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Help! Hatching troubles!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have 24 eggs in the incubator. I have carefully followed all directions. On day 20 one chick hatched. We were all excited and could hear other chicks inside their shells. That was Friday. Nothing has happened since then and there is no more movement or peeping in the shells. The one that hatched is super healthy but very lonely. What should I do?
post #2 of 6

I am very sorry that you may have lost most most of your chicks. You can check for signs of life by putting the remaining eggs in a bowl of room temp water; they will wiggle if alive. You can candle them and see if any have pipped internally (broken the air cell membrane with their break.) Look at the threads on assisted hatching, if the chicks are alive and too big to hatch normally, you will need to help them, be careful not to break the membrane where the veins are, or the chick may bleed out.

 

Either sell the lonesome chick or buy him a companion chick or two. Keep them in a warm well-ventilated brooder (see threads about care of new-hatched chicks.) Show them how to eat and drink.

 

Open the dead eggs at the air cell end and post pix of them. If your humidity was too high this can cause chicks to be too big to hatch. The air cells will be too small and some of the chicks drown inside the egg if this is the case. This is why people here trace the air cells with pencil on Day 7, Day 14, and so on. Look for a chart of chicken egg development online; you will see that the air cell takes up about a third of the egg by Day 18.

Wash your incubator bottom and grid with 9 parts water, one part bleach, and a little dish soap. Rinse it, let it dry in the sun for the next use.

 

What kind of incubator are you using? What temperature did you keep the eggs at? What humidity?

 

How old were the eggs when you got them? Did you take out the red ventilator plugs in the lid on Day 18 so your chicks could get enough air? 

 

If you are using a still air Little Giant 9300, the factory pre-sets the temp at 99.5 degrees. You need to either install a fan or set the temperature to 102 degrees, or the eggs will develop too slowly, being too cool to develop normally. Your instruction booklet will tell you how to change the incubation temp. If you bought the thing used and do not have an instruction booklet, look at the three red buttons on the lid. 

 

This is what my booklet says: "To adjust the setting temperature, press and hold the SET button for three seconds (the setting temperature will begin to flash on and off.) Release the SET button and use the UP or DOWN buttons to adjust the setting temperature as needed. Press and hold the SET button for three seconds to capture the setting temperature and return to the current temperature. If no adjustment is made in ten seconds, the current temperature will display automatically."  Don't let your eggs get too hot; 103 degrees is too hot.

 

There are so many things you can do to wipe out your eggs with this type of incubator, and your manual does not mention most of them. It is best to do test runs on cheap fertile eggs for a while until you are confident the machine is working properly and you know how to deal with its issues. The manual says my incubator's humidity sensor runs best between 60% and 80% humidity. It does NOT tell me that this range is far too high for the first 17 days of incubation and will result in chicks drowning in shell and the need for assisted hatching, but that is what BYCers here have found. 


Edited by Dubrovnik - 3/14/16 at 7:47pm
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
The eggs came from my hens and were fresh or day old.

The incubator I got at Fleet Farm. We turned the eggs ourselves twice a day. The temp was between 99-100 on three different thermometers.
I have read that some can take up to 25days
post #4 of 6
So that makes you day 23? While some can take to day 25 (mine did) it's strange that the whole rest of the batch would wait, I'd expect the odd one to do that, not all of them)

Check out the hatching 101 thread. There are instructions for doing a water test on them to check viability (in a nutshell floating in the water makes it easier to see any slight movements in the eggs by the water ripples showing if the chick is still alive) Then as you have 2 dozen eggs I'd pick 3 or 4 from random spots and see if any are still alive. If yes then I'd probably do another 24 hrs wait and see. If not keep testing to see if you can find any live ones.
Edited by appps - 3/14/16 at 5:03pm

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 #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapunk View Post

The eggs came from my hens and were fresh or day old.

The incubator I got at Fleet Farm. We turned the eggs ourselves twice a day. The temp was between 99-100 on three different thermometers.
I have read that some can take up to 25days

Is the incubator still air or forced? What was your humidity the first 17 days. Chicken eggs don't "take up to 25 days". Some people have delayed hatches, usually due to temps being too low or the odd egg in a cool spot in the bator, but the further you get from day 21 the higher the chance that if something does hatch that it can have developmental problems. My first hatch was botched and I ended up with one hatcher at day 24 (that ended up being special needs because of a leg problem) and one that hatched day 25 and died.

 

If you heard peeping from inside the egg on Friday that meant that they internally pipped. Usually the external pip comes within 24 hours. That air cell in the egg only has a certain amount of air. It fills with co2 from them breathing and they progress to making an external pip. I believe in being a realist. If you had a hatcher day 20 and nothing since in 3 days, the chances of more are miniscule. I would candle the eggs and check for any signs of life. If there are none to be had, I would proceed to eggtopsy starting in the air cell end to be 100% positive there is no longer life and then do a few eggtopsies to see if you can attempt to troubleshoot what may have been the culprit.

I'm sorry about the hatch if what I fear is correct.

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 #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapunk View Post

The eggs came from my hens and were fresh or day old.

The incubator I got at Fleet Farm. We turned the eggs ourselves twice a day. The temp was between 99-100 on three different thermometers.
I have read that some can take up to 25days


The temp you mention is okay for an incubator with a fan, but too low for still air incubators, which should have a temperature closer to 102 degrees.

Does your incubator have a humidity readout? Can you set the temperature higher on your incubator, if it has no fan?

 

You will get late or no hatches with the temperature too low. Early or no hatches can result from temps that are too high.

 

Egg turning is best done at least 3 times a day. I do it at 7 am, 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm and 7 pm.


Edited by Dubrovnik - 3/14/16 at 6:02pm
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