Catastrophe! 100 % Failure! graphic pics

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by redsmum, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. redsmum

    redsmum In the Brooder

    Sep 23, 2009
    Milford, Michigan
    Where did we go wrong? This was our first time trying to incubate. Set 29 eggs in incubator w/turner. On day 5 candled and discarded 10 eggs which were not fertile. Day 12 we candled again and could see some development but did not see any movement. Stopped turning on day 18. Temp kept constant at 99.5 and humidity 60% for the whole time. day 23, candled again, could see a very full egg but no chirping or movement. Decided to start opening to see what was going on inside. Sadly all were dead :-( had about 4 that obviously quit early on, 3 were non starters and the rest almost perfectly developed, 4 of which had got as far as opening the membrane into the air pocket. One was at about 14 day stage and had a very crossed beak and a deformed leg.
    The parents of these babies were, Pa, a white silkie and his ladies, a RIR, EE, BR, SLW & a Buff Brahma.
    Could the mixed breading cause this result?
    Was the humidity too high in the beginning?
    Pa, the white silkie was only 9 months old and his ladies were 9 – 12 months old, were they all too young to breed?
    We had noticed that the shells on our eggs had been very thick compared to store bought eggs, could the thick shells affect the absorption of moisture/humidity? Could it be they were too thick for the chicks to break out?
    There was no bad smell from any of the eggs so I don’t think bacteria was the problem.
    I am going to try and post the pictures we took when we opened them in the hopes that someone will be able to identify a problem, I hope that they dont upset anyone, that is not intended.
    I would really like to try again so any advice from the experts out there would be much appreciated. Thank you.

  2. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane 8 Years

    Jun 10, 2010
    Well first off, here is the eggtopsies thread:
    a bunch of information there about what to look for when you crack open eggs.

    Most of the chicks pictured appear to have died before Day 18 (large external yolk, but well formed chicks, meaning they were probably close to where they would start absorbing the yolk to hatch, which they start to do when they pip internally, around day 18-19). You have a pic of one pipped internally, which is another good indication of late term death. The two on the far left look to have made it the farthest, and I'm guessing you got those from the internally pipped eggs. There's also a lot of clear liquid (egg white or water) around the chicks, which indicates that they may not have lost enough liquid during incubation.

    Judging by your pictures and your information, I'm gonna say that your humidity level through the hatch probably is what did it. Since you do have some that pipped internally, it's possible that they either drowned, OR the shell was too thick. Most home-grown eggs will have a thicker shell than store bought, however, because their diet is typically better. Are you feeding them any sort of extra calcium (like maybe oyster shells for grit)? It's also possible if you have a single roo over a bunch of hens, and ALL the babies across crosses died... that your roo may have genetic problems. BUT the babies don't look like that's the case.

    Next time, try to keep the humidity closer to ~40% and you should have a better time of it.
  3. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Firsts of all I am sorry you had to experience this disappointment. [​IMG]
    We all hope to have fuzzy little peepers at the end of our 21ish days. Good for you for opening the eggs to assist with your learning. I am not that brave yet and rely on DH for the task.
    I agree with Kedreeva to try again with less humidity. For my family our best hatches have been at 35-40% then up to 70% for lockdown. But that is our equipment in our environment with the moon shining x hours on even nights...blah blah otherwords so many factors to consider.
    This year we had a great test batch hatch 6/6...followed by a horrid hatch of very nice eggs [​IMG] 3/18....followed by two very good hatches again 11/12 (one unfertilized) and 9/14 (3 unfertilized, 1 quit at about day 5, 1 we helped...mistake...was born without eyes and skull deformity).
    The interesting thing is that during the horrid hatch it was really damp here and even in the closed system of the heated incubator our humity was up around high 50s low 60s plus we had an egg blow in bacteria was a factor unlike your case.
    Keep us updated how your next hatch goes.
    PS Thanks for posting the photos...even though they are graphic I for one appreciate the opportunity to learn. We do have a choice to look when that grapic warning is in your title.
  4. TOL Chick

    TOL Chick Songster

    May 4, 2010
    Milford, MI

  5. nicoletm24

    nicoletm24 Songster

    Jul 11, 2010
    i had the same thing happen to me the first time incubating. i'm hoping it goes better this time.
    from what i've read and learned on here 60% humidity might be too much for the whole incubation. i've had many members tell me that 30% is fine up until lock down on day 18.
    it's a learning experience. I'm so sorry you had to go through this. [​IMG] next time will be better. try and read on here and learn as MUCH as you can before hand. this website is the best thing that ever happened to me when I wanted to do things right the 2nd time around.

  6. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    The humidity in my basement is about 35% when the A/C is running, and I don't add any water at all during the first 18 days. I have a still air LG (OK, well, 6...) and I typically take the eggs from the turner and put them in a different one as a hatcher, with rolled up paper towels in all of the channels for water, then another on top of the wire, so that the water wicks up from the channels. When it gets below 70% humidity I open one of the LG windows and pour warm water on top of the paper towel, avoiding the eggs. I use sealed aquarium thermometers for the incubators because the cardboard ones can shrink and change with humidity, and I use 3 to get averaged temps.

    I use 2 thermometer/hygrometers in the hatcher and 2 of the sealed aquarium thermometers. I buy those for $1.70 at Wally World and keep 10+ around because I don't EVER trust just one. Never.

    I get 90-95% with non-shipped eggs, and excellent results with shipped eggs (generally).

    I candle during the stage where they ought to pip. If it looks like they've pipped the membrane and I don't like how long it's taking, I'll tap a tiny hole in the very tip of the fat end (so it wouldn't interfere with their pipping process) and open a tiny hole in the membrane so they don't suffocate. I NEVER touch the internal membrane. I never help any chick in any other way if there's blood flowing in the inner membrane. Nothing hurts the soul worse than making a chick bleed to death. I'm not opposed to giving them a hole for breathing so they can get the strength up (or whatever).

    This works for me. Other than this, I don't like to help them (if I can help it)- it's often just prolonging the natural result.

    All this said, I've hatched hundreds over the past year and learned a lot. It takes some trials and errors to get it down.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  7. pkw

    pkw Songster

    May 14, 2010
    North Edwards, CA
    My last hatch was very successful compared to all the others I had this year. I kept my humidity at 35-40% the entire time (all my chicks hatched out 3-4 days early so didn't get to up the humidity until they started pipping then I put some soggy wet washclothes in there and upped the humidity to 65%.

    I am thinking perhaps since your humidity was so high the whole time maybe your chicks drowned from the humidity.

    Maybe you could try again. I know how hard it is to have so many not make it. My last hatch was the best I had all year.

  8. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    I should also say, if the humidity is too high, the chicks can be too large to move around enough to pip properly. They might only pip the membrane and then be unable to reach the shell to open an air hole. This may be what happened to the one you see pipped internally.
  9. newlyweds

    newlyweds Pearl of the Prairie

    Mar 12, 2010
    Southeast Texas
    ChooksChick- thanks for your help, though I have almost 3 bad hatches as the one above, it's heart breaking. I've since determined after getting a new incubator the genesis hovabator (with preset temp), that my temp was 2 degrees high each previous hatch. And coupled with low humidity the chicks must have grown too large too soon, and then got stuck in the shells. Most were fully formed and even pipped the membrane.

    Thanks for your tips, I have a forced air LG and a genesis now, so seems like I will probably be incubating more and more. It's so addicting.

    redsmum- so sorry about your hatch, I know how heart breaking this is, thanks for posting this though, it will help so many.

  10. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    Quote:My pleasure. I think I'll write a how-to about using the LG still airs- it's really not what the instructions say.

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