Hi All, I'm new here... I have been scouring the internet trying to figure out what went wrong and I am truly having a hard time figuring this out.
As a kid we raised ducks and rabbits and were heavily into gardening. I learned to raise, slaughter and butcher at a young age.
For the past ten years I have raised chickens. Both for eggs and meat. I have raised a mix of breeds and had broody hens do the incubating in the past. That was mainly so the new ones would be accepted into the flock.
More recently, last year I decided to retire my hens and beautiful HUGE rooster to a farm and start fresh.. So I Poured a cement floor in the coop and fixed everything up and did my research on what birds to buy to raise a sustainable flock and not buy birds for eggs or meat anymore except to introduce new genes into the flock.
So I went ahead and purchased 17 new chicks online, 11 cuckoo marans 10 hens and a rooster and 6 gold laced wyandottes.
This year instead of buying chicks I spent that money on an incubator I got the little giant from tractor supply since I already had the automatic egg turner for that model.
I read the instructions and did my research then I took 34 eggs and put them in. I candled at day 8 and removed some yolkers, then again at day 15 and removed about 5 more either yolkers or quitters. at day 18 I took the egg turner out and added a wet cloth even though the water troughs were full. Humidity seemed to be an issue, I NEVER got the humidity up to 65% Highest was 50%.
At day 22 one chick hatched, at day 23 a second.
Yesterday sadly was day 30 and I took each egg and candled it to make sure there was in fact no movement in the eggs before my autopsy..
As I cracked them open I was upset to find apparently fully developed chicks in almost every egg and not one had any life to them.
Was it humidity?
I thought maybe it could have been the other chicks that hatched bumping the eggs around too much?
one or two appeared to not have absorbed the yolk sack completely but who knows when it died so maybe it died during that process.
I want to try a second batch but I am disgusted..
Last night I took everything apart and cleaned it. Added water to the troughs in the incubator and started it up just to test again for humidity and it is still 50%