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Turkey Egg incubation failure

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

So here is my story.  Last year I tried to incubate some Rio Grande turkey eggs in a couple of still air older foam incubators. It was not good. I measured temps and realized the older incubators had so much fluctuation and that the temps were all over the board.  So I purchased 2 new digital incubators with egg turners and fans etc. I got them all set up ( one for incubation and one for hatching) and purchased 3 medical grade probe type thermometers so that I could get accurate temps .All 3 are different brands and all read the exact same temps.  When the machines were stabilized I added several eggs. The eggs were clean, at room temp prior to placement in incubator.  None were over 6 days old.  The room the incubators are in is stable at 65 degrees. All seemed good and the machines seemed to hold a very steady temp. 99.5 to 99.9 was the range. I was measuring temps at mid egg level. Originally I had humidity at 45 percent. The turner turns the eggs every 2 hours. And I was doing a 1/4 rotation of each egg on the turner also once a day.Yes the eggs were large end up in the turner. I watched the air sacs and they were a tad small towards hatch so I lowered the humidity a bit. At day 25 I moved the eggs to the hatcher and placed them on their sides without the turner. Got humidity up to 75 percent plus. Lowered temp down to 99 ( 98.7 to 99.).  About half of the eggs pipped and died. A couple zipped and didnt finish and died. Many never even pipped. Fully developed chick just dead in the egg. Almost all the eggs have fully developed chicks in them, but I loose them all. I have had this happen with over 30 eggs so far and was able to save 2 chicks. Had to help them finish zipping. I have all the air holes open on the incubators so air should not be the issue either. I have tried to be so meticulous and precise with this and its been an epic failure. Anyone have any suggestions before I toss these incubators in the trash and give up???? So frustrating to say the least.  

post #2 of 6
I hatched a few turkeys this year.

My incubators mainly were 1588 genesis. With turners.

Something I noticed in mine were the larger bigger eggs died late during incubation. The smaller/medium sized eggs had much better rates.

I do most of incubation dry 25 to 30 percent humidity.

One thing I noticed you said you took temps at mid egg level. For the most accurate temp it should be taken at the top of the eggs.

Those that attempted to hatch were they early or on time?

The ones that pipped and died could you tell if they were shrinkwrapped or were they sticky?

My eggs are from my own flock. We're yours shipped?

My rates are not the best but I think I've hatched close to 70 turkeys out of 130 eggs set. But the 130 includes non fertile and quitters.
post #3 of 6

What type of incubators do you have?
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Its a Janoel Plastic incubator.  I was told by a few folks to check the temp at mid egg so thats why I did that. Its almost the same at upper and lower egg with the forced air. The chicks were all pipping the shell at day 25 as soon as I got them in the hatcher. They did not seem to be shrink wrapped. Had plenty of moisture in and around membrane. didnt seem sticky, but I am not sure what is normal as far as moisture around the chicks. My eggs come from my own hens so no shipping or time delays.  I have now dropped the Humidity down to 30% to see if that helps. Was told the chicks may be to big to move and hatch and zip due to higher humidity during incubation. 

post #5 of 6
Except for the 25 day pipping.

That's a little early.

Usually temp running high when that happens.

Hope the lower humidity helps out your current batch.

This is either or but I incubate my eggs in turner upright. When I go to hatch I keep them upright by hatching in cut out eggs carton. One group says it doesn't matter how they hatch upright or layed down..

But I seem to have had a better rate when upright.

Anyway good luck
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Well with the help of some folks and posts on here I think I have it figured out. The lowered humidity helped. Had 2 more hatch today. But still seem too wet and slightly sticky.  Upon checking, the humidity is still way too high. Machine says 25-30. Reality is its truly 45-50 plus. Machine reading is way off. I am still drowning them. Have zero water and cooled the room down a bit and am dropping that actual humidity in hopes of saving the rest that are early into the incubation process. Double and triple check your temps and humidity is the lesson learned. I did that on temps but not on humidity. My mistake. 

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