Am I doing something wrong or is this normal?


May 31, 2020
Chicks from my second batch of incubated eggs hatched yesterday - 8 lively babies and 1 who sadly didn't make it. I had set 18 eggs. This morning I checked two that had pipped yesterday and made no further progress. Both had died in their shells. This evening I found an egg that was leaking yolk. It too had a dead chick inside. I have one that has pipped and appears to be alive, and a few others that have not begun to hatch yet. I have candled them but am not expert enough to know what I'm looking at - they appear to be occupied, but whether by live chicks or dead ones I can't tell yet. Since the person who gave me the eggs said they were collected over a five day period, I'm going to leave them be for awhile.

This is my second hatch using my Little Giant still air incubator. The first hatch I had only 2 chicks hatch out of 24 eggs. I found out by reading the VERY FINE PRINT that if you weren't using the egg turner (not included) that you needed to raise the temperature by 4 degrees. Unfortunately I found that out too late for those babies. I finally broke down and bought the egg turner, mostly because I had so much trouble keeping the humidity up and I felt like opening the incubator to turn eggs 3x a day wasn't helping. For this hatch, I removed the egg turner 3 days before hatch day as instructed. I adjusted the temperature as well, so that it would be about 99 degrees where the eggs were. I got the humidity up above 65% and kept it there - in fact it went even higher as the babies started hatching. I got 8 little chicks who were all as healthy as could be! I ended up taking them out of the incubator because they were rampaging around in there and knocking the other eggs all over the place, and I was afraid this would disrupt the process. (I read a couple of articles that stated that if you HAD to open it, you should do it quickly - which I did. The temperature and humidity were not affected, per the readout on the incubator.

So after all this - here's my question. Is this a normal hatch rate (nearly 50%) for someone who is just starting out? Is something I'm doing wrong causing the chicks to die? I had one shrink-wrapped chick in my first batch and I was sure it was because of the humidity, but that can't be it this time. I know there are many things that can go wrong in this process. I just want to make sure that I'm not contributing to the problem. Thanks for your advice.
I’m not an expert by any means, but there is a float test you can do if you want to know if a chick is alive and it’s a late hatcher. You have to make sure it hasn’t internally pipped though!

With my last hatch I kept the lid closed until I was sure they were done. I’ve read that it doesn’t really make a difference if they get knocked around a bit and they do peep at each other like they’re cheering them on! I honestly think it’s pretty cute.

I have also seen that it’s best to have a second hygrometer (and calibrate it!) to double check your instruments. Best not to just trust the one that comes with it.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom