chicks dying between day 18 & hatching

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by steve horner, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. steve horner

    steve horner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The first hatch I set 22 eggs. 20 pipped,15 hatched. Eggtopsy revealed 5 fully developed chicks that didn't hatch. Next hatch set I set 18 eggs 9 pipped 6 hatched. Eggtopsy revealed 11 of the 12 that didnt hatch had developed chicks. Last hatch I set 24 eggs 14 pipped 13 hatched, 1 died with in a day of hatching. Eggtopsy revealed all but 3 of the unhatched eggs had developed. What am I doing wrong?
     
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    What is your humidity for hatch and is your hygrometer calibrated/checked for accuracy and do you monitor your air cells or weight loss during incubation?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  3. steve horner

    steve horner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been running 25% day 1 threw day 18 then 65% on lockdown. I use 2 different probes that measure the humidity. I don't weigh the eggs but do mark air cell development when candling on days 7,14,18
     
  4. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Those sound like decent numbers. (I up my humidity to 75% at hatch. 65% is the least recommended, but I am more comfortable at a higher percentage during hatch.) I am assuming that if you are marking the air cells that the growth is adequate through the incubation. Is the incubator being opened frequently during hatch?
     
  5. steve horner

    steve horner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was thinking that could be the problem. I did see some shrink wrapping on the eggtopsy from the last hatch
     
  6. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    That could be the problem. Usually, from what I have seen, when they pip and fail to hatch, it's usually a humidity problem and a good share of that is low humidty or humidity loss during the process that causes shrink wrapped chicks.

    I'm not one to preach about the sins of opening the bator during hatch mainly because I keep my humidity high so that if I do open, I'm not loosing a significant amount that is taking me below the "safe" level. (And I do open my bator during hatch. I've had to assist an egg, and I remove my hatchlings periodically during hatch as well as add water to my sponges. I don't have an issue with shrink wrapping.)

    My philosophy is if you can't get that higher percentage of humidity, be careful opening the bator in excess. (Not that you should be in excess with higher humidity.) 65% is the least recommended percentage for humidity (at hatch) so if you are opening the bator- even loosing 2-3% is putting you below the recommended level. Where as if your humidity is a good 75% and you loose 5% you're still well above the recommended.
     
  7. steve horner

    steve horner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    For your next hatch try upping your humidity the first 18 days. Shrink wrapping doesn’t just come from opening the incubator during lockdown, it can come from the egg losing too much humidity during the incubation phase.

    Different humidities work for different people. What works for me may not work for you. Why? Each incubator is different, even the same make and model. The air going in is at different temperatures and moisture levels even in different places in the same room, let alone in different houses. Our height above sea level is probably different. Just because.

    Even in the commercial hatcheries where one incubator may hold 60,000 eggs they have to go through a trial and error series so they can optimize their hatches.
     
  9. steve horner

    steve horner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The first 2 hatches I did run a higher humidity. I ran 45/50 percent day 1 threw day 18. Then bumped it to 65/70 percent on lock down. The third hatch I ran it lower after talking to the breeder I got the eggs from.......same bad results either way.
     
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Steve, your hygrometer may be off. Look up the instructions for calibrating a hygrometer. Then, next time around, drop the humidity even more. What's your typical humidity in the house? I keep my bator humidity around 30% until lock down. (may increase a bit after day 14 if the air cells are too big, but usually 30% does well for me until lock down.) Have you opened eggs to see what's going on inside after their due date? Are chicks wet? Dry? A lot of liquid in there? How big are your air cells? Do they internally pip? There's some great articles in the learning center under the title "Hatching 101". Read up on how to trouble shoot your hatching technique based on eggtopsy. If the chicks aren't as developed as they should be, it may be a temp issue.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015

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