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Was stuck to egg membrane
Chicks are hardwired to struggle. It takes strength and perseverance for the average chick to get out of its shell. The little thing on the tip of it’s beak is an egg caruncle or egg tooth. The chick breaks a hole in the shell, and then using the egg tooth, they cut a circle around the egg and pop off the end to crawl out.
It takes hours to do and they nap in between.
Humidity at this point is crucial, high enough to soften the egg, not
high enough to drown the chick. This poor little thing got stuck to the egg membrane
when the humidity dropped (side effect of living in a desert) and it
struggled for nearly 24 hours before I realized what was going on and
helped to free it. I had to bathe it in hot water to get the stuck shell off
of it. Helping is a big no-no but sometimes you can’t just let them die.
Recovery has been slow, as of yesterday I was still holding
the chick up to drink water and it wasn’t eating. At hatching they have
absorbed a few days egg yolk to survive and that kept it alive. Still, I’ve been worried it would die. But life is scrappy sometimes and this little
one turned a corner this afternoon and is doing much better today. Eating, drinking
and starting to run around with the other chicks. It could still could take a
downturn, but I’m hopeful for the first time.
Cute little thing, very fuzzy, with feathered feet. Curious to see what it will look like as an adult, should it make it that far. Fingers crossed.
These are hatched shells below, you can see how the chick cuts around the egg, and in the two at the bottom (especially) you can see the shell membrane. The chick grows inside the membrane which lines the shell, then climbs out of both to hatch.
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