Dead on day 20

aarissilkiesmooth

In the Brooder
8 Years
Nov 13, 2011
32
1
34
Poulsbo, WA
Hi, new to hatching, first attempt being last month. Had eggs shipped, 5 of the 15 grew chicks. On day 21, one hatched. On day 23, candling showed the other 4 dead. Cracked them open and based off picks from several web sites of embryo development, it would appear that all 4 died about day 19 or 20. Bator was in lock down end of day 18 and nothing traumatic happend during lockdown. Upon cracking open the 4 eggs, none had even interior pipped. No water was in airspace so don't think humidity was too high yet embryo's seemed nice and moist/slimmy with no shell sticking to them as I pulled it apart so also don't think humidity was too low. Then of course the one hatched just fine. Am very sad of course and confused why the 4 just died for no apparent reason. Is this normal, do they just die sometimes for no reason? Any ideas what might of happened? Thank you for your help.
 

TucsonAZ

In the Brooder
8 Years
Oct 15, 2011
54
0
29
What kind of incubator were you using? Did it have enough fresh air flow? I had an issue like that from a lack of fresh air.
 

Gypsy07

Songster
9 Years
Feb 4, 2010
2,286
66
193
Glasgow, Scotland
Quote:
One point to make: If the chicks hadn't pipped internally, there wouldn't be any water in the air cell. So you can't use that to assume the humidity wasn't too high. Not that I'm saying it WAS too high, just that your reasoning is faulty.

Everyone knows that shipped eggs have a lower hatch rate, but that would be the 10 out of 15 eggs that didn't develop. Shipping trauma usually means eggs that don't even start developing, blood rings or very early quitters. It doesn't mean loads of full term chicks that just fail to hatch. If a shipped egg starts developing and makes it as far along as lockdown, you would normally expect it to go on to hatch just like any other egg. If it doesn't, the problem is more likely to be humidity related (and excess humidity is much more common than insufficient humidity), an issue with bacterial contamination, or like TucsonAZ says, insufficient airflow/oxygen inside the bator.

Your chicks didn't pip into the air cell, so technically they couldn't have drowned - you can't drown until you're reliant on breathing air in the first place, right? - but I suspect they may have died due to excessive humidity. That seems to be one of the most common causes of death when people are new to incubating and still figuring it all out.

What was your temp and humidity the first 18 days? And what kind of bator were you using? That info might help to work out the problem...

Also congratulations on your one chick. With 15 shipped eggs on your first attempt at incubating, that's not too bad a result you know. Lots of people have to do two or three hatches before they manage to get any live chicks at all so don't feel too bad about it. Working with shipped eggs is always more awkward...
 
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spowell

Songster
8 Years
Apr 26, 2011
342
2
111
Rocky Point, NC
I hatched eggs for a couple months and kept loosing some at hatch time. I couldn't figure it out. I had checked everything. Well, come to find out, I was using a 2 digital thermometers that were both 2 degrees off! Who would have thought? So check you temp and make sure it's right with a calibrated thermometer. I learned my lesson.
thumbsup.gif
 

aarissilkiesmooth

In the Brooder
8 Years
Nov 13, 2011
32
1
34
Poulsbo, WA
Thank you Tucson, Gypsey and Spowell for your advice and encouragement. I think one of the reasons I was so surprised by the 4 dying is that the bator I got was unbelievably consistent. It is a Hovabator kit that came with fan, turner and digital thermo/hygro.

Spent 3 days a week ahead of egg arrival dialing in bator. Short of warm up time after opening to candle eggs 3 times in the 18 days, the temp never went below 99.1 nor above 99.9. The temp stayed between 99.1 & 99.7, calced out at 97.12% of the time the full 21 days. I have 107 logged temp and humidity entries in my journal. That's not counting 3 days where I checked probably 10 times yet never logged as temp stayed at 99.5 all day two of them and 99.7 the other. Not to metion the 200 or 300 other times I looked but never logged as nothing was changing.

The humidity is where I would guess the problem likely lies. Or perhaps a miscalibrated thermo as spowell mentions. Before purchasing eggs I found several web sites on incubating eggs that said to set H. at 60-65% first 18 then up to 80-85% last 3. That's what I shot for and achieved, again with amazing consistency for about the first 16 days. Then I read a site that said only 50-55% first 18 then up to 70%. Lowered H. days 17 & 18 to low 50's then up to low 70's last 3. Having posted a seperate forum on here last night about H., got some suggestions to set H. at only 30-33% first 18 days. Do you have any suggestions or recommendations?

Again, thank you all for your advice.
 

chick-among-us

Songster
8 Years
Dec 10, 2011
1,654
54
163
Dayton,Texas
That is pretty high IMO also. We are doing dry incubation it works greaT! try a stuffed furry animal for your fluffy butt, since he will never shut up peeping for siblings! FIX that humidity and hatch him some buddies!
 

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