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Heart Rates

The first thing that the user will notice when a fertile egg is put into Buddy is a visual heart readout. Just that in itself gives a warming knowledge that everything is fine. The heart icon is flashing away at a good rhythm in conjunction with the pulse line and the three-digit heart rate is telling you how many beats per minute this is all happening at!

The heart rate of a developing chick in the shell is staggering when seen for the first time! Most Parrots and parrot-like birds are up around 260 – 290 beats per minute (BPM).

As you monitor your eggs during the incubation period you will for most of that period see that 260 – 280 BPM is the norm. If heart rate changes you will notice and want to know why?

During the trials of Buddy, an egg at mid-duration of incubation period was placed into Buddy, and heart rate recorded at 260 BPM. As the egg cooled after 1 – 2 minutes, heart rate slowed noticeably down to 220 BPM and further!

At 3 – 4 minutes it was down to 180 – 190.

This is quite natural because the egg is slowing down to conserve energy while the sitting hen may be away from the nest for a short period of time.

Internal Pip – a critical time

Toward the end of incubation a developing chick will ‘internal pip’ – this is a very important time. The chick has to push its way through the internal membrane. This is the membrane that separates the developing embryo from the ‘airs ac’ end. This normally happens 2 full days before hatch and is extremely demanding on the chick’s energy reserves. You will notice this on the heart rate read outs. At this stage it is almost impossible to get a read out while the chick is moving and pushing inside of the egg. Buddy amplifies everything 20.000 times so this ‘noise’ is also amplified and displayed to the Buddy user as chick movement. That is the little chick icon on the screen and can be seen flapping its wings. Only when the chick rests during this exhausting period will you get a heart rate readout and you will notice it to be lower than usual around 190 – 200 BP because of the hard work.

External Pip and Hatching

After the ‘internal pip’ stage your chick will set about the task of ‘external pip’. This is when the chick begins the task of pipping around the inside of the shell; this normally takes the remaining two days of your incubation period. Again all crashing and banging is amplified 20.000 times so the ‘chick moving’ icon will be busy.

As during internal pip the chick will rest and heart rates will be displayed. If you can visually see that the chick is pipping the egg around the entire circumference then a perfect hatch is probably going to happen. But if you see the chick is pipping in one area only then the chick could be stuck in the internal membrane. If after the two day hatching period the chick is still in this one position and Buddy is indicating that the heart rates are now down around 90 – 100 BPM then assistance is required to save the chick. This assistance can be safely carried out as long as the two-day hatching period has elapsed. If after the two day hatching period Buddy is indicating a weak heart rate and no ‘pips’ can be seen then the chick may be breach (wrong way around in the egg). Assistance can save these chicks that would otherwise have been Dead in Shell (DIS). Buddy will tell you!

We have had many many ‘phone calls from Buddy users who have saved chicks that would have been DIS because they could not get out!

If using Buddy for reptile eggs you can expect heart rates of around 60 – 70 BPM!

Avitronics, PO Box 107, Truro,Cornwall, England. TR1 2YR Cornwall, England.