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Did I totally blow it? How long do I wait?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by TexasCookie, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. TexasCookie

    TexasCookie New Egg

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    Nov 25, 2012
    This is only the second time I've tried to hatch eggs. First time was 3 years ago and all went well with my Easter Eggers. This time I set 24 silkie eggs, bought from a reputable seller on eBay. They arrived well wrapped, and guaranteed fertile and less than five days old when placed in incubator. I have the Little Giant 9200 still air, and it had been running 48 hours and holding 99.5F. I also bought the egg turner for this hatch. So on Nov. 9th at about 3:30 in the afternoon, I filled the water troughs in the incubator and placed the eggs on the turner fat end up and started them. Then all went to hell rather quickly with a death in the family followed by the death of a dear neighbor. During this turmoil I did keep an eye on the temp and it appeared to be holding steady at 99.5F, but I never got a second thermometer to double check. I also don't have the gadget to check humidity, but hoped that all would go well like the first time. In the first two weeks I opened the incubator only twice. Each time the water was gone and I refilled and quickly closed up. With everything else going on, I didn't candle any eggs...just figured I'd be surprised on hatch day. Well on day 18 I discovered that I had never taken out either of the two red air plugs. I removed one plug and the temp has remained the same. I thought that Nov. 30 or possibly Dec.1 would be hatch day. It's now late afternoon Dec. 2 and I have seen no pipping at all. I don't know if there is any chance for these poor little guys after all the mistakes I've made. I've tried to watch for egg wiggle, kinda thought maybe I saw slight movement, but probably my eyes fooling me for staring hard and wishing to see something.

    Like I mentioned, I've only opened the incubator 3 times, the third time being on day 18. I never smelled any bad odor. What do you guys think my chances are of having anything hatch at this point?

    Carol
     
  2. cochins1088

    cochins1088 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you candled at all? If not, try it. Your temperature is to low. If it's still air, it should be kept at 101 - 102 degrees. It's supposed to be kept at 99.5 for forced air incubators only. So, since your temperatures were low, they will will hatch very late, if they hatch at all. If you did everything else right, they have a good chance. Don't give up yet. I have had one hatch as late as day 26 and someone else had one hatch on day 27. If you're really wanting an answer now on wether or not they are ok, try doing a float test. The odds are against them, but I wouldn't be surprised if you got a couple to hatch. Good Luck and keep us posted! Also remember, eggs that have been shipped have much lower hatch rates.
     
  3. Becci

    Becci Chillin' With My Peeps

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    November 30th would have been day 21 for you. If nothing happens by December 5th, it's probably safe to trash them. Always candle before trashing eggs. They're likely still alive, hatch day isn't always precisely on day 21. In fact, it rarely is. It could have been delayed, due to your temperature dropping or your temperature actually being lower than what the thermometer is reading (always important to calibrate). Low temperatures delay growth, development and hatch day. For still airs, you generally want the top of the eggs to read at 100-101F, because you want the core of the egg to be as close to 99.5F as possible, and heat rises. So if your thermometer is located on the top of the eggs, your temperature was a bit low. If your thermometer is located mid-egg level, you're fine.

    If the eggs aren't alive, there's a hundred and one things that could have happened. Shipped eggs are known for not having good hatch rates. The eggs go through a lot and get pretty shaken up during the shipping process. Your hatch rate depends a lot on the health of the parents, freshness of the eggs and packaging. Also seeing that you don't have a hygrometer, your humidity could have been way too high throughout the entire incubation. They may have drowned after internally pipping.

    Very sorry for your losses, and hoping you have some chicks soon. If it doesn't work this time, try again.
    Good luck
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  4. TexasCookie

    TexasCookie New Egg

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    Nov 25, 2012
    Thank you Cochins1088 for responding. It seems that I haven't done anything right, but I'm trying to be hopeful for a little miracle. I did turn up the heat shooting for 101-102 like you recommended. (top of egg)

    Becci, thank you for also responding. In between starting my response to Cochins and your reply coming in, I did get the temp on top of the eggs to slightly over 100. I opened bator for like 3 seconds and slipped in a regular thermometer on top of the eggs and it is reading like 101F and the original thermometer is still reading 99.5. So maybe the original thermometer was always reading a tad bit low and my actual temps may have been closer to what was required? I'm hoping. I also opened again real quick and snatched an egg to candle. It was completely dark except for the air cell at the fat end. I still only have one of the red air plugs removed. Do you suggest I remove the second one?

    So I'm gonna hang in there for a few more days and just maybe I'll be surprised with a few chicks.

    Thanks for the info guys. I'm just so anxious, I'm staring in there every few minutes it seems.

    Carol
     
  5. Becci

    Becci Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you calibrated either thermometer? After this hatch is finished, I would look into it. See how off or accurate they are and next hatch you won't be wondering. [​IMG] I've lost an entire batch of eggs because of a thermometer that was reading 99.5F on the dot, when the temperature was actually around 90-93F. I'd keep the other plug in. If you take it out, the temperature is likely to change. It's not too big of a deal, I leave both out throughout incubation so that if the temperature drops at some point, I can stick a plug in and it usually raises the temperature a degree.

    Also, did you see any shadowing in the air sac? Or movement? The egg doesn't sound too under developed. So if they're still hanging in there, you should have chicks soon.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  6. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus Angel <straightens Halo> Premium Member

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    you may be fine.... Did you candle when you set them? air cells were all good? I had set shipped silks and all but one air cell was detatched, we had one hatch : ( seems after reading up, silkies that ship are hard as they have touchy air cells.... : (

    We just had a rough hatch, but let me tell you in the end it was a 100% for local eggs and in a new made bator.

    First Huricane Sandy took our electric for a week, so with generator running on and off every 4-6 hrs we had to put it at the coal stove, then the next week my son was in the hospital for a week, he is only 5 so I was by his side, and didnt turn the eggs or ANYTHING! we brought him home on day 18 and had a pip and they all started hatching like crazy, took several days for all of them to hatch, but I was so impressed and STUNNED to say the least!! here is some of Harmonys hatch in article ... scroll down to the bottom for her actual hatch https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/incubator-incubator

    Keep us updated! Would love to know what happens..... if you end up needing to help them or float test or anything, I have all those links and info in summary of an incubating thread ..... https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hatching-eggs-101 I put all the links videos candle pics and tons of info for incubating hatching and chicks in the article!!! if you want you can come say hello and join us in the thread alot of us have eggs in and some are even hatching right now! here is the thread https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ell-detatched-shipped-eggs/1520#post_10021037

    Fingers Crossed!!!! Good LUCK!!! CHIRPING SOON CHIRPING SOON!!!
     
  7. cochins1088

    cochins1088 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thermometers can be incredibly off. I went to walmart and found one I liked, I figured if it was acurate, then they should all say the same temperature since they were all in the same place. I layed them down and there was a 8 degree difference!! They ranged from 69 degrees to 77 degrees, I couldn't believe it! To make sure a thermometer is acurate, I warm some water to about 102 degrees. I lay my thermometer in the bottom of the pot and let it adjust. I then take a thermometer made to go in a childs mouth or underarm and use that to take the temperature of the water near the thermometer. Those have to be acurate and I have yet yet to see one that was inacurate. If they match, it's acurate, if they're off, trust the children thermometer. Add or subject the difference when using an inacurate thermometer. I repeat this like 3 times just to make sure. For my main thermometer, I have to add 1 degree.

    I don't think you need to remove the second plug until the chicks begin hatching. When you begin to see progess, open the other one.

    Good Luck! [​IMG]
     
  8. TexasCookie

    TexasCookie New Egg

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    Nov 25, 2012
    About an hour ago I heard a little chirp [​IMG] Thank you all so much, I'll keep you posted!


    Carol
     
  9. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus Angel <straightens Halo> Premium Member

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    oh YAY!!!!! [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  10. TexasCookie

    TexasCookie New Egg

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    My first chick hatched at about 7:30 this morning! It's chirping was so loud that it woke me up from several rooms away [​IMG]

    I'm hoping more will follow soon. I'll update later in the day ;-)

    Carol
     

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