Drowning chicks.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by mama24, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2010
    GSO, NC
    My chicks were popping out of their eggs like popcorn yesterday. But it started raining late afternoon, and I think it got too humid. I have one that looks like it drowned halfway through zipping. It was VERY wet inside the egg. [​IMG] Is there anything I can do to make sure the rest make it? I am at work right now, but I can run home at lunch and crack the bator open a crack. Will that work? My boss is the one that told me the humidity got too high. He said he always had dead chicks when it starts raining during hatching b/c they drown. [​IMG] But he didn't really have any suggestions. I think his wife and kids take care of the daily details with their chickens.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
  2. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    high humidity during lockdown and hatch WILL NOT drown your chicks.. i have had it as high as 90% and never had a problem (been hatching chicks for a very very long time)...

    they can drown when the incubation humidity is too high
     
  3. loanwizard

    loanwizard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do you have vents in your bator? A humidity devise?
     
  4. JustAChickenLittle&More

    JustAChickenLittle&More Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2010
    Florida
    Mama, I just had the same thing happen and it's been raining on and off for a week. I had 12 leghorn eggs for my husband. Did everything right. So even though some don't have that problem when it rains, it might have contributed to ours. Maybe it depends on your climate. Thats what I was thinking anyway. Sorry for your loss, hope the rest are fine. I have three bantam cochins that hatched out and two are fine, one is a little rough, however, they were all "wetter" than usual at hatch? Go figure!
     
  5. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine are definitely wetter this time than I've seen before Dripping and soaking when they finally come out of the egg! The first several that hatched before it started raining weren't like this.
     
  6. KIDDSBANTAMS

    KIDDSBANTAMS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what I have read it is the higher humidity during the first 18 days that cause chicks to drown. That is why I only do what is called dry incubation for the first 18 days, I do not add any water unless it gets below 25 %, nost of the time it runs between 30-40% and then on lockdown I up the humidity to 65-70%. All my chicks hatch with no water in the shells and pretty dry. If the humidity is too high the first 18 days the chicks will not lose enough mosture and they drown, I do not think the rain has anything to do with it, the rain really should help with lockdown because you want the humidty to be high.
     
  7. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What you read isn't always right. My boss has hundreds of chickens at home. If he tells me he has higher death rates when it rains during hatching, I believe him, especially when I'm seeing with my own eyes that my first chicks this hatch, always in the exact same incubator, were fine and normal, and after it started raining, they were visibly wetter, and now I have a dead one that zipped halfway before dying, and was dripping wet when I opened it up. I do have a hygrometer in my incubator. It's not a great one, one of those cheap digital thermometer/humity things. It was between 40 and 50% during incubation, like always, about 60% before it started raining, now over 70%. [​IMG] I'm going to take my break now since we aren't busy and go see how they're doing.
     
  8. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    If a chick is zipping as you said, it can not drowned the water will come out of the egg. They drowned when they pip and the air sack has water in it. I like it she it rains I don't have to add water.
    Michele
     
  9. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:ok.. how about what I have experienced in 51 years of hatching and incubating eggs? this would be personal experience and not "something I read"

    it's the INCUBATION humidity that controls whether or not there will be too much moisture in the egg.. eggs do not re-absord extra moisture during incubation or during lockdown.. if 40 or 50 % humidity is too high for your home/area you WILL have too much moisture in the eggs.. add on to that higher humidity at the end of INCUBATION the chicks WILL be wetter.. chicks never hatch completely dry.. I have had very wet chicks and never have chicks drown because i monitor the relative humidity of my home during incubation as well as calibrate my hygrometer before every hatch.. I also monitor the size of the air cell and adjust my humidity according to all factors involved

    so if you are running 50% humidity during incubation (which is even too high for where I live with a relative humidity of 23 - 26% in my home).. and then have higher relative humidity in your home during incubation you WILL have very wet chicks at hatch and more than likely have drowned chicks..

    just a suggestion but perhaps you and your boss should consider lowering the humidity of your incubators for a batch of eggs and then see if you still have drowned chicks
     
  10. KIDDSBANTAMS

    KIDDSBANTAMS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is a lot out there you can believe, but I do that it is a proven fact that eggs have to lose a moisture not to drown in the shell before hatching and if the humidity is too high the first 18 days then the eggs will not lose the correct amount of moisture and they will drown. I think 50% is way too high for the first 18 days. Rain should help with humidity and that is what is needed to help the chicks out of their shells the last 3 days. Without the high humidity during lockdown the shells and membranes can be too tough to get through. That is all I am saying.
     

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