Bad luck hatching sex link eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by BarnGoddess01, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. BarnGoddess01

    BarnGoddess01 I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

    I had 36 eggs in the incubator; 7 out of 8 BCMs hatched, 7 out of 8 Ameraucanas hatched (shipped), 8 out of 11 EEs hatched, but only 2 out of 9 sex links hatched; one from a red sex link and one from a black sex link. I opened the unhatched eggs and there were fully formed chicks inside all but one of the eggs. One pipped but didn't make it out. Same roos for the EEs and the sex links. I have noticed that their light brown shells seemed to be thinner than the EEs, Ameraucanas, and BCMs. Is it possible they drowned? My humidity was at the levels recommended by Hovabator throughout the hatch (mid-50s before lockdown, up to 80% during lockdown/hatching). I hatched in egg cartons.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  2. tia

    tia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2009
    Valdez, Alaska
    BarnGoddess01 -

    I just hatched some Black Sex-Link with temp at 99.5, and Humidity 45 and then 65 at lock down.
  3. BarnGoddess01

    BarnGoddess01 I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

    I believe my humidity was significantly higher than that - running around 55% for the first 18 days and then up around 75% at lockdown. How would I know if they drowned?
  4. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    If they pipped into the air cell but did not pip the shell, then most likely they did drown. I would aim for no higher than 50% humidity during incubation then no higher than 60-65% during hatch. Personally I don't add any water during incubation then at hatch time they get from 50-70% depending on how high it gets.
  5. CCourson05

    CCourson05 Popping like kettle corn...

    Jan 5, 2011
    Hickory Flat, MS
    Quote:This is also my strategy. Lol. I call it... "The Lazy Man Incubation."
  6. BarnGoddess01

    BarnGoddess01 I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

    I'm not confident that they pipped into the air cell. Their heads were still tucked down. One of the eggs did pip but didn't make any progress zipping. I helped that chick zip after a couple of days watching the beak at the hole but the chick had a bad leg so I culled it early on. (My conclusion: don't help. If they can't get out on their own, they weren't meant to.) What did strike me was that the chicks seem to completely fill the egg. Not sure where there was room for the air cell. It is VERY frustrating not knowing why just these eggs didn't hatch. [​IMG]

    When I let the incubator get dry, the humidity dropped below 25% which I believe is too low so I basically followed the instructions that came with the hovabator.
  7. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2010
    I think the good hatch rate with other eggs in same bator indicates the problem was not with your temperature and humidity. Unless it happened that the sex link eggs were all located together in the incubator in an area that was too hot/cold.

    Sounds like a congenital issue so no matter what you do something in the genetics is working against you.
  8. BarnGoddess01

    BarnGoddess01 I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

    Quote:The eggs were spread around in the incubator.

    The shells of my sex link birds are and were thinner than my EEs and the others. I wonder is the thin shells actually indicate something missing/deficient in those hens. It is also interesting that last year my Barred Rock hen went broody so I gave her a clutch of 10 eggs sex link eggs to hatch. Different roo last year. She broke most of them the first two weeks; all with developing chicks inside. I assumed it was because she was a young hen and I'd given her too many eggs. 2 eggs made it to hatch and only one hatched successfully. Sort of seems now like a VERY similar result.

    I guess I've learned not to include any of my sex link eggs in my future hatches! On the plus side, the one chick that has survived in this hatch is a beauty. Likely a roo which means it doesn't have a future here but nevertheless, the little guy IS a stunner.
    Last edited: May 2, 2011
  9. Peregrine

    Peregrine Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    North Georgia
    I'm having a similar hatching problem.

    I just have a small styrofoam incubator, and I'm not sure what the humidity levels were, but I have a thermometer I can put in there. We've been hatching chicks monthly for about a year (except in the winter when we didn't have enough eggs). Some hatches were good; some were not-so-good. This last batch I incubated 18 eggs, four hatched, and one died in 24 hrs. I was so disappointed! I FINALLY got up the nerve this time to break open the unhatched eggs and see how far along they had developed. [​IMG] Out of the 14 unhatched eggs, 7 were fully developed, probably within days of hatching. (6 were just bloody and runny, and one looked like a normal egg, so it probably wasn't fertilized.) I felt terrible knowing I had somehow killed 7 tiny chicks! [​IMG]

    My batch of chicks in March went much better--I incubated nine eggs and got six chicks. I'm thinking that perhaps in the April batch the humidity might have been too high. Spring was bringing warmer weather, and even though I did the exact same thing both times, the higher outside humidity might have been the problem. The membranes were quite rubbery; I didn't even break them open when I opened the shells.

    I have another batch set to hatch within the week, and I'm very worried that I'll kill a bunch of chicks again. Is it better to have the humidity too low or too high at the end? Please help! [​IMG]
  10. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    there is a post asking for odd bad hatches, it seems to be all over the place and no known reason...

    maybe with enough data we can figure it out.

    -Save the chickies!-

    Q- Are all the birds getting the same food?

    Is it possible the RSL and BSL don't know where the calcium is?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by