1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Chicks Not Hatching Even though Fully Developed

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Rooster14250, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. Rooster14250

    Rooster14250 Out Of The Brooder

    37
    3
    26
    Mar 19, 2015
    Hey guys, I am fairly new to the hobby of incubating (only four hatches under the belt) and am having trouble getting my hatch rate over 50%. When I go and check out the eggs that didn't hatch, I find that almost all the eggs were fully developed and were ready to hatch (yolk nearly fully absorbed and chick in position). At first, I thought it was a humidity problem, but then when I adjusted the humidity with another batch, the same thing happened! My humidity is at 30% when they are still being turned, and then raised to 65% when hatching. My temperature is always at 99 degrees with a forced air fan. Is there anything that might cause this? The chicks are Easter Eggers, Olive Eggers, and Leghorn EE crosses.



    PS, I have chicks hatch nearly TWO WHOLE DAYS before before they are supposed to (21 days). They are perfectly healthy when they do this.
     
  2. DylansMom

    DylansMom RIP 1969-2017

    3,742
    565
    248
    Jan 10, 2014
    PA
    Early hatching is usually a result of your temp being a little on the high side. Have you been checking temps with a separate thermometer as opposed to trusting the incubator thermometer? Most recommend using several thermometers in different spots inside the bator. If the temps are a little higher than ideal, I wonder if another side effect could be the developed chicks that are not hatching? I use forced air and I generally keep my humidity a bit higher around 50% and then jack it up as high as possible for the last 3 days 75% or more. I hatch more Peafowl than chickens, but generally have a 90% hatch rate on eggs not shipped.
     
  3. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,015
    2,479
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    I do dry incubation and try to make sure the humidity is around that 30% mark as well then I go to 75% for lockdown. I agree it sounds like slightly higher average temps for them to be hatching a whole 2 days early. I would check the thermometer (s) and use more than one.

    The chicks that are failing to hatch-do they have anything taht you know of in common? Are they from the same hens, same breed line? Could it be a genetic/hereditary issue instead of an incubatioin issue? I am assuming they are NOT shipped eggs?
     
  4. Rooster14250

    Rooster14250 Out Of The Brooder

    37
    3
    26
    Mar 19, 2015
    They are from my EE rooster, so they aren't shipped. The thermometer is working properly (i have checked it with others). The chicks are inbred to my rooster, and the hatched ones haven't had any trouble (no genetic defects).
     
  5. Rooster14250

    Rooster14250 Out Of The Brooder

    37
    3
    26
    Mar 19, 2015
    All is functional, except the incubator came with a junk thermometer/hygrometer. I got a new one for the last 3 hatches, and it works great.
     
  6. DylansMom

    DylansMom RIP 1969-2017

    3,742
    565
    248
    Jan 10, 2014
    PA
    Is it by any chance on of the ones that records highs and lows? Sometimes spikes can occur and seldom are we there to witness these. I don't have any of these thermometers myself, but I have seen them, and they usually have an alarm that will sound and will record how high/low the temp went. Might be helpful for figuring out what is going on. However, I keep coming back to the early hatching, and thinking it has to be related somehow. If these are all from the EE roo are the ones that do hatch and are healthy also hatching 2 days early?
     
  7. Rooster14250

    Rooster14250 Out Of The Brooder

    37
    3
    26
    Mar 19, 2015
    Could the inbreeding of the chicks cause the problem?
     
  8. DylansMom

    DylansMom RIP 1969-2017

    3,742
    565
    248
    Jan 10, 2014
    PA
    I would think it could be the reason for the not hatching, but I've never heard of inbreeding causing early hatching. I've also seen opinions that vitamin or mineral deficiencies in the parent stock can cause weak chicks that are unable to hatch, also remember reading somewhere about something that would cause extra thick egg shells that chicks simply could not crack through, but again none of these things will result in early hatching. And with chickens having a short 18 day incubation period, 2 days is significant.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Rooster14250

    Rooster14250 Out Of The Brooder

    37
    3
    26
    Mar 19, 2015
    I feed the parents milk and cheese, so that could cause the problem with the egg shells being too thick. Thanks for all your advice!
     
  10. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,015
    2,479
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    Line breeding-breeding chicks back to the mother or father is supposed to be ok for quite a few generations before it will cause negative traits. They say that breeding brother to sister will cause problems and should be avoided as much as possible.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by