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Reason for high mortality late in egg incubation

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hi,  

 

I tried hatching 12 Khaki Campbell duck eggs for the first time recently but none made it, I was really upset and would appreciate some advice about what might have gone wrong. 

 

They arrived in the post - one had a rolling air cell and never started developing. Most were fine but a couple had air cells that moved a bit but were still fixed at the end of the egg so I followed online advice and sat them almost vertical in the incubator for the first couple of days to help them settle. I kept a close eye on the temperature, turned them three times a day with the pointy end down, kept the ventilation holes clear... I didn't have a way of measuring the humidity directly but candled them to check their air cells were developing correctly. I lost one on day 16 but the rest were going really strong and I could even see them moving inside the shell. But then between day 22 and 24, 6 died, and only only 4 were still showing signs of life when I went into lockdown. For lockdown I increased the humidity, decreased the temperature a little, kept the vents open and kept the lid closed. Two of the 4 never pipped, and the final two pipped a day early. One of those died in the shell and the other hatched but with the yolk sack still outside his body. I tried everything I could but he died a day later.

 

I've never tried hatching eggs before but I got loads of tips online and thought I'd followed all the advice really closely. I've found causes of egg mortality in the early stages of development, as well as in the final stage but I can't understand why they would suddenly have started dying on day 22. Any thoughts are really appreciated 

 

Thank you

post #2 of 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieLB View Post

Hi,  

I tried hatching 12 Khaki Campbell duck eggs for the first time recently but none made it, I was really upset and would appreciate some advice about what might have gone wrong. 

They arrived in the post - one had a rolling air cell and never started developing. Most were fine but a couple had air cells that moved a bit but were still fixed at the end of the egg so I followed online advice and sat them almost vertical in the incubator for the first couple of days to help them settle. I kept a close eye on the temperature, turned them three times a day with the pointy end down, kept the ventilation holes clear... I didn't have a way of measuring the humidity directly but candled them to check their air cells were developing correctly. I lost one on day 16 but the rest were going really strong and I could even see them moving inside the shell. But then between day 22 and 24, 6 died, and only only 4 were still showing signs of life when I went into lockdown. For lockdown I increased the humidity, decreased the temperature a little, kept the vents open and kept the lid closed. Two of the 4 never pipped, and the final two pipped a day early. One of those died in the shell and the other hatched but with the yolk sack still outside his body. I tried everything I could but he died a day later.

I've never tried hatching eggs before but I got loads of tips online and thought I'd followed all the advice really closely. I've found causes of egg mortality in the early stages of development, as well as in the final stage but I can't understand why they would suddenly have started dying on day 22. Any thoughts are really appreciated 

Thank you

You really need to get a Hygrometer to measure the humidity. Any pet store with reptile supplies will have one. Sounds like your temp was too low, or bacteria from the dead eggs took over. You can't trust incubator thermometers, you need to buy a couple thermometers and calibrate them. Incubators are usually wrong. My incubator is new, and I have 13 eggs in it. I changed the settings because my incubator was actually working at 97.5 and thinking it was at 99.5. Sorry for the loss.
1 Buff Orpington Roo, 1 Rhode Island Red Roo, 3 Rhode Island Red Hens, 3 Red Sex Link Hens, 1 Welsummer Hen, 2 Unknown Crossbreed Chicks, 13 Incubating Eggs
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1 Buff Orpington Roo, 1 Rhode Island Red Roo, 3 Rhode Island Red Hens, 3 Red Sex Link Hens, 1 Welsummer Hen, 2 Unknown Crossbreed Chicks, 13 Incubating Eggs
7 Dogs, Lotsa Sheep, Bunch O Bunnies
My Secret-Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I Live On A Farm!
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