chicks die near end of incubation

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by emvickrey, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    I am having a problem with the chicks dying near the end of incubation. I had 1 survivor this time around. I left the eggs in for 26 days just in case they where late bloomers. No such luck. I opened them all and out of 10 there was 12 taht had tiney chicks, 1 not fertile and the rest had almost fully developed chicks. Their youlk sac was busted on about half and the others where in tact but the chicks where dead.

    I have an old bator that I have to open to turn the eggs. It is a metal case and round just in case somebody knows the type. The temp and humidity was good for most of the time this time. It warmed up outside so it spiked up to 103 for just a few minutes and I immediately opened it and fanned the eggs with a plastic lid to cool them off quick. Then put the lid back.

    The bator is located in the hall near the bathroom door so the temp and humidity gets checked everytime I walk by. I have a flashlight sitting next to it to see the temp without having to open it. It gets opened 3 X's a day to turn and I do it quickly.

    The temp stayed between 99 and 100 and humidity was 38 to 50. For a straight week it stayed exactly at 99.5 and 50%. On the last 3 days I take out the eg carton the eggs sit in and put in more sponges to raise the humidity as I was told to before. I got it up to 63%.

    The one chick I got I truely beleive was from when I was takiing out the egg carton I dropped it on top of another egg and cracked it and there was also a chip. I put it in and it actually hatched 2 days early. It is doing fine and is eating and drinking. I bought him a couple of brooder buddies to keep him company and they play and chirp and eat and do waht chicks do.

    I would love to know what I am doing wrong that is killing the chicks just as their almost done. I have made arrangements to buy some eggs to top off my flock with a few fancy birds and EE's for the colored eggs. I don't want to loose all of them.

    Someone please help.

    Here is a pic of the lone chick. He hatched this past sunday (4/19)

  2. Emzyyy

    Emzyyy Runs with Deer

    Jul 14, 2008
    Derby Kansas
    I have no idea I have never hatched eggs but Im sure someone else wil know.
  3. chickenlittle32

    chickenlittle32 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2009
    Rayne Louisiana
    It sounds like the same incubator I had trouble with. Come to find out, the thermometer was way off. It would mark 99. I bought another thermometer and hygrometer and tested the temp. It was actually 110. I don't know if that could be it. So, I just bought another incubator. Hoping to have better luck with the new one. So far everything is stayin where it's supposed to be. Sorry to hear about the bad luck you are having.
  4. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    This one don'e have a thermometer. I bought a digital one that also is a hydrometer at Walmart. I was using one that I guess it could be called analog maybe. It had 2 dials one for temp and the other for humidity. The bator has a heating coil taht goes along the lid and can be adjusted by a screw on the outside of the lid. I plugged the vent holes and it seems to maintain the temp and humidity better.

    What are some causes of chicks dying near the end?
  5. AK_Button_Mama

    AK_Button_Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2008
    Wasilla, Alaska
    I had some die because the humidity was too high,

    other causes:
    bacterial contamination, opening the bator lid to often, high temps, low temps, low humidity...

    its sucha crazy thing incubating eggs.. try to change some things liike get a new thermometer... but onlu change one thing at a time so you can figure out what the issue is....

    also were your eggs from your personal flock or shipped eggs. cause shipped eggs usually start off will a disadvantage. they were shipped... but for some of us that is the only way we can get birds... from eggs... that are shipped... its one of the problems with choosing to live some place so remote!!! anyway good luck and I would start your experiments with changes with the new thermometer!!! I have a old fashioned bulb type and a digital and I look at both several times a day... I also have a wet bulb that I never used to use but I am now... I thing it is pretty inportant to have that info and it seems to be making my hatches better (having the wetbulb info-you can google wet bulb conversions)
  6. william9792

    william9792 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 23, 2008
    graham, nc
    i do not have my humidty as high as you did, i do mine at 30 to 40% for days 1-18, and 45 to 55% days 18- hatch. for i was having chicks die at pip and they were drowning when they pip the air sack, when i was doing my humidty as high as you had yours, so i lowerd mine and fixed my problem. and have you calbrated your humidty guage? william
  7. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Just finished 2nd hatch.

    1st hatch... 42 eggs 22 on day 18, 12 chicks the rest full developed but dead in the shell. Kept my hovabator on setting seven the entire hatch. Temp said it was 99.5 the entire hatch.

    2nd hatch.. 43 eggs 35 on day 18, 11 chicks. I haven't done the eggtopsies on the remainder but I'm expecting the same as first hatch as candle results at day 18 were awesome.
    my hovabator was on setting 4 (set by the factory as 99.5?)
    Wish I knew what I was doing wrong ... 1 had pipped but died in the shell. Humidity seemed good. I had two therms/hygrometers.

    On this hatch one read 101 the entire time, the other 99.
    Day 1-18 humidity at 30% w/ the first, and 38% w/ the second
    Day 19-21 humidity at 50% w/ the first, and 60% w/ the second. I have no clue which was correct.
  8. AK_Button_Mama

    AK_Button_Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2008
    Wasilla, Alaska
    I was going to say that I have had the hum to high and babies drown when they pip. I usually do about 30-40 for 1-18 and raise it to 50-60 but I am by no means an expert I am still trying to perfect my hatch rates.. I do find tha tI have GREAT luck with quail hatching but not as good luck with eggs. then again my quail eggs are not shipped either! and the chicken eggs all are!
  9. yotetrapper

    yotetrapper Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    North Central MS
    I'm having the same issues. What you didnt mention, was did your chicks break into the air cell, or were their heads still tucked under their wings? All of mine never seem to move. They just keep mtheir little heads under thier wings, and never pip at all.
  10. OCchickens

    OCchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2008
    Brea, California
    Quote:My last 2 hatches I've had 1 remaining unhatched egg & both times when I've done the eggtopsy, it was fully developed but never pipped the air cell (as above). I also would like to understand better what causes this.

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