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Chicks aren't developing all the way 30% hatching

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by tsparrow, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. tsparrow

    tsparrow Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 28, 2010
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    Okay I had three hatchings so far and I am only get 30% hatching. I know this isn’t too bad, but I use to get 95%. I am using a Little Giant forced air; I had a Hover Bator forced air before. I am not sure if it is the new incubator, I just am doing something wrong or a lot of them are not fertile. I have done some reading on the site and have made some changes to the current batch I just put in. Last hatching I put 20 eggs in and only 7 made it out, but one died. Three eggs had very small dead chicks in them, two had large chicks (fully developed), and the rest there was no development. I have heard a lot about the chicks having a hard time pecking out, but what would cause the chicks to die early on? And if there is no development does that mean they were not fertile? I know these might be stupid questions, but I am trying to understand how this works and after reading a lot of the forums I have learned a lot.[​IMG]
     
  2. MuckyPuppy

    MuckyPuppy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wish I could help you. All I can think of is that it may just be a case of trial and error until you find the perfect combo for your new incubator.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. tsparrow

    tsparrow Out Of The Brooder

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    Could it be the heat or the humidity? I know the humidity helps them break the shell and not stick. The heat helps them develop, so should I be keeping a closer eye on the heat for the chicks that died so early? Is the humidity important early on or more important during hatching?
     
  4. tsparrow

    tsparrow Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks MuckyPuppy, I am new at posting
     
  5. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When you say 'no development', that could mean the eggs were infertile, or it could mean that they were fertile but something happened to prevent them even starting to develop into embryos. That could be rough handling if the eggs were shipped, or if they were from your own birds it could even be something else like a very hot spot in one part of your bator that's cooking some of the eggs but not all of them...

    If you're setting eggs from your own birds and you can spare a few, crack them open and check to see if they have fertile bullseyes on the yolks.

    If the eggs are fertile and not shipped to you then the problem could be loads of different things such as poor nutrition in the parent birds or poor genetics, but it's most likely to be humidity. It's easy to get the temperature right when incubating, cause it's the same for everyone, 99.5 in a forced air bator and 101 or so in a still air one. But there really isn't one figure for humidity that suits everyone and it's really just a case of trial and error to see what works best for you. But if you previously got 95% hatches then you were obviously doing something right, so think about what's changed. It could be the new bator. If you're using different thermometers, hygrometers etc it could be that they're not very accurate. If the eggs were shipped to you then that's the most likely reason for the problems.

    I'm not sure if humidity is more important early on or during hatching. That's an interesting question. I'd maybe say during hatching but only because early mistakes in humidity can be corrected and compensated for if noticed in time, and because fluctuations in humidity over the first 18 days aren't horribly dangerous to the embryos in the way that fluctuations in temperature are. Eggs need to lose a certain percentage of moisture by the end of the incubation period, and a steady loss is most ideal, but as long as the correct overall loss is achieved, it's not so important that the humidity was rock steady the whole time. But when you're hatching, it's pretty important that you maintain a constant steady high humidity.

    I suppose the humidity early on and during hatching are really of equal importance, because if you get it right the first 18 days but wrong the last three, your perfect chicks might be unable to hatch, and if you get it wrong the first 18 days, the last 3 days won't even matter as you won't have any chicks to hatch at all! For a clearer explanation of humidity than I'm probably managing here (LOL!), have a look at Brinsea's website. Their Incubation Handbook is available to download FREE and it has good advice.
     
  6. tsparrow

    tsparrow Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you Gypsy07 so much for all of the information. After reading your post, I went to the site you recommended and I have a greater understanding how it all works. I feel if you don’t understand something fully, then how are you supposed to correct it? I have been reading postings and I know what the humidity and temp should be, but why, and it explained it very well.

    The chicks that have hatched out have been large and I have been helping them out of the shell, so I thought that the humidity was low and I needed to increase it. I think I had it all wrong, the humidity was too high and the chicks were too big to break out. It explained about the air sack and the air flow making a difference with the moisture. It makes sense.

    I have changed the eggs around so they are not near the motor of the turner because it seems to be a lot hotter. I also put the incubator in a darker corner of the house and the temp seems to be more stable. I am trying to correct the ease things first and then play around with the humidity.

    Reading your post, the stick and the site you recommend, I think I can get a better hatching, maybe not with this one, but the next time around. I don’t think it was the temp. The humidity in the house has been high and I see that I don’t need as much water in the troths, even though the manual said to fill one of them up. Great teaching site!
     

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