Bad Hatch Rate?? Help Appreciated

American_Farmer

Hatching
Apr 30, 2020
7
3
8
Just hit day 22 on my first try at incubating. I've had 3 hatch out of the 23 eggs that went into lockdown. We candled them all and we were definitely sure of life in most of the eggs. That begin said, I have no idea why we've only had 3 hatch. Temps and Humidity were according to the timeframe of incubation. I'm gonna give it a couple more days but none of the others have shown any signs of hatching.
 

American_Farmer

Hatching
Apr 30, 2020
7
3
8
What do you mean about the temps? Can you tell us exactly what they were? Give them another 24 hours and quickly candle them to check on their viability.
I was just saying that I've kept temps and humidity at the correct levels. 100 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the 21 days and the humidity was around 45-50 and increased to 60-65% during lockdown. If I don't see any new progress in the morning, I'll candle them. Thanks!
 

Offshoreorca

Crowing
Apr 15, 2020
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3,653
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Nova Scotia
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A thermometer and hydrometer, both were calibrated. Thanks for the humidity tip, there was so much info out there I just used the average of all I was reading.

Where do you live? Humidity requirements will sometimes change with ambient humidity of the area. Temperature and humidity are two very important components, but not the only ones. Make sure you have calibrated hygrometers/thermometers (and don't rely on the ones built into the incubator). I'm in Eastern Canada where the humidity is quite high, and I've never had an issue using those standard levels of humidity you mention. Where did you get the eggs from? With late hatching deaths, it is just as likely that the health of the parent stock is leaving a lot to be desired. I notice this as hatches from my own hens yield healthy chicks that hatch without assistance and have no problems. Whereas eggs I have bought from folks where I don't know exactly how their chickens are fed/housed sometimes need assistance, have early quitters, and overall a bigger risk of health issues.
 

American_Farmer

Hatching
Apr 30, 2020
7
3
8
Where do you live? Humidity requirements will sometimes change with ambient humidity of the area. Temperature and humidity are two very important components, but not the only ones. Make sure you have calibrated hygrometers/thermometers (and don't rely on the ones built into the incubator). I'm in Eastern Canada where the humidity is quite high, and I've never had an issue using those standard levels of humidity you mention. Where did you get the eggs from? With late hatching deaths, it is just as likely that the health of the parent stock is leaving a lot to be desired. I notice this as hatches from my own hens yield healthy chicks that hatch without assistance and have no problems. Whereas eggs I have bought from folks where I don't know exactly how their chickens are fed/housed sometimes need assistance, have early quitters, and overall a bigger risk of health issues.
I live eastern NC and our outdoor humidity doesn't fluctuate much during each season. We've kept an eye of the hydrometer so I don't believe it has had big changes at any point. We collected the eggs from our current flock and they seem to be healthy birds. I just did the float test on a few of the eggs and they all seem to check out, there's just no movement or peeping. We're gonna remove the hatched chicks in the morning and check all the eggs.
 

Offshoreorca

Crowing
Apr 15, 2020
977
3,653
296
Nova Scotia
My Coop
My Coop
I live eastern NC and our outdoor humidity doesn't fluctuate much during each season. We've kept an eye of the hydrometer so I don't believe it has had big changes at any point. We collected the eggs from our current flock and they seem to be healthy birds. I just did the float test on a few of the eggs and they all seem to check out, there's just no movement or peeping. We're gonna remove the hatched chicks in the morning and check all the eggs.

Okay, what kind of incubator are you using? Not all incubators are built equally. Temperature and humidity are the main culprits normally, even if you think they're not. That's why most folks use two of each sensor (or more) to double check temperatures down at egg level and different parts of the incubator.

Chickens can look healthy and yet not have the right nutrients to produce healthy chicks. That's why many breeders will switch their feed a month before collecting eggs. Lack of nutrients often causes death before hatching as it produces weak and sometimes malpositioned chicks.

Your problem is likely one of these three things with the late stage die-off you're experiencing. It's hard to know exactly without images of the dead chicks and familiarity with the incubation set-up, but you can slowly narrow it down. Don't give up! It takes a while to learn, but you will eventually figure out the kinks the the system and get better hatches.
 

Offshoreorca

Crowing
Apr 15, 2020
977
3,653
296
Nova Scotia
My Coop
My Coop
And though you'll hear about the float test on this site, this seems like a surefire way to kill remaining viable eggs as by immersing them in water you cut off oxygen supply and give bacteria a channel to enter the egg. It is certainly something I would never do if I thought my eggs still had a chance. If they haven't hatched during a reasonable window - most folks say up to 24/25 days - and you can't see movement candling, there's absolutely nothing that could have been done. If you provide the right environment up until the hatch, then it's up to the little chicks to do the rest.
 

American_Farmer

Hatching
Apr 30, 2020
7
3
8
Okay, what kind of incubator are you using? Not all incubators are built equally. Temperature and humidity are the main culprits normally, even if you think they're not. That's why most folks use two of each sensor (or more) to double check temperatures down at egg level and different parts of the incubator.

Chickens can look healthy and yet not have the right nutrients to produce healthy chicks. That's why many breeders will switch their feed a month before collecting eggs. Lack of nutrients often causes death before hatching as it produces weak and sometimes malpositioned chicks.

Your problem is likely one of these three things with the late stage die-off you're experiencing. It's hard to know exactly without images of the dead chicks and familiarity with the incubation set-up, but you can slowly narrow it down. Don't give up! It takes a while to learn, but you will eventually figure out the kinks the the system and get better hatches.
My parents got me a Farm Innovators Pro Series Digital Incubator. I have the spare thermometer and hydrometer so the levels have been in check. It was my first incubation so I'll just take this as a learning experience. I haven't seen any movement candling so my best bet is we got all the chicks we're gonna get. Thanks for all the input!
 

MANNA-PRO

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