Chirping eggs question : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

Some friends have eggs in an incubator to hatch - it was 21 days on Sunday - none has hatched yet, but they are hearing chirping from the eggs. It started last night. They want to know what to do! My opinion is that they should wait and see what happens, but told them I'd ask you all. Has anyone had this happen? Should they try to help the chicks out? We always let our hens hatch out their own chicks so we didn't have these worries! Please help!

-- Jean in IL (, April 09, 2002


At this point, they shouldn't open the incubator or touch the eggs. They are probably working on pipping the inside o the egg. I have always tried to live by the theory; if a chick can't hatch by itself with little or no assistance, they probably wouldn't make it on the outside very long. I hope that doesn't sound too cold, but last year, I tried to assist a few out of the egg, and they ended up very weak chicks. They need that struggle to work their bodies and become strong. You can look up hatching info online, many websites. Also, go to the poultry information exchange website and post questions, many good and knowledgable folks will help. Good luck to the owners! Not much more fun in life than baby chicks in the house! Toni

-- Toni (, April 09, 2002.

I am not the world's most experiened here, but I have found that it is generally a bad idea to "help" the chick out, it seems they need to do that "work" to help them get strong....also they are so fragile that I have injured them and caused them to bleed just by my gentle removal of the shell...or what I thought was gentle! As long as the humidity is appropriate in the incubator I would think they wil get out on their own. Julie in OK

-- Julie (, April 09, 2002.

I agree. Sometimes the chicks will hatch a day or two late, even under a broody hen. Opening the incubator now will only let out that necessary moisture. And I agree with the others that if you have to help a chick out of the egg, it may not be strong enough to survive anyway.

-- mary (, April 09, 2002.

They will be hatching soon! We do not open the lid, but watch through the top. Our gosling chirped for a couple days before hatching. I am sure you will hear good news from your friend very soon.

BTW, we've never found it helpful to assist the chicks. The two chicks that my daughter assisted, died the same day.

Let us know how it goes for your friend!

-- Lisa in Or (, April 09, 2002.

I agree with the above posts...don't help them out.But,your friend might try spritzing the eggs with warm water,just to make sure the humidity is high enough...otherwise,they can stick to the shell membrane.

-- Johna (in central TX) (, April 10, 2002.

Thanks for all the helpful answers! As it turns out, only two of the eggs were fertile. When the chirping suddenly stopped yesterday, my friends opened the eggs. One chick was already dead and the other was barely alive. They were keeping it warm, last I heard, but the chick probably didn't make it. The story is that these were eggs from their own hens - someone had given them an incubator - so as a typical homeschooling family, they decided to try hatching out some chicks. They only have one rooster for lots of hens so there aren't so many fertile eggs, it seems. Hope they have better luck next time! Thanks again, everyone.

-- Jean (, April 10, 2002.

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