Fixing cracked eggs?

girl_in_a_curl

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My Hermanns female laid eggs 24 days ago and tonight when I checked them in the incubator I saw that all 3 had long cracks (about the length of the egg) down one side. There is no smell and no sign of leaking fluid and I'm sure the cracks weren't there a few days ago when I checked.
Humidity has been just over 80%. Is there any way I can save these eggs? They all have blood vessels and signs of an embryo inside. I saw some people recommend gluing the eggs... has anyone had any success with this? Would the glue not get into the egg and poison the embryo? I'm hesitant to do it in case I cause further damage but don't want to do nothing if there's a way I can help.
Any advice would be much appreciated please.
 

Yvonne G

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Sometimes when there's too much humidity in the incubator the eggs swell and crack. It is my experience that if the internal membrane is still intact it's ok. I've heard of some people putting a strip of cellophane tape along the crack.
 

dd33

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I have hatched cracked tortoise eggs that were repaired with a transparent dressing called Tegraderm.
 

MEEJogja

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I remember once seeing something by @hermanichris where he used spray on plaster (bandaid) from the pharmacy to great success.
 

girl_in_a_curl

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Thanks for the replies so far. I have ordered some Tegraderm as it would be good to have in the future. I applied a small amount of PVA glue as this was all I had available and I thought it better to act fast before the cracks got any larger. I have moved them onto a drier vermiculite as I think I had it too damp. This morning the glue has dried nicely and the cracks are sealed. I guess I just have to wait and see now. I noticed one egg had a crack underneath and there was a bit of bloody tissue at the base, so worried the membrane has broken and that egg won't make it. I have separated it from the other 2 and have a lid on it in case it explodes.
 

girl_in_a_curl

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Its one month later so I thought I would give you an update on what happened... they hatched successfully! I'm so pleased!

I thought I'd give some more details of what happened in case anyone has similar issues in the future and just to share my experience.

Here's a timeline of what happened:
May 13th - 5 eggs hatched.
Eggs placed on damp vermiculite (probably a bit too damp) in a plastic container with lid that had a few small holes poked in. Eggs placed on middle shelf of incubator with bowl of water and sponge on bottom shelf. Incubator set to 33°C (which actually means it spends most of the time at 32°C). Humidity was around 80%
3 eggs chalked and blood vessels were visible when candling. The other 2 were infertile.
I checked the eggs every couple of days and cracked the lid of their container each time to allow air exchange.
Day 28 (not 24 like I thought before) when candling the eggs I noticed a large crack on one egg. When I turned the lights on I noticed the other 2 were also cracked, although I hadn't noticed it when candling them so didn't know whether it had literally just happened that second or whether I'd missed it.
2 of the eggs had large cracks almost the entire length of the egg on one side. The other one looked like it was smaller as it was coming from underneath but when I picked it up the crack went all the way underneath and there was a small bloody bit on the bottom.
I used a tiny paintbrush and PVA glue (white glue used in schools) to seal along the cracks - trying to use as small an amount of glue as possible.
I swapped the damp vermiculite for dry vermiculite and removed the lid from the container so there was more air circulating around the eggs. I separated the egg with the bloody bit as I thought that one would probably die and the egg may explode.
The next morning the glue had dried and the cracks looked sealed. I continued to candle the eggs and sniff to see if they were going bad because at this point I wasn't sure which way it was going to go. When candling they started to look dark inside and I wasn't sure if this meant they were growing or that was them dying off.
Day 35ish - About a week later 2 of the eggs had air bubbles start to appear. Around this point I stopped candling as I couldn't tell whether the changes were good or bad, so decided to just keep my fingers crossed.
Day 46ish - I started to add small amounts of water to the dry vermiculite and a daily spray of water inside the incubator in anticipation of hatching. I didn't want the eggs to be so dry that they dried out or couldn't break out.
Day 54 - The first 2 eggs had pipped in the morning when I woke up. The 3rd egg (the one with the blood leak) pipped in the evening.
I moved them off the vermiculite and onto a nest of spaghnum moss for hatching to avoid any vermiculite being ingested.
Day 55- The first 2 eggs hatched successfully.
Day 56- The 3rd egg hatched.
All 3 are fully formed and seem in good condition!

So in summary, cracked eggs can be repaired!
I would recommend having some glue or Tegraderm on hand as soon as you put your eggs in the incubator. I discovered the cracks late at night and was panicking because I didn't have any superglue (which is what the Internet recommend) and it was too late to get any, so better to be prepared for any eventuality.

This was my 2nd time hatching eggs. The first time I was a novice and constantly checking the eggs and spraying them, taking water out and putting water in, adjusting the temperature and basically fussing, and the eggs all hatched successfully. This time I was more confident and didn't tamper with the eggs so much, which is why I was upset when they cracked, because I thought I knew what I was doing.

One thing that I believe contributed to the cracking was the lid on the container. For the first batch of eggs I didn't have a lid on them whereas the 2nd batch I did. I think the lid meant that the moisture from the vermiculite was trapped close to the eggs causing them to absorb too much water and crack. Leaving the lid off allows more air flow. The dampness of the vermiculite was the same in both hatchings, just the lid was different. I introduced the lid because I thought it would protect the eggs from temperature fluctuations when I opened the door. So, I won't be using a lid in future.

The babies are a week old now and have just come out of the brooder box.
Here's some pics of hatching day.
20220705_103315.jpg

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I didn't get any pictures of the cracks when they formed as I didn't want to risk any further damage to the eggs by taking photos, but I did salvage a bit of shell after hatching to give you an idea of what the cracks were like. This was the bit of shell that had the bloody bit leak out, you can see it where the crack gets darker. I'm amazed this one survived to be honest as I thought for sure the membrane must have broken. I guess my quick reaction saved the day!
20220706_125334.jpg 20220706_125340.jpg 20220706_125427.jpg
 

girl_in_a_curl

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One last thing I forgot to mention was that one egg started to get a dark circle on the end in the week before hatching. The shell started to look really thin, almost like the chalking had started to reverse and this covered the whole pointy end of the egg, which made me nervous as I thought it was a bad sign... luckily it wasn't though!
 

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