Anyone want to help me figure out how I killed my chicks?


In the Brooder
7 Years
May 11, 2012
Sussex County Delaware
I did get one chick to hatch on day 22, he hatched completely in the span of less than 30 minutes (picked the one time I wasn't pacing around the incubator) and had just appeared when I walked back in the room.

The other eggs that were supposed to hatch did not, and after candling them and seeing no movement or internal pips, doing the float test and seeing no movement, listening and hearing no chirping, I put a tiny hole in the shell to see if they were still alive, and all were dead.

All were fully formed, none had pipped internally.

Two were slightly smaller than the one that hatched and had not absorbed the yolk.

One was the same size as the one that hatched and had absorbed almost all of the yolk.

I don't have much experience with hatching, with this only being my 2nd attempt, but none of the eggs looked too wet or too dry inside. The outer membrane was moist and pliable.

Humidity ran between 25 and 35% days 1-17 and I could only get it into the 60's low 70's during lockdown. Temp was steady at 99.

The fan I'm using is a step up from a computer fan, it's a mini desk fan set on low. Could too powerful of a fan hurt them? There's only 3 vent holes in my bator, it's made from a 36 quart cooler. could lack of oxygen be the problem?

Any ideas on what I did wrong, or was it just nature and I just have bad luck? I have some silkie eggs that I really want better results with.
Did you let the eggs sit for a few days before you put them in the 'bator? It happened to me, so you're not alone. I put a fresh fertile egg the same day it was laid. The air cell was too small, and the chick developed but died.

Also, did you take the hatched chick out before any others hatched?
You didn't say if these were your eggs or shipped eggs? Also, did you add water during the first 18 days? I do the dry hatch which is I add no water at all. My humidity is usually around 15% to 22%. At lockdown I up the humidity to around 60%.
These were all my eggs, and they sat for varying lengths of time before I put them in (1-5 days). I only have a small dish of water in there to keep the humidity in the 20's or 30's during day 1-17 and added more containers at lockdown to get into the 60's.

I did take the chick out about 5 hours after it hatched, (he was climbing all over the eggs) but I misted a little warm water when I opened it so the humidity wouldn't drop suddenly. it actually went up slightly for a few minutes.
Sorry you are in the same boat I am. No answers. What kind of incubator ate you using? I set 189 eggs and so far since sunday I only got 57 chicks. I also can't get my answers, answered. The only thing I can think of right now is that I listened to those who said, they open their incubators numerous time. So me being dumb, I opened it at 3 times. Once when I thought I had an egg explode. The other two times was to remove chicks. I have an old Farm Master cabinet style. I don't know I'm going to examine the eggs after I het home from work. Was your temps. low or high during incubation?
I'm using a home made incubator made out of a cooler. Temps have been pretty steady at 99. I did fiddle with the thermostat a little because it makes the light flicker for some odd reason so it fluctuated 98-100 a couple times but hasn't run really hot or cold. I am trying my best not to open it too much, only opened it during lockdown to take the hatched chick out after a few hours, and when I did I sprayed a little warm water to keep the humidity stable. How many vents does your incubator have? Hubby thinks maybe its a lack of oxygen because I only made a couple of vents on mine.

Dont feel bad we had the same thing happen recent and cant figure it out why held eggs for 7 days turning each day twice. the weather has been doing a flux with the temp thinking that may be part of it.
I have seen it when it Tunders when they are to hatch and it kills them some how had hold timers telll me that and the seen it my self.
Do you have like a computer fan or some type of fan in your incubator for air cirulation our incubator has 6 vents 3 on top 3 on bottoem with only 2 open one on top and 1 on bottem if we open more we lose humidity
I have a hold redwood incubator and we hand turn our eggs so our incubator gets opened 3 times a day till lockdown and we normally get a 80 to 90 percent hatch so i would say that wasnt the probblem but we are trying to figure it out also for a last hatch did the same thing was good till time to hatch and almost all stoped.
Day 22 with one hatched chick and the rest dead prior to internal pip... I'd check your thermometer again and up the temp by half a degree and try again. Every new incubator in a new situation takes a few tries to get it perfect. Don't sweat it. Just sounds like temp was a bit lower than ideal.

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