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Incubating nightmare

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Being new to chickens I decided to incubate my own eggs. I went to the local feed store and bought a still air incubator with egg turner and egg candler.I followed the directions and put 16 eggs in the incubator.26 days later and no chicks. Figured maybe the rooster wasn't fertile due to being 5 years old. pulled that rooster and replaced him with my Buff Orpington rooster.My hens are RIR.

Set the incubator up again and after I candled the eggs on day 8 the incubator started fluctuating from 98.9 to 100.2. Lost that batch of eggs. Exchanged that incubator for another and set it up, this time without eggs. that one had the same temp problem right from the start. called the company, they sent me a new digital reader and temp controller. Installed that and ran it 8 hours, everything looked good. Put in my eggs,things seemed to be going well. Candled my eggs when I took them out of the egg turner and I had live chicks in 10 out of 12. Yahoo, not. first chick started pipping out and died in the shell. Everyone died. I'm devastated. I don't know what went wrong. Asked someone I know and he said my rooster is to big for my hens and the chicks were to big. Can that happen???? I returned the whole incubator set. 


Edited by andachick - 11/3/15 at 8:08pm
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by andachick View Post
 

Being new to chickens I decided to incubate my own eggs. I went to the local feed store and bought a still air incubator with egg turner and egg candler.I followed the directions and put 16 eggs in the incubator.26 days later and no chicks. Figured maybe the rooster wasn't fertile due to being 5 years old. pulled that rooster and replaced him with my Buff Orpington rooster.My hens are RIR.

Set the incubator up again and after I candled the eggs on day 8 the incubator started fluctuating from 98.9 to 100.2. Lost that batch of eggs. Exchanged that incubator for another and set it up, this time without eggs. that one had the same temp problem right from the start. called the company, they sent me a new digital reader and temp controller. Installed that and ran it 8 hours, everything looked good. Put in my eggs,things seemed to be going well. Candled my eggs when I took them out of the egg turner and I had live chicks in 10 out of 12. Yahoo, not. first chick started pipping out and died in the shell. Everyone died. I'm devastated. I don't know what went wrong. Asked someone I know and he said my rooster is to big for my hens and the chicks were to big. Can that happen???? I returned the whole incubator set. 


So some or all pipped, hole in shell to let outside air in?  Then peep died without hatching?  Do you have any humidity readings during incubation and especially during the period when the chicks start pipping and trying to hatch? 

    Were the eggs turned during incubation?

post #3 of 15
hugs.gif So sorry for your bad hatch.
Did a moth know that the flame was going to change her life forever, or did she simply fly towards that heated embrace, knowing it would offer her something she couldn't give herself? In the end, the answer didn't really matter. The moth had never wanted the choice. -Joey W. Hill-
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Did a moth know that the flame was going to change her life forever, or did she simply fly towards that heated embrace, knowing it would offer her something she couldn't give herself? In the end, the answer didn't really matter. The moth had never wanted the choice. -Joey W. Hill-
Reply
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dekel18042 View Post

So some or all pipped, hole in shell to let outside air in?  Then peep died without hatching?  Do you have any humidity readings during incubation and especially during the period when the chicks start pipping and trying to hatch? 
    Were the eggs turned during incubation?
post #5 of 15

Welcome to BYC!

I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

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I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

Reply
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Some pipped the shell, others were literally rolling around in the shell in the incubator. They were in working egg turner and humidity readings were 50 from day 1-18, 64 from day 19-22. According to the book I have this was acceptable levels. One minute they were alive and trying to come out, I walked away for 20 minutes and came back to check the progress and they were all dead. I just don't get it. These hens were given to me and weren't in good shape when I got them and had never been outside. They were kept in a corner of a garage with no windows, light ect. I immediately gave them a round of antibiotics and wormed them. After that it took a month for them to start laying regular. Then they went into molt so that was another 2 weeks of no laying. I waited until all seven were laying again and then started collecting my eggs for incubation. I figured since they were 1.5 years old I should start my replacements. I'm not going to give up ( stubborn Irish you know ) lol. I'm going to look into a different incubator or make one myself. If that fails, I do have a Silky/Cochin hen that I can use.

post #7 of 15
What brand was the incubator?

I had all sorts of problems with my incubators heat and I only knew because I had a second digital thermometer in it that I knew was reading correctly. My incubator jumped all over the place and I even had a couple times after I lifted the lid to add water that the temps went so high I had to remove the eggs till it settled down again as it spiked to deadly for the eggs temperatures. The whole time my incubators readings were saying everything was fine. Considering how many you went through trying to get a working one I can't help but wonder if yours did something similar at the end.

One other thing, you said they were pipping and you walked away for 20 minutes and they were dead. They can take 24 hours from pip to starting to hatch with zero activity while they rest and absorb the yolk. How did you know they were dead after 20 minutes? It should have been almost the next day before you had any inkling anything was even wrong? You didn't assume something was wrong because they had stopped to rest for the next bit and opened the incubator did you?
Edited by appps - 11/4/15 at 12:02pm

Aussie Mum to
our sizzle Al

our neurotic Partridge Silkie Penny

and our sweethearts the Salmon Favorelles girls, Colonel , Winry & Carl
And our big girls the Australorps, Pepper, Blackie and Tonio

Reply

Aussie Mum to
our sizzle Al

our neurotic Partridge Silkie Penny

and our sweethearts the Salmon Favorelles girls, Colonel , Winry & Carl
And our big girls the Australorps, Pepper, Blackie and Tonio

Reply
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by appps View Post

What brand was the incubator?

I had all sorts of problems with my incubators heat and I only knew because I had a second digital thermometer in it that I knew was reading correctly. My incubator jumped all over the place and I even had a couple times after I lifted the lid to add water that the temps went so high I had to remove the eggs till it settled down again as it spiked to deadly for the eggs temperatures. The whole time my incubators readings were saying everything was fine. Considering how many you went through trying to get a working one I can't help but wonder if yours did something similar at the end.

One other thing, you said they were pipping and you walked away for 20 minutes and they were dead. They can take 24 hours from pip to starting to hatch with zero activity while they rest and absorb the yolk. How did you know they were dead after 20 minutes? It should have been almost the next day before you had any inkling anything was even wrong? You didn't assume something was wrong because they had stopped to rest for the next bit and opened the incubator did you?
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
The ones that pipped were blue and cold just that fast. I'd rather not say the brand name of the incubator just to forgo any drama. It's gone and I'm not going to rely on a digital read out again. What I'm wondering about is my Buff Orpington rooster to big for my Rhode Island Red hens?
post #10 of 15

yeah but again how could you tell they were blue and cold that fast?  you cant see in the egg if they have only pipped, and you cant open the lid during that stage so there is no way to know they are cold or blue.  Sorry Im just struggling to understand how you even knew there was a problem after 20 minutes.  Even when you have a blackout you have hours before eggs go cold, unless it has a cooling element they just shouldnt be able to go cold in 20 minutes so Im confused what is going on with them.

 

Feel free to say the brand name, save someone else your grief. 

 

Your eggs being able to go from 37.5 deg to zero in 20 minutes is far more likely to be the cause of your problems than the size of your rooster.


Edited by appps - 11/4/15 at 7:28pm

Aussie Mum to
our sizzle Al

our neurotic Partridge Silkie Penny

and our sweethearts the Salmon Favorelles girls, Colonel , Winry & Carl
And our big girls the Australorps, Pepper, Blackie and Tonio

Reply

Aussie Mum to
our sizzle Al

our neurotic Partridge Silkie Penny

and our sweethearts the Salmon Favorelles girls, Colonel , Winry & Carl
And our big girls the Australorps, Pepper, Blackie and Tonio

Reply
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