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Day 22 - how could all of them be dead?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MamaHen1234, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. MamaHen1234

    MamaHen1234 New Egg

    Mar 31, 2012
    I am stumped. First hatch and we're pretty bummed that nothing is happening at day 22. It was for a school project (but we did it at home) and there's a grandma waiting for her hens. No pips, no rocking. We didn't candle because we didn't know what to look for, but none of the eggs were visibly cracked. Followed all directions to the letter.
    • Unpacked eggs carefully
    • always clean hands
    • set out at room temp on their sides for 12 hours
    • 100 degrees in egg turner, small side down for 18 days
    • added water to trough every 2-3 days - it was even filtered!
    • day 18 set eggs on side, added more water to troughs

    The only things I can think of are:
    the place I set them out for room temp was on a metal baking sheet - was metal too cold for them?
    the table that the incubator was on was wobbly - does movement bother them?
    I suppose I should get a humidity thermometer, but I had no condensation or signs of too much humidity...
    Any suggestions are appreciated if we're to even consider trying this again.
  2. hondo58

    hondo58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 21, 2011
    Here's the best link for candling photos and explanations. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/261876/chicks-are-here-egg-candling-pics-progression-though-incubation

    It's possible that your eggs were not fertile. Candling will tell you one way or the other. Our eggs were in the fridge for up to a week before we started them so I doubt the cold tray was a factor. You can still candle to see what you are dealing with. Since there are no pips you don't have to worry about the shrink wrapping effect.

    Humidity may be a factor at hatch but with options including dry hatch up to the 40%ers you should have been OK.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  3. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

    Mar 1, 2009
    Muskogee OK
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    First, don't give up hope too quickly. That 21 days to hatch is a very general time limit. When my incubator ran a little warm, I had eggs hatch 12-1/2 days early. If yours is running a little cool, they could be that much late. There are other things that can affect actual hatch date, but average incubating temperature is the main one.

    I never trust the thermometer that comes with the incubator. You need to calibrate any thermometer to make sure it is working right. And it needs to be a pretty decent thermometer.

    Are you sure you are counting the days right? That is a very common mistake. It takes 24 hours for an egg to have a day's worth of development and, in theory, it takes 21 days of development for the egg to hatch. A good way to remember this is that the day of the week you set them is the day of the week they should hatch. If you set them on a Sunday, they should hatch on a Sunday. As I said, that can vary by a few days but that is the target.

    That metal baking sheet was not a problem. Same with the wobbly table. Don't even think about those.

    I use a hygrometer to tell me when to add water. I don't worry a lot about what the humidity actually is. Some people make a science out of it and weigh the eggs to determine how much moisture is lost to make sure the humidity is right, and they probably get better hatches than mine. But mine are usually pretty good. I did it the way the instructions that came with the incubator said and that worked for me, so that's what I do.

    I've also had really bad hatches. The one I have now due this Tuesday is a bad one. 17 of the 30 chicken eggs never developed at all. Hopefully most of the rest will hatch. These were eggs I got from someone else, but they were not mailed. I picked them up locally. All five turkey eggs developed, so I'm not convinced the problem was my incubation technique. Not everything in an incubation is under your control. Sometimes things just happen.

    But I suggest you give it a few more days. Don't lose hope too quickly. And good luck!! :fl
  5. MamaHen1234

    MamaHen1234 New Egg

    Mar 31, 2012
    Thanks to you all. I appreciate the information. I won't give up yet.
    Just an hour ago I have 2 pips! Today is Sunday and I set them on a Saturday night, so maybe this is sort of day 21 instead of 22.
  6. FLITZ

    FLITZ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2012
    my first hatch i had two incubators going one started hatching a day early the other started late on day 21 and finished day 22-23. maybe they are just late
  7. FLITZ

    FLITZ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2012
    it will be like popcorn once the first one hatches :p ...maybe
  8. Sphinx

    Sphinx Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 10, 2010
    Woohoo! I am so excited that you got some pips. I hope you have a great hatch.
  9. hondo58

    hondo58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 21, 2011
    Better late than never. Keep us posted!
  10. abbylane35

    abbylane35 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2011
    Lodi, New York
    Don't lose hope yet! I had most of my hatches on day 23 and 24! Good luck!

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