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Posted by brad anderson on September 17, 2002 at 16:44:13:
In Reply to: Why do baby alterna, die fully formed in the egg! want info posted by dangerdan on September 17, 2002 at 15:42:21:
:I had a clutch of alterna hatching this last weekend. On Friday night the first baby hatched. Then I waited until Monday morning and no other baby had emerged. On of the eggs showed signs of holes because there were beads of fluid where the baby had put a hole in the egg but didn't cut all the way through. I opened this egg first thinking that the baby was trying but needed help. It was dead. I figure it drowned. Then I proceded to open the other eggs and another baby was fully formed but could not get out. It was also dead fuuly formed in the egg. The other two are still in there eggs and do not seem to want to come out. But they are alive. So I will let them come out of their eggs in their own sweet time. With the next clutch should I slice the eggs as soon as the first baby hatches. Or should I wait two days then open the eggs? I am very confused and I feel that the two babies dying was my fault because I did not open the eggs soon enough. Any advise or help would be greatly appreciated.
It is widely believed that the babies need more oxygen as they near hatching. What a lot of breeders do is cut little "windows" in the eggs as soon as the first baby cuts through. I use a very small exacto knife to do this but be extremely careful and deliberate as to not cut to deep. I usually cut a quarter to half inch square out of each egg. I've had good luck doing this but still there can be casulties. I once had a baby alterna stick its head out of the egg on its own one day and withdrew back in and died the next! Fiasco! If I were you I would cut open your other 2 eggs [just the small window, not all the way open] since their litter mates have allready tried to hatch. By the way what are you using for incubation medium. I used vermiculite for years but then switched to perlite. It seems to work better for me but you might check with other breeders. Good luck to you.