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Thread: How long do you wait after a hatchling slits its egg open before you help it out??

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    Default How long do you wait after a hatchling slits its egg open before you help it out??

    A couple of weeks ago just before I was leaving for class I looked in my incubator and found that a clutch started to hatch. One hatchling was already out and in the box and the other egg had a "V" shaped slit in it. I decided to just leave it alone and let it come out on it's own. About 5 hours later I came home from class and saw it still had not come out. I waited about another hour then decided to cut the open a bit and help it. Well sadly the gecko was dead inside the egg. So now I am curious, just how long do you wait after the hatchling has slit the egg before you go in and help it out? The thought of that little gecko just suffocating to death was heartbreaking and I have a couple more clutches due to hatch soon, so I would like to know what to do before I find myself in the same situation.

    I have yet to witness any of my eggs hatching and I've hatched out 9 geckos this season so I don't know if there is a specific time period the hatching process happens with. From my understanding after the egg pips, it could be immediately or several hours to several days before the gecko slits the egg shell to get out. I would assume that once the gecko makes the slit in the egg that it would pop out immediately, no? Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

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    I don't know about anyone else, but I don't wait very long after the slit is made, maybe 15 minutes. If I don't see any movement or attempting to come out of the egg maybe even sooner. Of all the eggs I have seen hatch, after the slit is made the gecko usually makes it out on it's own within a few minutes.
    Carrie
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    I let Mother Nature take her course. I've had eggs pip and the baby took like 6 hours to come out, and it ended up being just fine though, so each case is different. what I've found is, sometimes the hatchligns will rest in the egg until there is complete darkness, then they come popping out.
    I am sorry for your loss, but in my experience, I've only cut one egg, (that baby was deceased as well) and after that heartbreak I just decided the Gecko Gods/Mother Nature know whats best.
    Help! Crested Geckos! 0.1.Leachie, 2.1.1 Gargs, 1.0 Chahoua, 2.1. Blue Tongue Skinks, 1.1. White Lined Geckos, 1.3. African Fat Tails, 2.2.0 Tokay Geckos, 1.0. Giant Day Gecko, 2 tarantulas

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    This breeding season I have caught all of mine starting to hatch/pip. I have not had any that when pipping did not at least have a nostril out pretty much right away.
    My gargs sat in the eggs with just a nostril out for about 7-8 hours. Just sitting there. I left them alone.
    I guess if you just see the slit in the egg, that would be a hard call after you had this experience of the baby dying. I am honestly not sure what to suggest.
    I am sorry he did not make it, especially once he had gotten that far...

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    Really, if the baby can not make it out on its own - what does this suggest for the rest of its life?
    It is probably very weak, and may not have made it very far out of the egg anyways.

    I'm sorry for your loss, but it's better than having the baby alive only to see it pass later on.

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    If you reach a point where you are thinking about cutting an egg for whatever reason, and you do it but find a dead gecko, in most cases the gecko was dead already before you cut. I have eggs at home I could cut open right now and no harm would be done. There is a trick to cutting though. First you just want to puncture the egg. When you do that a lot of fluid will come out. I wipe that away until it slows and then I make the hole slightly bigger. After that I just set the egg back down and the little one comes out on it's own after a period of time.
    I am not advocating you cut your gecko eggs, but in my experience little harm can be done if the egg is far enough into incubating.
    This little one was cut 5-6 days after its clutch mate hatched and is doing just fine.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZF5LeghZjaA

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    Talkenlate, your videos of cresties hatching are awesome!! Thanks for sharing!
    2.4.1 Rhacodactylus ciliatus (Zappa, Basset, Mo, Sprocket, Sparrow, Ellie, Jenga) 0.0.1 Rhacodactylus auriculatus (Dr. Doctor) 1.0.0 Pogona vitticeps (Xander) 0.1.0 Eublepharis macularius (Gaia) 1.1.0 Hemitheconyx caudicinctus (Oluyemi, Yoruba) 1.0.0 Chamaeleo calyptratus (Faizal) Fish tank [15g] (betta Sputnik, many apple snails, and nameless mollies)

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    Thank you all for the advice and condolences.

    Sallie and Syn: I agree with you both, I did not take it personally when I found the gecko dead (and there has been more than one this season for me, break down of my hatchling success rate will follow below.) I share your feelings that it should be up to mother nature to decide if the gecko should live or not. Honestly I would rather have just a few very healthy geckos than a whole bunch of weak sickly geckos. But it is still very saddening when you find a fully formed gecko dead in the egg.

    Ryan: Thank you for the explanation on how to properly cut an egg open...but thats not something I would do. It's obvious that you are a seasoned professional and I simply don't have your level of experience to try to "force" a gecko to hatch. The two eggs I cut open this season I did so after the other egg in the clutch hatched and the second egg began to mold and smell. The third egg I "helped", which is the egg I described in this thread was already slit open and I just lifted the flap and began peeling the egg away. Regardless all three eggs had fully formed dead hatchlings inside and I agree with you that they were already dead before I did any cutting. BTW, your video of your gecko hatching was adorable... thanks for sharing it.

    Of the clutches that have hatched so far the breakdown goes like this:
    Clutch #1- first egg hatched, second egg began to mold and smell-- I cut it open and found a dead hatchling
    Clutch # 2- again first egg hatched, second egg began to mold and smell-- I cut it open and found a dead hatchling
    Clutch #3- first egg hatched, second egg infertile-- I cut it open and found nothing more than egg goop
    Clutch #4- both eggs hatched two days apart from each other
    Clutch #5- first egg hatched, second hatchling slit egg open then died in egg
    Clutch #6- both eggs hatched one day apart from each other
    Clutch #7- first egg hatched yesterday, waiting for second egg to hatch (no signs of pipping and no slits in egg yet)

    On a side note all of my breeders this year are virgins, could that explain the three in egg deaths?

    Again thanks for all the advice!!

    -

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    I would say thats an excelllent hatch rate for a first time/first season breeder.
    Help! Crested Geckos! 0.1.Leachie, 2.1.1 Gargs, 1.0 Chahoua, 2.1. Blue Tongue Skinks, 1.1. White Lined Geckos, 1.3. African Fat Tails, 2.2.0 Tokay Geckos, 1.0. Giant Day Gecko, 2 tarantulas

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    A couple of questions:

    You speak of "pipping". What exactly does that refer to - hatchling making a small hole in the egg or the slit it makes before leaving?

    Secondly, have any of you had one like I did the other day where the baby got out of the egg until the beginning of its back legs but couldn't seem to get its back legs out? I left it that way for around 5 hours before helping it get the rest of the way out. It seemed very still even after we picked it up and took it out of the egg with almost no movement at all other than a very slow stretch of all four limbs. This was despite the fact that we were actually handling it and picking it up etc. I really did not think it would live but we misted it, left it in the incubator and the next morning it was fine and dandy. Do you think we waited too long?
    Eric
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