disappointing hatch

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by CovenantCreek, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    The details: Hovabator 1602 + auto-turner for incubating, temp steady at 100-101 for 18 days, humidity wasn't as constant as I would have liked, but was better than previous hatches -- usually between 50%-60%. Moved the 35 eggs (out of 40 that I set) into the hatcher, Hovabator 1588, for final days, temp was steady at 100, humidity steady at about 70% -- I had all the water wells filled and a damp sponge, which prevented any fluctuation that I was able to catch. Yesterday was day 21.

    Even with all the humidity (considerably more than in my previous hatches), a large number of the chicks are sticking to their shells/membranes. Two or three have died in their shells after starting to zip. One had frothy looking fluid (probably yolk) leaking out of the shell, probably causing chick to drown -- though survival would've been questionable. One had pipped on Friday morning, after more than 24 hours she hadn't made any further progress but was still breathing. I helped removed the shell, but she still couldn't break free from the membrane. By the time I helped her get completely free, it was pretty obvious she wasn't going to make it -- almost every part of her body had stuck to membrane.

    This morning I woke to find one chick that had hatched but had membrane stuck to its down. Another, that was almost out last night was still partially stuck in the shell. Another had died after beginning to zip. Out of 35 eggs, day 22 started with only 10 chicks moving around in the bator. I think the one that I helped yesterday died over night, but I haven't done a thorough check of the washcloth I left her wrapped in to see if her body's in there or if she's one of the ones moving around.

    Since the incubation process seemed to be better controlled this time than the last two times, there must be something wrong with my flock that's creating less than strong chicks. Frustrating. [​IMG]

    edited to add one bright note: The chick that I was convinced wouldn't make it though the night isn't inside the washcloth, she must be one of the live ones moving around and getting strong. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009

  2. ladybug4ut1

    ladybug4ut1 Songster

    Nov 13, 2007
    Central Florida
    Maybe you need to check your device you are measuring the humidity with maybe it is off a little. Good luck sorry to hear about the hatch.
  3. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    Quote:That's what I though this morning when the humidity reading was high but there was another stuck chick. I put another thermometer/hygrometer in and it jumped up to the same reading.
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    My first suspicion is always bad instrument readings, however, I had trouble especially when my Blue Orps were molting. The chicks produced were not as able to get out as they always had been previously. They were pipping on the wrong end for the first time ever. When I changed them to a Game Bird Breeder feed, the hatchability went way up. It is 20% protein. For vigorous chicks, I think its best to feed a breeder feed rather than a plain layer feed, if you are having issues. Just a thought if nothing else seems to fit.

  5. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    Quote:My girls have all been molting -- could explain why more of the Delie chicks are hatching (even if they are sticking to their shells), their molt started earlier than the others so they're closer to being completely back to normal. The age of my RSLs is probably a factor in the lack of success with their chicks, their eggs aren't as good quality as they used to be.
  6. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing Premium Member

    Jan 11, 2007
  7. TriciaHowe

    TriciaHowe Mother Hen

    Nov 11, 2008
    Trenton, FL
    I have to agree with Hinkjc on this. I think your humidity was way too high. I am in North florida and use the dry hatch method and RARELY do I get sticky chicks. The 1st couple of time I hatched though (ever) and tried upping the humidity I had awful hatches with sticky chicks and drowned chicks.
    Good luck to you and I hope you are able to figure out what went wrong.

  8. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    I'm leaning toward the humidity, too, at this point. This is the first time I've tried to keep it above 50% for the first 18 days and above 60% for the hatch. I've got the hatcher slightly open right now to try and get the humidity down for the remaining chicks. Better to learn on the home grown kids than mess up the expensive eggs that are coming in next week.

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