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Little to no action day 21--Any ideas?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I have had a long and frustrating time with my first hatch.  I have a borrowed hova-bator with forced air and an automatic turner.  I also broke down and bought an Incuview with the humidifier after the first week. 

 

These eggs have a history, so please bear with me:

 

These eggs are half of a 36-egg order from University of Illinois for the 4-H embryology program.  Another mother has the other half of the order.  

 

The other mom picked up all the eggs from the extension office and for some reason her daughter set all of them. they had been in the incubator for several hours by the time I got there to pick up mine.  Of course I couldn't take them home like that, so I returned the next day with my pre-heated incubator (plugged into an invertor in my car). Unfortunately my husband had to drive the eggs home (still plugged in) and he set them up in the house but he didn't add water. I caught the mistake later that evening, so they were without water for about 6 hours on day one. 

 

I had a horrible time regulating the temperature in the incubator. I have the incubator in a walk-through closet with no windows, pets, or drafts.  There is a space heater in the room keeping the room temp at an even 72 degrees.  Still I had almost constant fluctuations in temp between 96 degrees and as high as 103. the high one lasted only a matter of a couple minutes at the most, I have an alarm on my thermometer and and as soon as it beeped I was right there to let some cool air in.  Of course, I don't know what happened when I was out of the house, 

 

Eventually I got the incubator holding pretty steady at 98-99. I searched everywhere and couldn't find a thermometer that would tell the temperature in decimals points so i decided that would have to be close enough. If I tried to get it up to the 99-100 range it got too hot. 

 

During days 17-19 I had to go to a convention with my husband.  Who will watch the eggs?  We brought them with.  Again, we carefully loaded them in the car and kept the incubator running with the inverter.  The water ran out on the way home and again they were dry for a few hours.  SInce it was day 19, we added more water.  I planned to keep them on lockdown, but I woke up at 4 am and started worrying about them.  After reading a lot on this forum, I decided improper humidity was a bigger danger than moving the eggs so I fired up the new Incuview.  Once it was stabilized, I moved the eggs.

 

Now I have one pip and a few peeps and some wobbling eggs.  We candled them all as we moved then and it seems like there has been growth but not much movement.

 

I have read that a slightly cooler incubator might make delay the hatch by a couple of days.  I'm pretty sure I did everything well enough, but the other mom's eggs hatched today,   So of course I'm freaking out.  

 

Any ideas what I can expect?

 

oh yeah, here is my kid's youtube feed:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiG-dgGly3o

Future site of CU'L DI'N FARM (means SANCTUARY in Irish)
 

Quote of the month, from my hubs: "Erin, there is more to life than just poultry." 

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Future site of CU'L DI'N FARM (means SANCTUARY in Irish)
 

Quote of the month, from my hubs: "Erin, there is more to life than just poultry." 

Reply
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedheadErin View Post
 

Unfortunately my husband had to drive the eggs home (still plugged in) and he set them up in the house but he didn't add water. I caught the mistake later that evening, so they were without water for about 6 hours on day one. 

 

Don't worry about adding water. In reality your better off incubating dry for first 7 days then candle to look at growth of air cell in fat end of egg. Gauge from there if you need to add any water to slow the growth or if you can still run dry to day 18 then up humidity to 70-75%.

 

I had a horrible time regulating the temperature in the incubator. I have the incubator in a walk-through closet with no windows, pets, or drafts.  There is a space heater in the room keeping the room temp at an even 72 degrees.  Still I had almost constant fluctuations in temp between 96 degrees and as high as 103. the high one lasted only a matter of a couple minutes at the most, I have an alarm on my thermometer and and as soon as it beeped I was right there to let some cool air in.  Of course, I don't know what happened when I was out of the house, 

 

Fluctuations in temperature are completely normal. The goal is to narrow that temp swing as much as you can. Thermal mass will do this. That means more eggs or some other mass that retains the heat. Rocks, bottle of water with cap on, or what ever. You can take out a few rails of the auto turner to provide space. With a forced air I leave open four egg holders directly under the fan and leave eggs out of corners to allow better air circulation. This will aid in lessening the temperature swing too. I'd take out the end rails to be able to place in thermal mass there and arrange the eggs in a doughnut shape.

 

Eventually I got the incubator holding pretty steady at 98-99. I searched everywhere and couldn't find a thermometer that would tell the temperature in decimals points so i decided that would have to be close enough. If I tried to get it up to the 99-100 range it got too hot. 

 

Not understanding how 99-100 F is too hot. With forced air your goal is 99.5 F. To get this temp you should find the high and low of your temperature swing and average them. The internal temp of egg will be the average and very steady regardless of the air in incubator swinging up and down by 2 or 3 degrees.

 

Now I have one pip and a few peeps and some wobbling eggs.  We candled them all as we moved then and it seems like there has been growth but not much movement.

 

I have read that a slightly cooler incubator might make delay the hatch by a couple of days.  I'm pretty sure I did everything well enough, but the other mom's eggs hatched today,   So of course I'm freaking out.  

 

It does sound like you were incubating low by a degree. This can delay hatch by up to two days. 

 

Any ideas what I can expect?

 

You've got eggs wobbling and piping now so can expect some chicks. With the water (you don't mention amount) I have impression the humidity was too high during incubation. You can expect the yolk sac to still be attached and not fully absorbed. Leave the chicks in incubator until that drys and falls off on it's own. Between the slightly lower temp and slightly higher humidity you can't expect a fantastic hatch rate but you've got some coming now and I'm sure more to follow over next day. Congratulations on your first hatch.

 

Few quick things. Use an oral thermometer as your calibrated tool. They are extremely accurate, inexpensive and likely already in medicine cabinet, and they read to 0,1 F. Digital models display the highest temp reading. Makes finding the high of temp swing simple. Place the thermometer tip down vent hole and walk away. Come back later to turn it on and it will display the last highest reading. Wait for the incubator heating element to turn on. Start turning the thermometer off and on until you get the lowest reading. It's about 30 seconds after the heating element turns on. (High + Low)/ 2= incubator temperature.

 

I like to incubate at 30% RH then hatch "lock down" at 70-75% RH. These numbers mean nothing if you don't calibrate your hygrometer. Any cheap combo temp/hygrometer unit will do and preform a salt test to calibrate it. Search "salt test" at top of page.

 

This diagram is a guideline. Don't think all eggs will be same and don't freak if slightly off. It's a general guide and you aim to be close to it. In doing so you are monitoring moisture loss of egg. Adjustment of humidity in incubator will increase or retard the air cell growth. Run dry or set a container size of a double shot glass with water in incubator and candle after 7 or 10 days. If running dry and cells are too large place a coffee cup of water in until hatching phase. If using double shot glass and spot on then leave it, if a bit too small then take out and run dry until day 18 or 19 when you up humidity for hatch.

 

Nice job on your first hatch and know it only gets easier with far less first time jitters.

 

p1150-5.gif

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #3 of 6
First timer...
I am hatching white leghorn eggs in a little giant incubator. When I got them half were refridgerated, and all of them were put in the incubator about 24 hours after being played. For most of the Time the temperature has been constant. At lockdown all eggs looked good when candled. On day 20 however the temperature was down to 85. I don't know how long it was like this. Now we are on day 23 and none have pipped. I need help! Did I loose the batch?
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by chick100 View Post

First timer...
I am hatching white leghorn eggs in a little giant incubator. When I got them half were refridgerated, and all of them were put in the incubator about 24 hours after being played. For most of the Time the temperature has been constant. At lockdown all eggs looked good when candled. On day 20 however the temperature was down to 85. I don't know how long it was like this. Now we are on day 23 and none have pipped. I need help! Did I loose the batch?

Maybe, you never know until it's over. I've had chicks hatch day 23 into 24 before. Read of people going the distance of 25 and 26 days. Amazing survivalist eggs are.

 

That said let's look at the LG. Most that have these are still air models. No fan. With these units and any still air device the air layers in temperature. Perfectly fine and folks get perfect hatch rates but there is a trick to using them. As the air is layered tremendously by temp the best method to measure in still air is to take a reading at the top level of eggs. If the eggs are upright, like in a turner, then set incubator to read 101.5 F (101-102) at the very top level of eggs. If eggs are laying down, as in your manually turning, got for 100.5 F measured at top level of egg. In practice this has proven the easiest method with excellent hatch rates. In theory the bottom of eggs are far lower in temperature but this is air temp not the internal temp of egg. The internal temp of egg would be the average of the top and bottom of egg air temp. That's the theory but the in practice is what counts and those temps measured there are proven to work in still air devices.

 

It's the common problem with first time hatching using still air. They are working to get a temperature that is actually too low or get all sorts of reading and are chasing ghosts as the incubator truly is that divided in temp. You must measure in the same place every time. It aids in keeping sanity and your hatch rate. Very late hatches result otherwise with low rates. Everybody has done it including me. Live and learn then get it right.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

Reply
post #5 of 6

I have an old homemade still air incubator. The best lesson I learned when incubating for the first time was that I had to change places of eggs, because it had colder and warmer spots. So I change places of eggs once a day and I have great hatches right on day 21, and all usually hatch within 24h. I place a clinical thermometer on an average sized egg in the centre of the incubator. It really helps in keeping sanity with still air, as Egghead said :)

 

Please, keep them till day 25, you just never know.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

The first one hatched in the night. She or he is really rambunctious.  It wants out of the incubator so bad!  I have 3 more pips right now. 

 

Egghead, just to clear up confusion, I *couldn't* keep it on 99-100 degrees.  if I tried, it got it up to 103 or more and wouldn't come down.  Rather than risk cooking my eggs, I opted to stay where I could control the temp-- fluctuating between 98-99.

 

Of the 18 eggs I started, I had 1 dud (not fertile), 1 questionable (we can't figure out what we see in there), 1 broken in transit, and 15 growing embryos as of day 20. Now I have 1 chick, 3 pips, and 11 wait-&-see.  

 

Thanks for the advice and support

13095771_10209410322516685_1097775242950390452_n.jpg?oh=0be0c43e49af32c58252e9aaeb3810a6&oe=57E5A580

Future site of CU'L DI'N FARM (means SANCTUARY in Irish)
 

Quote of the month, from my hubs: "Erin, there is more to life than just poultry." 

Reply

Future site of CU'L DI'N FARM (means SANCTUARY in Irish)
 

Quote of the month, from my hubs: "Erin, there is more to life than just poultry." 

Reply
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