41 eggs incubated and 8 chicks hatched...What went wrong???


8 Years
May 30, 2011
I collected 41 eddgs over 5 days and kept them at 50F. Then I started the incubator on 4/29/2011 at 99.5F. The first chick hatched 5/20/2011. I kept water in the bottom troughs and lowered the thermostat back to 99.5 after seeing it at 101 for a day. I got 8 chicks hatching over a three day period. From 41 eggs, I got 8 live chicks:(. I opened all the shells and found 4 had broken shell but did not get out. 15 had no chick development (infertile?). 11 eggs had large chicks inside but did not break shell. 2 got out of shell after three days but did not survive. 1 had a small chick in egg (died before developing much. Does anyone have suggestions on what went wrong or how to get a higher hatch rate next year? This is my first year of incubating. Before I got my chicks from McMurray in the mail. Great success with that...all lived. The incubator I used was from Tractor Supply Co. (TSC) and I used an automated egg turner also from TSC. I have one rooster and 12 hens that are Rhode Island Reds and one South American chicken (free bird from McMurray) that lays blue eggs. None of the six blue eggs hatched (3 were infertile and 3 were large chick devloped but no shell breaking.

I sure would like to do better next year. I ordered and received 34 Brahma chicks from McMurray this year, so the incubator poor results will not harm our egg and meat production this time. Looking for any suggestions, Thanks.

Well, you did have quite a few clear eggs, so maybe you could do with having another rooster to increase the number of fertilised eggs. But that doesn't explain the high number of nearly fully developed chicks that didn't hatch. I've had that a few times, and after pondering over my incubation notes, I think it's due to humidity fluctuations.
the 15 eggs with nothing in them are infertile.. How old is your rooster? I have one rooster over 12 hens he gets the job done. With so many eggs with developed chicks I wonder if your humidity went too high and they may have drowned. Because part of a day at 101 wouldn't kill that many unless what ever you are using to for your temp an humidity reader is off. where all the eggs fat end up in your egg turner so the air sack formed on the correct end?
I have learned a lot from your replies. First, I did not measure humidity. I just kept the bottom channels full of water as the instructions with the incubator suggested. The next mistake was I put all the eggs in the automatic turner with the wide end down and the pointed end up. The rooster and hens are three years old. Perhaps at three years old a one to twelve ratio is too high. What is the correct humidity? And how do you control it? My incubator does not have a fan, will opening the vents alone do the job (they are small)?

Thanks everyone:cool:

I HAVE HAD THIS PROBLEM ALL SPRING.... my humidity and temp are just fine, my stock is not inter-bred .my stock is young....I THINK, IT IS THE RADIATION FROM JAPAN.....but hatches ge\ worse and worse each time....alot of infertile eggs , and a lot of quitter and blood rings...my incubators are new and cleaned between hatches......my guinea eggs will pip, but then most will never come on out and i have hand hatched almost all,if I do not they die in the shell.... some birth defects showing up now...I candle at lock down ...EVERYTHING LOOKS GREAT...SEE MOVEMENT ..AIR CELL RIGHT SIZE....THEN A BIG UNHATCHING, DYING HATCH.... so frustrating ..and disappointed and sad...: (
ALSO... I had ones that had pip the internal member, but never the shell, I COULD HEARD THE CHIPPING....IF I waited they died...I broke some open and saved some...lost some....I SWEAR IT IS THE RADIATION.. FOR THE LEVELS ARE TOO IGH IN THE WATER , AIR, RADIATION IN MILK... and these littel eggs would be the quickest to devolp and have problems show up....serveral of my froends are have the exact same problems
There was a time I could hatch about everything. Then last summer my hatches got worse and worse.

We had a big New Years Day hatch here on the forum. Thanks again Mahonri!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I set 82 egs and got one to hatch. It died before it dried out.

Luckily I had chookschick to the rescue. She was tired of my 0% hatches and gave me the link to her cheat sheet.

Here it is for you


I give this to everyone and so far all of them have had good hatches.

Just read where you put the eggs upside down. I think that might have made a difference, but I've seen where one other person did that and they hatched, so who knows.

Read the cheat sheet. Print it out and leave it where you can see it. Your next hatch will be better. And don't let anyone tell you it's the bator. I've had 100% hatches in LGs, so I know you just have to get the hang of it. I hatched 2 out of 3 eggs, in a shoe box, sitting on cotton with my table lamp on my night stand. People get great hatches out of their homemade bators. I use some homemade ones made form styro ice chests as hatchers.

You'll do better. If you have an older roo, you may want to add a younger one. I had to do that.
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