Chicks Not Hatching

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MontanaGal, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. MontanaGal

    MontanaGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009

    I put the eggs in the bator on March 20th, I candled them on April 7th, and some were further along than others. Some just had veins in them. Should I have tossed them out?

    2 days ago 3 chicks pecked through the shell, but then nothing else happened, but I could hear one peeping. So, today I helped it out of his shell. Did I wait too long to open him up? What should I do to help him get some strength back? He is peeping, but not up on his feet yet.

    The other 2, I checked them today by taking them out of the bator, and it appears they may be suffocated. I feel like I failed them.

    I was told NOT to open the bator and help them at all. To leave them alone, and now I feel really bad.

    So, how do I proceed with the other 15 eggs that are not hatching as of today? I kept water in the bator at all times.

    What should I do? This is day 24 - are all my chicks dead do you think?

    Crap, this is horrible.

    PS: Can you tell this is my first time!
  2. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    Hard to know, dropping the humidity to candle could compromise any more that might hatch. Since you know you had staggered development it could go either way. I'm afraid it is a go with your gut kind of thing in the long run.
  3. MontanaGal

    MontanaGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Is it possible that we just don't have the humidity we need to hatch chicks?

    How would I increase the humidity? Too late now probably, but I do want to incubate some of my duck eggs, but don't want to if all I am going to do is kill them.

    And, any clue as to what I should do with this chick that did live? I wonder if he will be okay. Poor thing, going to be very lonely. I tried to give it some water, but don't know if it got any into it or not.

    It is starting to dry off and peeping, but cannot stand up yet.
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
  5. MontanaGal

    MontanaGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Thanks for the words of encouragement.

    And, yesterday I found that section to read, read, read, which I am doing.

    What is strange is that I had 1 chick that I helped get out of the shell. It is still alive and going. Don't know for how long, but I want to get another batch going so it will have some friends. [​IMG]

    So, humidity is the key. And, I ordered another thermometer and hygrometer in hopes that will help, and I will be following this group's instructions versus the ones I followed last time. I found quite a bit more information and some discrepancies in the instructions I followed. They were okay, just not enough information.

    Everyone have a nice day.

    Montana, where the ground is very white with over a foot of new snow, and more coming! I am SO over it, but we need the moisture. I don't know how much more we need, this is crazy!
  6. peaceful

    peaceful Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    BC Canada
    There could be a number of things that happened.
    Humidity is one, but there are dangers of humidity being too high as well as being too low. I got a hygromometer and checked my incubator, and I was getting readings in the 50s with no water in the incubator at all (I live by a lake). Definitely would've had too high humidity if I had put water in the incubator for the first 18 days. I always compare my environment to a mother hen and think is this what it is like under a mother hen? Too high humidity is not good and the chicks can drown in their shells.
    If you do need to increase the humidity because it is too dry then add more water to the incubator, some people add wet sponges, and/or you can have a humidifyer in the room you are incubating in.
    Consulting my instruction chart: if you have many chicks fully formed in shells with only some hatching or piping 1 or more days late then your incubator setting was too cool (1/2 to 1-1/2 F) (the thermometer could be reading off a bit) and they suggest increasing the setting slightly for the next hatch on the same thermometer in the same location.
    I personally am also on my first hatch in an incubator and I found my unit with automatic plastic turner to be off-gassing a lot, so much so that I am doubting the success of my hatch based on that, although it is better now (I am on day 20). Also I had my incubator temperature at 100 as the instructions recommended but those instructions were for the circulated air model and I have the still air model so I should have run it at slightly higher temperatures.
    If you can find a companion chick for your little one that would be good. They need companionship. Even a broody mother hen who might accept him/her? But be careful because if they don't accept the chick they will kill it. Meanwhile give it lots of attention yourself.
    best of luck and hope this helps.
  7. bleu

    bleu Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 17, 2008
    Im sorry to hear about your eggs, had it happen to me. One hatched out of 14, so I went to the feed store and got 2 different kinds of chicks to keep it company, so they were all different. lol Just make sure they are not to big or old or they will pick on the little one and pullets might be better then roosters.[​IMG]
  8. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    If you had eggs that were definitely at different points of development then either they had died and so stopped growing or there's something really messed up with your temps that you need to fix.
  9. Hens_And_Chicks

    Hens_And_Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2009
    I just had a hatch finish last Friday that should have hatched on Wednesday - they took way long to pip and hatch - once they pipped, some of them took forever to get out of the shell and some of them just pipped and died [​IMG] I know I was not the only one to experience this slow hatch - I think my temp might have been a couple degrees low but the slow hatch and 7 eggs to not even pip was so frustrating. I know exactly how you feel.

    I've said before - it takes 21 days for the chicks - maybe another week for ducks [​IMG] but you can learn from this and do it again. I'm thankful for the opportunity to witness a miracle occur in just 3 weeks.

    Enjoy the one little chicky you got - that makes it extra special [​IMG]
  10. MontanaGal

    MontanaGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Thanks, and yes, you are right, it is the miracle of a birth in just 3 weeks. Ducks take 28 days if I remember correctly.

    I have to wait now for my ducks to start laying again, so I can have eggs to incubate.

    It is snowing here. We got over a foot last night, and still snowing, and supposed to snow today and tonight. Could see another foot, so the ducks are not laying right now.

    I am sorry for other's people's loss of chick hatches too. I guess it is like every thing else, there is a learning curve.

    I did have a hard time getting my incubator to stay at 100 degrees. I kept having to adjust it higher. And, the egg turner motor definitely added to the temperature of the incubator, and when I took the egg turner out, I should have automatically set the incubator on a higher temp, but I didn't right away, so that most likely played a part in the hatch mishap too.

    Now I have to go try and bury these eggs that didn't hatch under a foot of snow and into the ground. I guess I could put them in the freezer in a bag until the ground thaws and the snow melts. [​IMG]

    My one little chick isn't doing so hot. I am still having to dip his beak in water, and it isn't strong enough to eat on its own. But, I don't have the heart to do anything drastic to it. I will nurse it along and see how it goes.

    My doberman is funny, he has adopted that chick. If a cat even walks through the room, he chases it away from the box, and whenever I go over to get the chick and dip its beak in water, the dobie is right there making sure that all is well.

    Animals are so funny. I love them all.

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