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First Time Hatching - one chick yesterday, nothing since?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello! This site has been a wealth of information and I'm very grateful for everything I've learned here so far!

This is my first time incubating and hatching eggs and it's been an amazing experience. I do have a couple questions that I haven't been able to find a good answer for yet...

Day 21 was on Wednesday (it is now Saturday). Early on there was a day that the temperature in the incubator dropped really low for about 8 hours. I candled a few days later (day 10) and there was lots of movement and everything looked great for 10 out of 12 eggs, whew! I wondered though if this might mean a late hatch because of the long period of low temp. Candled again on day 18 and didn't see obvious movement but did see good veining in all 10 eggs. I struggled a bit with getting the humidity to stay up during lockdown (had to add some sponges and did need to quickly open it up a few more times than I would have liked in order to add more warm water to them). I tried to be as quick as possible, never having the window open for more than a few seconds just to reach in and grab or replace a sponge. The temperature for some reason also doesn't want to stay steady. We are using a Little Giant forced air incubator, temp 99.5 (when it's steady) and humidity I'm trying to keep at 65% (it's jumped to about 70% for short times when re-wetting sponges, and has dipped as low at 55% when things start to dry out).

At about 11:30pm on Day 22 we saw our first external pip. Yesterday (day 23) just before noon we had a successful hatch of one strong, noisy little chick!

None of the others have pipped yet.

Questions:

- Is it a bad sign that one egg has hatched more than 24hours before any of the others show any signs?? I don't want to disturb them yet, just in case (of course I'm afraid that the humidity issues and having to open up the incubator several times might have done more harm than good!), but how long should I wait to see if they might still hatch since it is already day 24?

- Our one little chick seems to be doing wonderfully (in the brooder now), but what if no others hatch... will she be okay alone?

Thank you very much for any help! smile.png
post #2 of 6
- Is it a bad sign that one egg has hatched more than 24hours before any of the others show any signs??

Not at all. Last year I had a chick hatch early. It was a full 24 hours before any other eggs pipped. The next 16 all hatched within the next 24 hours, pretty much on time. There are a lot of different reasons individual eggs can hatch early or late. Each hatch is unique, you never know what will happen.

I don't want to disturb them yet, just in case (of course I'm afraid that the humidity issues and having to open up the incubator several times might have done more harm than good!), but how long should I wait to see if they might still hatch since it is already day 24?

Don’t overstress about the humidity and opening the incubator. In my opinion it’s best to not open it during lockdown but if I have a reason I’ll open it. You “can” cause problems but most of the time you don’t. I use this to add water without opening mine, accordion straws tapes together (split the end so it fits inside the other straw) and go in through a vent hole. I got the syringe at Tractor Supply.



It being Day 24 is cause to worry. What it implies to me is that your incubation temperature is too low. That’s probably a thermometer issue. Never trust any thermometer unless it has been calibrated. I take one of those old medical thermometers to verify that the other thermometer is reading right.

What I suggest is that you do the float test. If an egg has not pipped that late, place it in a bowl of water. If a live chick is inside it will wiggle. If it wiggles just put it back in the incubator. If it doesn’t wiggle the chick is dead. I only use this as a desperation last resort before I toss eggs.

- Our one little chick seems to be doing wonderfully (in the brooder now), but what if no others hatch... will she be okay alone?

They are social animals but she will be OK for a while. It is kind of hard to raise a single chick though. Can you possibly find another at a feed store or somewhere to put with her? Maybe if you find a neighbor on your state or country thread in the ”Where am I? Where are you!” section of this forum maybe you can find someone that will split an order or maybe have chicks so you can avoid minimums.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #3 of 6
Have you checked the temp. That the incubator shows against another thermometer.

My lg forced air. I had to set at 103 to get close to the correct hatching temps at the top of the eggs.

Checked with a brinsea spot check.

I also had quite a temperature variance around the incubator.

102 and 101 in the corners nearest the heater. 98 and 96 in corners away from heater.

Could be that the one that hatched was in the perfect area. Some others may have been in a cool spot.

If none are externally pipped go ahead and candle to see no harm will come of it.

Your chick would probably be happier with a playmate but should do fine alone.

What was you humidity for the first 18 days?

You might have a good one but the humidity indicators on the incubator are notoriously wrong as well.

Congrats on the one that did hatch
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post

- Is it a bad sign that one egg has hatched more than 24hours before any of the others show any signs??

Not at all. Last year I had a chick hatch early. It was a full 24 hours before any other eggs pipped. The next 16 all hatched within the next 24 hours, pretty much on time. There are a lot of different reasons individual eggs can hatch early or late. Each hatch is unique, you never know what will happen.

I don't want to disturb them yet, just in case (of course I'm afraid that the humidity issues and having to open up the incubator several times might have done more harm than good!), but how long should I wait to see if they might still hatch since it is already day 24?

Don’t overstress about the humidity and opening the incubator. In my opinion it’s best to not open it during lockdown but if I have a reason I’ll open it. You “can” cause problems but most of the time you don’t. I use this to add water without opening mine, accordion straws tapes together (split the end so it fits inside the other straw) and go in through a vent hole. I got the syringe at Tractor Supply.



It being Day 24 is cause to worry. What it implies to me is that your incubation temperature is too low. That’s probably a thermometer issue. Never trust any thermometer unless it has been calibrated. I take one of those old medical thermometers to verify that the other thermometer is reading right.

What I suggest is that you do the float test. If an egg has not pipped that late, place it in a bowl of water. If a live chick is inside it will wiggle. If it wiggles just put it back in the incubator. If it doesn’t wiggle the chick is dead. I only use this as a desperation last resort before I toss eggs.

- Our one little chick seems to be doing wonderfully (in the brooder now), but what if no others hatch... will she be okay alone?

They are social animals but she will be OK for a while. It is kind of hard to raise a single chick though. Can you possibly find another at a feed store or somewhere to put with her? Maybe if you find a neighbor on your state or country thread in the ”Where am I? Where are you!” section of this forum maybe you can find someone that will split an order or maybe have chicks so you can avoid minimums.

xs 2. Having one hatch early is not cause for concern, but the fact that hatcher was day 23 and no more action would be my cause for concern. As a matter of fact, that's what happened in my very first hatch. My first pipper pipped late day 23 and hatched day 24. I had one hatch day 25, but he did not make it. My thermometer was way off and I didn't know it so my bator was 6 degrees low and I used the recommended humidity of 50-60% so on top of the development delay I probably drown them as well.

 

I  totally agree with getting it a friend. I raised mine as an "only" chick for 2 months before I decided to try again and had a successful 2nd hatch and an only chick is hard. I had to have him out with us for the majority of the day to keep him satisfied and not yelling his head off!!! lol 

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 #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the responses!

I did triple check the thermomter... the one I was using for the duration of the incubation was one of the old style ones and I checked it with a digital so I'm pretty confident it is correct. I wonder though now about the hydrometer I was using. I just found info on doing a salt test, but I don't want to take it out to check it. If something is/was wrong with it, it would be too late now anyway. hmm.png

If I candle them tonight, what would I be looking for/would it show anything helpful at this late stage or is the float test the better route to go?

I'll definitely see about getting this one a buddy if we are out of luck on the other eggs. How close in age would they need to be to get along well? Is there any concern with getting another chick that is a bit older or younger?
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by littletadpole View Post

Thanks so much for the responses!

I did triple check the thermomter... the one I was using for the duration of the incubation was one of the old style ones and I checked it with a digital so I'm pretty confident it is correct. I wonder though now about the hydrometer I was using. I just found info on doing a salt test, but I don't want to take it out to check it. If something is/was wrong with it, it would be too late now anyway. hmm.png

If I candle them tonight, what would I be looking for/would it show anything helpful at this late stage or is the float test the better route to go?

I'll definitely see about getting this one a buddy if we are out of luck on the other eggs. How close in age would they need to be to get along well? Is there any concern with getting another chick that is a bit older or younger?

At this point there really is nothing you can correct. You can candle and look for the air cells to be drawn down and internal pipping. Or any signs of life.  I'm not a big advocate of the float test. I think it's fairly useless personally. The egg has to float AND show movement and in my experience if there's movement at hatch time, I can feel it just by holding the egg.

 

As for friends, the closest you can get to his age and size the better you are. Bigger chicks have a tendency to pick on the smaller ones and can take a bit longer to integrate the two. Our tractor suplly up here is still selling chicks, I don't know about other places. (Of course our weather causes them to start selling them later.)

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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