Day 7: Insanely high weight loss??

PippinChicken

Songster
Oct 28, 2017
166
110
121
I currently have an assortment of Ameraucana, Marans, and Olive Eggers incubating. 10 are in my Rcom 10, and the remaining 3 are in my backup incubator (a Janoel 12). Both are calibrated to an accurate thermometer and hygrometer, and I ran them for quite a while to figure out how much water was needed to keep the humidity around 45%. For the Janoel, this is two wells of a small ice cube tray. For the Rcom, this is both wells full and leaving the vent half shut. It could use only one well if the vent was kept entirely shut, but I thought they should have some airflow.

Yesterday I did their day 7 weighing, candling, and air cell tracing. They are all developing, which is AMAZING considering they were shipped from several states away. I did the 10 eggs in the Rcom first and as I was weighing them, I realized that my new scale isn't very reliable. The reading would jump between two pretty different numbers even with the egg there untouched, and it could give a very different number if you picked up the egg and put it back down on the scale. Still, I continued weighing them and knew the results were just not going to be very precise. The air cells in the Ameraucana eggs had grown considerably, and I think they are on the larger side. The air cells on some of the darker eggs had not changed much since arrival.

After finishing with these 10 eggs, I entered their weights in my chart and found that they had all lost around 1/3 of their original arrival weight (ranged from ~25-45%). I thought ok, that's nuts, there's no way they lost 1/3 of their weight in 7 days. It's got to be the scale. I went over to the other incubator to check out the final 3 eggs...and all of those have lost around 4%. So now it seems like even if the weights aren't super precise, they aren't as far off as I'd hoped.

I'm at a total loss and will be so disappointed if I wasted this ridiculous luck of having 100% of them start developing, only to somehow dry them out like crazy...Is it even possible for an egg to lose 1/3 of its weight in 7 days?? If so, is there any hope for them? The Ameraucana eggs had the most air cell growth, but there were others that had more weight loss. Is it possible for an egg's air cell to have only grown slightly, but still have lost 1/3 of its weight? What is going on??? :barnie
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,974
832
California's Redwood Coast
Hi.

This may not help... but, I incubate Marans, EE, Silkies and others. I don't weigh or mark cells. And I run my bator at 37-45% humidity first 18 days then 65% for lock down. I usually get 80-100% hatch rate. And I've been hatching weekly since Thanksgiving.

4% week one seems like it would be good enough since they are supposed to lose 11-14%... I think. :confused:

My guess is your scale isn't calibrated and you had best go by air cells growth. Mine always have differences... and it's important to move the eggs around to a new location inside the bator once per day... as there can be hot or cool spots even in forced air. Moving daily will help to ensure more even development. So if you haven't been doing that... definitely start!

Bets wishes and happy hatching! :jumpy :jumpy
 

PippinChicken

Songster
Oct 28, 2017
166
110
121
Hi.

This may not help... but, I incubate Marans, EE, Silkies and others. I don't weigh or mark cells. And I run my bator at 37-45% humidity first 18 days then 65% for lock down. I usually get 80-100% hatch rate. And I've been hatching weekly since Thanksgiving.

4% week one seems like it would be good enough since they are supposed to lose 11-14%... I think. :confused:

My guess is your scale isn't calibrated and you had best go by air cells growth. Mine always have differences... and it's important to move the eggs around to a new location inside the bator once per day... as there can be hot or cool spots even in forced air. Moving daily will help to ensure more even development. So if you haven't been doing that... definitely start!

Bets wishes and happy hatching! :jumpy :jumpy

Thanks for the input! Both incubators have been in that humidity range, and when I had only weighed the 10 in the first incubator I was ready to say the supposed 1/3 weight loss was bogus and that I need a better scale. But then the eggs in the other incubator having an appropriate 4% loss made it seem like the weights from the first incubator can't be that off after all...I'm thinking of moving them around and putting the ones with the biggest air cells in the second incubator (where the eggs supposedly all lost around 4% this past week) and putting the ones with the smallest air cells in the first incubator, where they are supposedly losing crazy amounts.

The weird thing is that the one with the biggest air cell isn't even the one that has lost the most weight...
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,974
832
California's Redwood Coast
But then the eggs in the other incubator having an appropriate 4% loss made it seem like the weights from the first incubator can't be that off after all
Oh, I get what you're saying. :hmm

Your current plan might be the best I can think of. Though I would hate to mess up both somehow instead of one. :confused:

Maybe RE calibrate the bator you are having trouble with? I've definitely had things (equipment) turn wacky in the middle.

You might consider raising the humidity more in the high loss bator and not moving the batches? I don't know which would have the best impact on the overall outcome. One of mine does well at adjusting for temperature differences in while another not so well, so I have to keep watch the first day or two after changes like adding or subtracting eggs.

Definitely hope to see it turn out well for you and see how your solution. Improvising is all we can do sometimes. It's a never ending learning process that keeps changing. Looks like I will be learning from you! I do like to get my humidity set with the air wholes open. :)
 

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