Originally Posted by KWH1
Assuming I EVER get fertilized Bielefelder eggs again - I have a few questions for those of you who HAVE successfully hatched.
My experience: Back in January when I first started getting fertilized eggs, I loaded up my incubator with Bielefelder eggs along with a few Dominique and Black Australorp eggs. The Dominique and Black Australorp all hatched as expected but not a single Bielefelder egg made it to hatch. Most started and appeared to just stop about 5 to 7 days before hatch. From reading through this thread it seems like a common occurrence. My questions for those who are successfully hatching:
What temp are you running your incubator?
Dry hatch up to day 18 and then increasing humidity OR with humidity for the entire hatch increasing humidity on day 18?
Still air incubation or forced air?
After several discussions with someone who gave up on the Bielefelders (he was having the same low to no hatch rate) I am beginning to believe this breed may require special incubator conditions that differ from all my other chicken breeds.
My first Biel hatch was highly successful, with an 85% hatch rate from eggs shipped to me from across the country. I kept the temp at 99.5º F and 45-50% humidity until day 18, at which time I lowered the temp by half a degree per day and increased the humidity to 65%. I use the Rcom20 incubator so it automatically circulates air and, thankfully, is pretty much dummy-proof.
My second attempt at hatching Biels was a disaster, and it was from eggs that I drove 3 hours to acquire from a woman in Phoenix. It turned out the eggs tested positive for pullorum. Only one chick out of 14 eggs hatched, and he died in less 3 days.
Right now I've got some of my own Biel's eggs in the incubator, but I don't perform my first candling until tomorrow night. I do have some concerns about whether or not they'll hatch properly not because of fertility issues, but because the eggs are more torpedo shaped than would be ideal. I'm afraid the chicks won't be able to move around properly inside the egg and may suffocate.