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Dickey Incubator Help

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by CoastalBreeze, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. CoastalBreeze

    CoastalBreeze New Egg

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    Feb 25, 2017
    Looking for some help with Dickey incubators. We have owned one for a year now and have recently experienced a significant drop in our hatch rate. We have the 3x1 model with autoturner and electronic thermostat.

    Our Process:
    1. We collect and hold eggs for about 5 days.
    2. Set the eggs and maintain the humidity between 42 and 50% the entire time.
    3. We candle at day 7 and when we transfer to the hatching tray.
    4. We mist the eggs according to how Mr. Dickey indicates in his instructions.
    5. Move the eggs to the hatching tray on day 19.

    Prior to our last 4 sets, we were hatching in excess of 90% of our eggs and over the last few sets we have dropped to 50% at best. The only difference is that we have attempted to hatch more eggs at a time 85+ vs. 50. However, what has been very apparent is that the eggs located in the back of the hatching tray seem to have a much lower hatch rate.

    On our last 2 sets, we experimented with higher humidity (60%) and it did not help.

    Has anyone encountered this issue or does anyone have any words of wisdom?
     
  2. KittyKat3756

    KittyKat3756 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 16, 2014
    Norfolk, UK
    Have you checked if the temperature in different areas of the incubator and whether the turner is actually working properly?

    What do the failed eggs look like? What day do they fail on?
     
  3. CoastalBreeze

    CoastalBreeze New Egg

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    Feb 25, 2017
    We only put those eggs that look viable into the hatching tray on day 19. Some of the failed eggs will pip, but not fully hatch We have helped them out, but our success rate on those chicks is not good.

    We had nothing to loose on this last round, so cracked several that hadn't progressed on day 25. In my experienced opinion, the membranes looked very dry and the eggs felt very dry. The shell and membrane were to very distinctly different layers that you could easily separate (i.e. I could remove all the shell prior to rupturing the membrane). There was still a ton of fluid in the egg.

    It has just seemed very odd that this has been isolated to the back half of the tray.
     
  4. KittyKat3756

    KittyKat3756 Chillin' With My Peeps

    135
    14
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    Aug 16, 2014
    Norfolk, UK
    My first thought here would be that there was a problem with heat or humidity circulation so the ones at the back got too cool or too dry.

    You can try running the incubator with just some dummy eggs and a thermometer or hydrometer that you move around to check the distribution of both. That way you're not experimenting on chicks that you want to keep and get to see if there's a problem. I had an issue with turning in my incubator last year and ended up having to do a few dry runs. I also measure the temperature against the egg shells rather than air temperature and that can be different around the incubator sometimes.
     

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