1st incubation - 4 days in & temps too low


Rest in Peace 1966-2013
9 Years
Oct 29, 2010
Northern California Forests
Picked up a new styrofoam incubator, set it up and it held the temps pretty steady according to the thermometer that came with it.

So I filled it with my own and eggs I had shipped, as well as putting a few under a broody Silkie, on May 18.

Today, May 22, I candled them to replace any bad ones under the broody (just 1) and realized after the first 6 eggs from the 'bator were NOTHING. Then the realization that these 'bator eggs weren't anywhere near as warm as the brooded ones hit me.

I threw in a digital oral thermometer and the temps are at LEAST 10° off. I've been incubating 40 freaking eggs at about 90° for 4 days!!

Any chance these are salvageable? I've just taken the the whole thing apart, doing dry incubation now and will hand turn these puppies. There's a candy thermometer in there now.

Mine was too low too...about 5 days and none develped. I adjusted the heat and all of the sudden they were developing almost on par with how they would have been if they began devleoping on day 1. Doesn't hurt to try.
So if they need 99.5 to develop, just saying, and yours were at 90....maybe get the temp right and candle in a few days to see if developing...then adjust the set date before tossing if they are okay? Newbie here, but I live in heat and know my eggs I locked down were probably at that temp before picking up...
Ah yes, welcome to me and my mind way too far in front of my typing fingers...

At the back of my mind was the trouble I'd gone through making an egg turner for another model fit into this on and had added water before I read about the dry incubation technique. I was also thinking about how I would have noticed the heat being way off if I had been hand turning them…

Well, I'm trying again as it certainly can't hurt anything to do so. This is going to a whole vat of suckage if it is, indeed, too late. [sigh]
Thanks for the feedback - I candled today and they 37 of 40 are showing development! It's as if they've just started, so I've readjusted the anticipated hatch date accordingly.

Even the ones that were somewhat iffy in age (nearly 2 weeks old) seem to have started as well. We'll see how many make it to lockdown! In the 'bator are 10 Olive Eggers and 10 BC Marans - from my own birds - and 16 shipped bantam Polish eggs. 3 of the shipped ones came out today due to blood rings. There are 4 more under the Silkie broody - one never started developing.

So the odd thing, is that instead of 47 eggs expected to hatch within 24 hours of each other, I potentially have 7 between June 6-8 and 36 almost a week later. On top of that, I'm guessing that the bantams will be small enough to need to separate them into different brooders. Now will I need 3?!? Argh!! I don't HAVE that many...

Also have a question on air cells - I don't *think* any of the shipped one have separated air cells, but I never could find a photo of what that looks like under the sticky articles. GREAT INFO there, by the way - but I missed how to determine if the air cell is damaged.

If they are, and the egg is developing, what are the potential problems to watch for??

Hey all - still looking for an answer to the question on messed up air cells - would really like to know what that looks like when candling!

Update, incubated eggs were expected to hatch on the 12th - and they started pipping last night. It's day 18 and there are NINE that have externally pipped with 15 still moving when they went into lockdown + 2 too dark for me to tell. Aside from the shipped eggs, I've lost 6 of the original 20 - and not just the oldest ones!

This is becoming a rather interesting experiment! First incubation, temps far too low at first, some temp spikes recently, opening the 'bator all the time, more than half the eggs were shipped, all the home eggs are via a young roo and the first of one hen's eggs... Though we're not at 100% - this is certainly turning out to be a rather successful hatch, all things considered.

Still in the home stretch here and standing by for shrink-wrappage issues!
If you set the eggs on May 18th and candled on May 22nd, they have not had time to develop. Yes they could still develop. Give them another week to 10 days before you candle them again to be sure. I have candled on day 5 and thought my eggs were duds but decided to put them back into the incubator and candled again on day 10 and I saw veining and movement. Good luck!!!

I just read your post that most of the eggs are developing.
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