hatch and bleeding" on 08:47:31 03/12/10 Fri

Holly, I'm not sure if I've given offense or not, but it wasn't my intention. I try to speak about my own experience, and what methods I use, rather than telling others what to do. These forums are public, so I try to present the information so that others with less experience can benefit as well. For instance, many new breeders don't know that pipping is not hatching, and immediately think that their chick is in distress when it doesn't hatch within a few hours. I have been involved with button quail forums for several years and have seen this question come up numerous times.

Yes, helping a chick hatch is a personal thing. The only recommendation I would have (to anyone) is to wait at least 24 hours before attempting, and if it bleeds, wait another 12 hours. The blood is the last thing to be pulled into the chick, after the yolk, so if there is no blood, then you can be pretty sure that the yolk has been absorbed. The effort of pushing against the shell is also what helps to draw the yolk in. I have only seen one instance where a chick pecked all the way around the shell before the yolk was absorbed. This is uncommon though and I was very surprised to see it.

Yes, humidity is important during hatching, but it's not the end of the world if the humidity escapes. I lift the lid whenever I need to and I don't make any special effort to compensate for the humidity loss. I just try to be quick and generally don't have issues.

Lots of people get concerned about heat loss, especially in the event of a power outage, but it really is a non-issue unless it is right in the middle of the hatch, and even then the effect is negligible in my opinion. The development of the chick slows down when they get cold and starts back up again when they warm up. I live in an area that has a lot of power outages, and I have had outages that lasted over 12 hours and still had good hatches out of them, no different than a normal hatch. I used to raise pigeons and I had one clutch that went cold for over 24 hours on two occasions late in the incubation. I fostered them to another pair and they eventually hatched, five days later than they should have, but still perfectly healthy little squabs. One thing that you can expect in a case like this is that the hatch will be delayed by approximately 1.5 hours for every hour that the eggs were cold. Unfortunately, I have had enough power outages during incubation to have figured out that little tidbit of information :)

In the end, it is the individual fanciers own experience that is the best guidance. Not everything works for everyone. I go against the grain on a number of aspects of this hobby, but I do what I have personally found to work best for me and my birds.

So once again I stray a little off the original topic, but that's what also stimulates further discussion.


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