Dropping hatch rates. What could be wrong?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Jungleexplorer, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started incubating a dozen eggs a week in my Genesis 1588 in early February. I have a 48 egg automatic turner and each week I transfer a dozen eggs to a hatcher (just another 1588 without a turner), and put a dozen new eggs in. All through February I was getting almost a 100% development in my incubator and an 80% hatch rate in my hatcher. But then my hatch rates started to drop and I only got 2 chicks out of the last batch of eggs. I don't know what is causing it. I have not changed anything. I clean and sanitize my hatcher after each hatch. I have cracked open every unhatched egg and they all contain fully developed chicks. What could the problem be?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Have you changed the feed of the breeders?
     
  3. cmfarm

    cmfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did you open up the unhatched eggs to see what went wrong?
     
  4. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have not changed the breeders food. I open each egg that does not hatch. I could see nothing wrong that would keep the chicks from hatching. Is there something specific I should be looking for?
     
  5. Impress

    Impress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You need to clean your incubator often, just like you clean your hatcher.
     
  6. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    But the chicks are not dying in the incubator, they are dying during lockdown in the hatcher. It is not that I am questioning that the incubator needs to be cleaned, I am just wondering how it could be effecting something that is happening after the eggs are removed from it?
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Could something be affecting the amount of oxygen in the hatcher? Other than the obvious things and hatcher contamination. Fumigation that is too severe or too prolonged can also cause dead in shell over 18 days.
    Could the breeders have contracted a disease that hasn't manifested itself yet?
     
  8. mgroza

    mgroza Out Of The Brooder

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    Most likely a bacteria problem from extended use of equiptment. Make sure you clean everything real well between hatches.
     
  9. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Like said the hatcher and the incubator are the same as when every thing was going good. They are located in a climate controlled room that is kept at 72 degrees. I have not fumigated. As far as disease, it is impossible to know something that has not manifested itself yet, but I live way out in the middle of nowhere and there are no other chickens around me, and I have not introduced any outside birds to my flock for a year. Also, my breeders are penned in isolation pens, so I am not sure how they could have contracted a disease.

    But I do have a question about sanitizing my incubation equipment. I wash everything with hot soap and water, but it is impossible to get styrofoam perfectly clean so I spray everything with a mixture of bleach and water in the ratio of 2 tables spoons of bleach to 1 quart of water. Then I let everything air dry before assembling and putting it back to use. Anybody see anything wrong with this method?
     
  10. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I found the problem. It was the bleach solution. I washed my hatcher with just soap and water and let it air dry. I hatched 12 of 14 eggs this weekend in it. Now that is what I like.
     

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