Another hatching issue...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by aurajean515, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. aurajean515

    aurajean515 Chirping

    Oct 6, 2018
    I’ve posted a lot in the last couple days with issues I’ve had with the eggs I’m hatching.
    This is the 2nd time I’ve hatched my own chicks, and my first time using an icubator.
    The issue is theres 2 days until hatch day and so far 2 of the chicks have already started pipping?! I’ve read that chicks that hatch early can be smaller than the rest, and that certain factors such as wrong temp or humidty can cause them to hatch early. I’ve done everything correctly during incubation, the temperature and humidty has always been right where they should be. So why are they hatching early? Will there be any problems with them hatching early? I read that some chicks can die in the incubator if the humidty is too high and they can’t dry off. How can I prevent this??
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Relax, two days early isn't horrible. That's happened to me several times, including under broody hens. I think heredity has something to do with mine usually being early.

    There are different reasons eggs can be early, including temperature and humidity. Some other factors are heredity, how and how long the eggs are stored before hatch, supposedly size of the eggs but I have not observed that, or just differences in eggs. I'm sure there are other factors I don't know about.

    Temperature is a standard reason. Did you calibrate your thermometer so you know it is reading right? Many thermometers that come with the incubators don't read correctly or factory presets are wrong. I never trust one until it has been calibrated.

    Remember there is a difference in "can" and "will". If they are early you can have problems. If they are late you can have problems. If they are exactly on time you can have problems. None of those mean you will have problems.

    That 21 day thing is a guideline, not an absolute law of nature. You don't want to be too far away from it, the further away you are the more likely the chicks won't develop perfectly. But nature was nice enough to us that you don't have to hit it exactly. There is a pretty big window that works great. Two days is in that window for me.

    Don't worry about a chick not drying off in the incubator. Sometimes the humidity gets sky high during hatch from all the liquid that is released when the chicks hatch. It's no big deal, that will not harm the chick as long as the chick doesn't get a chill. In an incubator set at incubation temperature the chick will not be chilled. If the chick is still wet when it is moved from the incubator to the brooder it can get chilled. So have the brooder up to temperature and keep the chick out of a breeze when moving it to the brooder. I use a shoe box with the lid closed, but my brooder is in the coop, over 200 feet from the incubator and walking outside.

    Now a story. The first time I hatched in my incubator with factory settings it was too warm. When I went to lockdown aft 18 days some eggs were already pipping. Three full days early, not your two. All those chicks were fine. When the same thing happened to me the next time I used it, I finally woke up and calibrated my thermometer and reset the temperature for incubation. The next time the first chicks started pipping two days early so i was still aggravated, but when the two days early happened under a broody then I relaxed and accepted it. The chicks were fine.
  3. aurajean515

    aurajean515 Chirping

    Oct 6, 2018
    Thank you! This was very informative. I’m hoping all if not most hatch well, as there were 12 under my broody and so far only 2 have hatched well, while one has an irreversible deformity and one died during hatch. Its been stressful!
  4. Norcal527

    Norcal527 Songster

    Mar 22, 2019
    Sacramento area
    My eggs just pipped and hatched starting on day 19 and all hatched by end of day 20. I think temps may have been a little high but all chicks hatched cleanly on their own and are very spunky. Dont stress! And they wont die in the incubator...keep your humidity high (60-70%) until they all hatch. Good luck!
    aurajean515 likes this.

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