Confused about "sticky" chicks (hard amber goo)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by EpicBlueAcres, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. EpicBlueAcres

    EpicBlueAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had many successful hatches last season.in my Styrofoam incubator with turner (still air). This year both hatches have been problems. I bought a new fancy digital (forced air) incubator and had 1 good hatch in it. I decided to incubate in the Styrofoam & hatch (lockdown) in the fancy one. First hatch they hatched on day 23 & only 4 out of 12. This hatch I had one chick hatch with liquid & bubbles coming out & just lost another to hard goo over its beak and pip hole. I opened the egg up and found lots of Amber goo that dried tight on my hands just seconds after being in the air. I assume this is stick chick so I did research but have found 2 contradictions for answers.
    1) humidity to high during incubation
    2) humidity to high during lockdown
    Last yr I didn't monitor humidity just filed the trays the incubator told me to & monitor the temp. (just moved my hygromitor to the Styrofoam incubator and it's reading 45%) This year I did the same for incubation in my Styrofoam incubator as last year & for lockdown have humidity at 70-80% (can't find a proper answer on lockdown or incubation humidity). I matched up the temps on both incubators to be at 100-101 as I thought the first hatch issues could have been from going to the forced air 99.5 temps from the still air 101.5 -102 temp. FYI I did purchase a fan for the still air so now I can keep both at the recommended 99.5 temp for future hatches.

    So after all that rambling just want / need to know what caused the sticky Amber goo & what is the proper humidity for incubation and lockdown. I am in NY state Thankyou
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  2. Wise Farm

    Wise Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    The proper humidity for lockdown is 65%, for hatching it should be 45-50%. That is what works in my experience.
     
  3. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    There is no "proper" number for humidity. Ask 20 people and you'll get 20 different responses. I try to keep mine around 75% at lockdown/hatch. Some use the lowest recommended at 65% and still others don't get over 60%. I believe what you shoot for with humidity at hatch depends alot on your methodology and your area's ambient temp. I prefer mine higher because I am NOT a hands off after lockdown hatcher. If I need to wet a sponge, or if I feel it necessasary I will assist a hatch and I remove my chicks periodically from bator to brooder. By keeping my humidity higher I am more confident that I have the leeway to do those things, (especially in all the other seasons except winter when we have a decently high humidity and the bator jumps right back up). It makes sense that someone who is strict about not opening the bator after lockdown could have succesful hatches at a lower humidity of 60-65%, because there is going to be little to no variance until the hatch is done.

    I run dry during the first 17 days as long as my bator stays above 25% and I monitor the growth of my air cells during incubation. Last fall's hatch I was able to run completely dry (and highered to 75%+ at hatch) and had a wonderful hatch. The chicks were all active and not too wet or sticky right from hatch. The Easter hatch I am going to have to add water to keep the bator at 30% because of this wonderful NY winter. I strongly believe that if people either monitor the air cells or weigh the eggs, they will know if their humidity is sufficient and it'll take the guesswork out of figuring out the "magic number" that doesn't exist.

    A good share of the time sticky chick is caused by humidity, but there are a couple other causes as well, low temps during incubation, eggs not turned enough, older eggs or extra large eggs can also cause sticky chick.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. EpicBlueAcres

    EpicBlueAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They were shipped eggs so don't know how old or age of breeders. They did have an issue with getting super cold as the lovely post office didn't hold for pick up but instead hung them.from.my mail box in a bag for up to 2.hrs during negative temps. I do open my incubator to assist and move chicks out at least every 8 hours.I run a humidifier near the incubator for lockdown in the winter. So I wasnt to humid during incubation if the incubator is staying around 45° & my eggs are on an automatic turner. So maybe from my humidity being on the higher side during lockdown, will lower it to 70-75% for the next hatch & see how it goes They seem to.be normal sized, the one may have been slightly large.
    Thankyou for your help just getting so discouraged with the late hatch & now this when I bought new equipment & trying to do everything as best as possible to help the hatches.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    If the hygrometer is accurite, you wouldn't think 45% is too high. A lot of people that have had rotten hatches have switched to dry incubation and have had much better results. Like I said though, I think the key is watching the air cells, then you know pretty much for sure. Another thing is egg shell quality. Especially if you are hatching with eggs from unknown sources. If the eggs are more porous then naturally they are going to loose moisture faster and need more humidity than eggs that are less porous. There's so many variables with hatching sometimes it's hard to figure out just what needs changing.
     
  6. EpicBlueAcres

    EpicBlueAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thats the crazy part I had 6 hatches last year all.with 80% or better hatch rate & the only thi.g I changed this year was the new incubator for lockdown. It has a full clear lid so I can see what is going on (issues of last yrs chicks not making it could have been saved if I was able to see in the incubator better. And our weather has been the coldest winter in history so maybe that has messed things up.
     
  7. EpicBlueAcres

    EpicBlueAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This egg was in the same hatch, did an eggtopsy....[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Is this sticky chick or shrink wrapped (that's the inner membrane the outer was white and tight to the shell)
     
  8. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    It looks shrink wrapped to me. I do think the difference in seasons (especially up here in NY where it is a big difference and we've had one heck of a winter) does play a good factor. Especially if we do the same for the hatch that we did in the warmer more humid seasons, My fall hatch was very successful but if I did the same (humidity wise) I think I'd be in trouble. I'm setting eggs Sunday and I'm going to have to fill the water wells and I'll still be under the percentage I was in Oct/Nov running dry.
    It could also be the difference in the source of the eggs as well when you are using eggs from different sources and having them shipped. I have not and am in no hurry to have eggs shipped. With the price of the eggs plus shipping I just can't spend that much and end up with a bad hatch. My sister's man bought a dozen for like 40, (no clue what breed) and ended up having 1 chick hatch. I really want showgirls and am having problems finding some locally but I just can't take that plunge to have them shipped.
     
  9. EpicBlueAcres

    EpicBlueAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    See I thought it was shrink wrapped too but then how the heck did I get a sticky chick (to high humidity) in the same hatch as shrink wrapped chicks (to low humidity) boy I really do hate this winter. Good point as my hatches last year where may and later. Thankyou for your help and so sorry about the 1/40 hatch that had to be devastating! I hate shipped eggs alsobut was unavoidable, searched for a yr for welsumer local and nothing. Now I only had one hatch :(
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
  10. JJSS89

    JJSS89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They just don't make it sometimes. There isn't always something you did wrong.
     

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