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Instant verification of pulmonary rates

The first thing that you will notice when you place a fertile egg into the Buddy digital heart monitor is the visual heart readout. This readout lets you know that the embryo is alive. The heart icon flashes to indicate that a heartbeat is detected; the pulse line reflects the strength of the heartbeat; and the three-digit heart rate indicates the amount of beats per minute. The heart rate of a developing chick in the shell is staggering when seen for the first time. Most parrot and parrot-like birds have a heart rate of around 260-290 beats per minute (BPM) during the majority of the incubation period. (Note: If using Buddy for reptile eggs you can expect heart rates of approximately 60-70 BPM).

During our trial of Buddy, an egg at midterm of incubation was placed into the monitor. The LCD display indicated that the BPM was around 260. After a few minutes the egg began to cool and the heart rate dropped to 220 BPM. At four minutes the BPM was down to 180-190. This is quite natural during incubation. As the hen leaves her nest for short periods of time the embryos metabolism slows down consequently the heart rate slows down.

Internal and external pip

Toward the end of incubation a developing chick will 'internal pip'. This is a critical stage where the chick must force through the internal membrane that separates the developing chick from the 'airsac' end. This normally happens 36-72 hours before hatch and can last for several hours. During this stage it becomes difficult to get an accurate readout on the Buddy heart rate monitor because the chick is moving and pushing inside of the egg. This activity creates sounds, which Buddy amplifies 20,000 times and displays to the Buddy user as chick movement. The chicks movement is indicated by the screen icon of a chick flapping its wings. Only when the chick rests during this period will you get an accurate BPM readout. You will notice that during this time the heart rate begins to decrease to around 190-200 BPM.

After the 'internal pip' stage your chick will begin to 'external pip'. This is when the chick begins the task of pipping around the inside of the shell and this normally takes the remaining 24-72 hours of the incubation period. Again, all this movement is amplified more than 20,000 times so the 'chick moving' icon will be busy. As during internal pip, the chick will rest and the heart rate will be displayed.

If you can visually see that the chick is pipping the entire circumference of the egg, then a perfect hatch is probable. However, if you see that 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 rate is down around 90-100 BPM, assistance will be required to save the chick. This assistance can be safely carried out as long as the two-day hatching period has elapsed.


Opportunity to prevent D.I.S.

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. Again, assistance is generally required to successfully hatch the bird from the shell.

Buddy lets you know when birds are not hatching normally and provides you with the opportunity to help save these chicks that may otherwise have been Dead in Shell (D.I.S.). We have had numerous phone calls from Buddy users who say they were able to save a chick that would otherwise have been DIS because it could not get out!


Avian Biotech International
1336 Timberlane Road    Tallahassee, FL 32312-1766
850-386-1145 or 800-514-9672 (Office)  850-386-1146 (Fax)

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