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Incubator hatching question

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Three years ago I hatched out 24 eggs. I had a humidity gauge in the incubator along with thermometer. Half the chicks hatched. The other half were fully ready but did not break free of the eggs. Should I have helped them out? Why didn't they hatch themselves? I am getting ready to get more eggs to try this again. I don't want this to happen again. Ty so much!
post #2 of 7

First off :welcome

 

Hatching is so much fun but it also takes a bit of trial and error to get you a successful hatch.  As for what made some of your eggs not hatch last time, without more information that would be nearly impossible to tell for sure and simply a guess.  If they were all fully formed, that kind of tells me that your temp was probably right where it needed to be.  What day did they hatch on?  Were they early or late at all?  It has been my experience that when my chicks were fully formed but did not hatch it was typically a humidity issue.  Humidity is not nearly are tricky as temperature but if it is WAY incorrect one way or the other then it can cause hatch failure.  Do you remember if your chicks that hatched were really wet or sticky and dry?  I assume that you opened the unhatched eggs if you knew they were fully formed... was there a lot of excess moisture?  Did you candle your eggs at all?  How did their air cells look?

 

So here are a few basic questions that would help for us to get you on the right track... What kind of incubator are you using?  Does it have a fan or is it still air?  A forced air bator (one with a fan) should be around 99.5 while a still air (no fan) should be at about 102 at the top of the eggs.  How many thermometers/hygrometers are you using? (You will probably want at least 2 not counting the one that is built in the incubator if it has one). Humidity is one of those things that can vary depending on your area.  I typically run "dry" and only add water when my humidity is less than 27% and I try to keep it below 35% during days 1-17; at lock down I raise it to 75%.   Where are you getting your eggs from?  Shipped eggs usually do not do as well as local eggs because they are sometimes handled roughly during transit.  That is not to say that you cannot have a successful hatch with shipped eggs.  It is just a little more unpredictable than local eggs.  Are you hand turning or do you have an auto turner?  If you are hand turning, make sure that you are turning an odd number of times a day (3 or 5 is usually enough).  This will make sure that no one side is spending the longest amount of time on that side every night.

 

Here is a picture of where your air cells should be on days 7, 14, and 18.  Regardless of where you decide to run your humidity, if your air cells look like these you should be okay.

 

As for whether or not you should help during hatching, I really think it is a case by case basis.  You have to realize that sometimes they are not hatching for a reason.  Either they are just not ready - there is a lot that is going on at the end, absorbing yolk and blood, or there is something wrong with them and they are not meant to hatch.  If you do assist you run the risk of killing the chick.  If you don't help, the chick will also sometimes die.  If you help a chick that was not meant to hatch because there were birth defects, then you could end up with a special needs bird.  You have to ask yourself if you are willing/able to care for a special needs bird.  If the answer is no, then you should not help and/or be ready to have to cull the bird.

 

I hope this gives you some of the information that you are looking for.  You are in the right place to get help!  Good luck!!!!

Some days you just have to put on the hat and remind them who they are dealing with. Release the flying monkies!

~Miracles DO happen!~

~Life is not disposable.~


~You do the best you can with the information you have at the time. When you know better, you do better.~
Reply

Some days you just have to put on the hat and remind them who they are dealing with. Release the flying monkies!

~Miracles DO happen!~

~Life is not disposable.~


~You do the best you can with the information you have at the time. When you know better, you do better.~
Reply
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuchchicks View Post
 

First off :welcome

 

Hatching is so much fun but it also takes a bit of trial and error to get you a successful hatch.  As for what made some of your eggs not hatch last time, without more information that would be nearly impossible to tell for sure and simply a guess.  If they were all fully formed, that kind of tells me that your temp was probably right where it needed to be.  What day did they hatch on?  Were they early or late at all?  It has been my experience that when my chicks were fully formed but did not hatch it was typically a humidity issue.  Humidity is not nearly are tricky as temperature but if it is WAY incorrect one way or the other then it can cause hatch failure.  Do you remember if your chicks that hatched were really wet or sticky and dry?  I assume that you opened the unhatched eggs if you knew they were fully formed... was there a lot of excess moisture?  Did you candle your eggs at all?  How did their air cells look?

 

So here are a few basic questions that would help for us to get you on the right track... What kind of incubator are you using?  Does it have a fan or is it still air?  A forced air bator (one with a fan) should be around 99.5 while a still air (no fan) should be at about 102 at the top of the eggs.  How many thermometers/hygrometers are you using? (You will probably want at least 2 not counting the one that is built in the incubator if it has one). Humidity is one of those things that can vary depending on your area.  I typically run "dry" and only add water when my humidity is less than 27% and I try to keep it below 35% during days 1-17; at lock down I raise it to 75%.   Where are you getting your eggs from?  Shipped eggs usually do not do as well as local eggs because they are sometimes handled roughly during transit.  That is not to say that you cannot have a successful hatch with shipped eggs.  It is just a little more unpredictable than local eggs.  Are you hand turning or do you have an auto turner?  If you are hand turning, make sure that you are turning an odd number of times a day (3 or 5 is usually enough).  This will make sure that no one side is spending the longest amount of time on that side every night.

 

Here is a picture of where your air cells should be on days 7, 14, and 18.  Regardless of where you decide to run your humidity, if your air cells look like these you should be okay.

 

As for whether or not you should help during hatching, I really think it is a case by case basis.  You have to realize that sometimes they are not hatching for a reason.  Either they are just not ready - there is a lot that is going on at the end, absorbing yolk and blood, or there is something wrong with them and they are not meant to hatch.  If you do assist you run the risk of killing the chick.  If you don't help, the chick will also sometimes die.  If you help a chick that was not meant to hatch because there were birth defects, then you could end up with a special needs bird.  You have to ask yourself if you are willing/able to care for a special needs bird.  If the answer is no, then you should not help and/or be ready to have to cull the bird.

 

I hope this gives you some of the information that you are looking for.  You are in the right place to get help!  Good luck!!!!

Everything she said, ;), plus, I personally feel that a chick needs to be able to externally pip and have time (hours) to shut down the egg to chick vascular system  before it's "helpable". If the chick hasn't pipped and had time for that to take place and you go into an unpipped egg, chances are you are just going to kill the chick by causing a bleed out because the vascular system is still fully functional.  By going into an unpipped egg, in my opinion, you are risking the life of a chick that may have actually hatched on its own.

 

Now, from my experiences and helping others I have found that if your egg quality is good and the eggs are not shipped that the biggest reasoning for post lockdown deaths with fully formed on time chicks in them,  usually traces back to humidity. More often than not excessive humidity causing chicks to drown at lockdown. I am a big pusher of low humidity incubations for people that are not in a high altitude and especially those using a styro bator. I have great success with this method: http://letsraisechickens.weebly.com/blog/throw-away-those-incubator-manuals-understanding-and-controlling-humidity

 

Good luck on  your next hatch!

Need help incubating/hatching? Are you more a hands on hatcher? Come visit us: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081034/hands-on-hatching-and-help

A guide to hatching from the hands on perspective: http://hatching411.weebly.com/

Reply

Need help incubating/hatching? Are you more a hands on hatcher? Come visit us: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081034/hands-on-hatching-and-help

A guide to hatching from the hands on perspective: http://hatching411.weebly.com/

Reply
post #4 of 7

x2!!!  I would like to take credit for all of the knowledge that I have with regard to hatching but I will say everything I know I owe to AmyLynn!  I adopted her practices and since I did my hatch rate went from sometimes 30% at best to consistently in the 90%s. 

Some days you just have to put on the hat and remind them who they are dealing with. Release the flying monkies!

~Miracles DO happen!~

~Life is not disposable.~


~You do the best you can with the information you have at the time. When you know better, you do better.~
Reply

Some days you just have to put on the hat and remind them who they are dealing with. Release the flying monkies!

~Miracles DO happen!~

~Life is not disposable.~


~You do the best you can with the information you have at the time. When you know better, you do better.~
Reply
post #5 of 7
When you guys candle the eggs, do you turn off the incubator? Or keep it running? I have 13 eggs to check and this my first time 😁
post #6 of 7
I don't. If you pull out a dozen at a time in an egg carton then leave the rest in a closed Bator. It will take less time for the Bator to return to normal. But you don't have to rush too much. Momma gets off the nest for 15 or so min everyday to eat drink and poop.

Some days you just have to put on the hat and remind them who they are dealing with. Release the flying monkies!

~Miracles DO happen!~

~Life is not disposable.~


~You do the best you can with the information you have at the time. When you know better, you do better.~
Reply

Some days you just have to put on the hat and remind them who they are dealing with. Release the flying monkies!

~Miracles DO happen!~

~Life is not disposable.~


~You do the best you can with the information you have at the time. When you know better, you do better.~
Reply
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuchchicks View Post
 

x2!!!  I would like to take credit for all of the knowledge that I have with regard to hatching but I will say everything I know I owe to AmyLynn!  I adopted her practices and since I did my hatch rate went from sometimes 30% at best to consistently in the 90%s. 

Awe! :hugs  Glad I could help. Thanks.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by domino2339 View Post

When you guys candle the eggs, do you turn off the incubator? Or keep it running? I have 13 eggs to check and this my first time 😁

No.  I have an old LG so I pop out one of the plastic viewing areas and grab one at a time out of there and cover it back up so I don't loose a lot of heat...lol Sometimes I lift the top and just grab them out one at a time.

Need help incubating/hatching? Are you more a hands on hatcher? Come visit us: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081034/hands-on-hatching-and-help

A guide to hatching from the hands on perspective: http://hatching411.weebly.com/

Reply

Need help incubating/hatching? Are you more a hands on hatcher? Come visit us: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081034/hands-on-hatching-and-help

A guide to hatching from the hands on perspective: http://hatching411.weebly.com/

Reply
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