5 out of 18 hatched - what happened?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by StephanieHart, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. StephanieHart

    StephanieHart Hatching

    Jul 22, 2016
    This is my first year incubating and hatching chicks. I gathered 18 eggs and placed them in my incubator that has an air recirculator and rotates the eggs automatically. I kept the humidity level at 50% for the first week as suggested by someone here j believe (in order not to have chicks partially develop and drown from lack of dehydrating) then I raised the humidity to 60% and then to 65-70% for the last three days. At the start of the 3 day lockdown I removed the egg rotator, raised the humidity and didn't touch it again until we got our first 2 chicks. After they fluffed I removed those chicks to the brooder and the next day we got 3 more which fluffed and were removed. Through out all of the incubation time the temp was consistent at 99.5. I waited 5 more days and not one more chick. I just cracked them open today and every single egg was not only fertilized but developed to what looked to be full maturity or darn close. This is the 3rd round like this since May this year. The first batch I only got 7 out if 26 and most of those were the same. Almost all fertilized and to the point of hatching maturity but died in the egg. The 2nd round I collected 12 eggs and only got one chick. I have done a lot of research and I'm really at a loss as to why some hatch, healthy as can be and the majority die in their shells. Please advise.
    Thank you,
  2. RubyNala97

    RubyNala97 Crowing

    Apr 9, 2015
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Hi Stephanie. I think I can help you figure out what may have gone wrong but a few questions would really help pin point your issues.

    What is the exact incubator you are using?
    And did you calibrate a thermometer and a hygrometer prior to or during your set to make sure your temp and humidity were accurate?
    Did you monitor your air cells on days 7,14,18 to make sure the eggs were loosing enough moisture? (Your humidity sounds pretty high).
    What breed are the eggs?

    I think with this extra info we can help!! :)
  3. rosyamanda2000

    rosyamanda2000 In the Brooder

    Aug 15, 2015
    Twin Falls, ID
    You might try lowering your humidity. I find that I get the best hatch rates if I keep the humidity in the mid-thirties for days 1-18 and increase to 65 for the last 3 days.
    Good luck!!!!!!

    1 person likes this.
  4. AllynTal

    AllynTal Songster

    Aug 22, 2014
    Mississippi Gulf Coast
    My question would be the same as RubyNala posed. Did you confirm that the temp and humidity readout on your incubator is accurate? When I checked mine, my temperature readout was 2 degrees low and my humidity readout was as much as 30% off. If your humidity readout is low, then bumping it up to 70% could be raising the humidity up to 90% or higher, which could account for why you have fully developed chicks that died in the shell.

    Something like this would help:
  5. sdm111

    sdm111 Free Ranging

    May 21, 2013
    S. louisiana
    Imo your humidity was too high throughout I have had best hatch rates with 25% or so till lockdown then as humid as I could get it. When there's too much humidity the chicks grows too big and die just before or at hatch cause it can't move. Research dry incubating method
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016

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