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Drilling a hole in a living Egg... to save it

A Chick Called Albert

Unless you know what you're doing, don't.
I have found a paper on 'safety holes'... very interesting.

One could argue that chicks that are not strong enough to get out of the egg by themselves should not survive. I have a different opinion.
To me all life is precious. So if I can save a chick by helping it, I will.

The 'safety holes' are used when incubating rear and endangered bird species. It increases the chances of survival in the fiercely process of hatching.
Yet one has to be extremely careful. It happens easily that a chick get's injured.
This video is about the hatching of my emu eggs, the second largest eggs in the world. (and the most beautiful ones :)
The first Emu chick got out all by himself. The second one needed a little help.

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Text in this video:

Seven weeks earlier:
For seven long weeks, I had no idea
If these eggs would contain life
They needed to loose 10% of their weight
So I checked them
Every egg every week
With a smaller egg it’s easy to check for life
This time that was impossible
Because the shell was way too thick to shine through
I didn’t see anything
Finally after seven weeks I could try the ‘water trick’
My hope was that at least one of the eggs was alive
And now, now I could finally find out
So, fingers crossed
Will they move?
The first 4 eggs I tried, didn’t move at all
Nr 5
Oh yeahhh
And nr 6 as well!
Why always the last ones?
Some day’s later the most heartwarming thing happened
Did you see that?
The next day the reaction to my whistle became stronger
The next morning
Yes! First crack
I was very exited
Yet it took another day before it went further
Two days after the first crack, I thought now we were almost there
But it still went slow
And the other egg (nr 6) started to worry me
It was still reacting to me, yet lesser and weaker
The chick seemed to be too weak to crack the shell
Weaker chicks might die at this point
There isn’t much you can do
But I study eggs :)
And I had found a most interesting paper
A study on ‘safety holes’
The idea is simple: by very carefully making a little hole…
Inside the ‘air chamber’, the chick can breathe oxygen and gain strength
First I had to be sure on which side to drill, so I listened
Now I needed to work very carefully
I started at a natural spot
“Yes, yes, I know…”
The shell was a lot harder than I had thought it would be
It took surprisingly much effort
There is still a whole net of tiny blood vessels surrounding the chick
Loosing a drop of blood from one of them is not a problem
As long as I don’t shootout
Good… Now it can breathe
Almost immediately it sounded better, stronger
I used my phone to record its sound
When I returned at the incubator, the first chick was already out of its egg
So I put it in an old incubator to dry
The ‘safety hole’ proved to be very effective
So a short while later…
This one went a bot quicker now, but it still took some hours
Here are the highlights
In nature it would be under a giant bird right now
Over here it needs a little help to get rid of the last parts
So now I have two baby emus at home
Might need to look for a bigger house soon

More stories soon cool if you subscribe

The incubator I used is a MS incubator
MS incubators (made in Holland)
And in English

For filming I used a canon EOSD7 and an Iphone 5s

All our music comes from
Music in this video:
'Hurricane' by Keith Beauvais (PRS)
'Clues Clues Clues' by Luke Richards (PRS)
Postcard From Hell by Lincoln Grounds(PRS)/Michael Pearse (PRS)
Conversations With Angels by Luke Richards (PRS)
Le Serpent by Cyril Giroux (SACEM) / David Bossan (SACEM) / Campbell E Browning (PRS) / Pablo Love (PRS)

posted by remorsenlq