Egg weighing problem

Brandysgirls

Chirping
May 15, 2020
56
70
63
Ok I only hatch shipped eggs! I normally use 2 nurture right 360's but I just got a brinsea 56 EX!!! Normally when I hatch eggs and also I only hatch silky eggs but normally when I hatch them if I let the humidity get above 40 they drown.. so what I've been doing is running the incubator dry and every 3 days I'll add a teaspoon of water! When I run it dry it runs at about 32 when I add a teaspoon of water it goes up to about 55. I've been having decent hatches that way but I've decided to start weighing my eggs!so I weighed the silky eggs and today is day 16 and I just did the math and they have lost 12% to 16% weight. And these are in the new incubator. So I'm really worried about it. I don't know what I should do. I know in my old incubator if I ever got the humidity above 40 they drowned but I didn't weigh them so I don't know if this incubator is different .. I don't know if I should up the humidity these last few days so they don't lose any more weight? And also I'm scared if I do that they'll drown.. it's very humid in my house the humidity inside my house is usually about 55 so I'm sure that was affecting my 360s.I think that's why I had to keep the humidity so low inside the incubator. And I don't know if with the brinsea 56 incubator of it's keeping the outside humidity of the room out more than my 360 did? So My worry is that if I up the humidity that I might drown my chicks. I've never weighed them before so I don't know if my other chicks that I've hatched also lost that much weight or not. But I do know that normally about half of the chicks die in the egg and when I open them up they're very sticky and they have tons of moisture left inside with me keeping the humidity at 40.And then the ones that do hatch I've been having to assist a lot of them. I've talked to a few friends and two other states that are also having the same problems with their shipped eggs. They're having to assist as well. So does anybody think I need to up the humidity or just keep it at what I'm doing? I'm sorry I know that was a lot but I was trying to explain the situation
 

Rooster G

Songster
Apr 29, 2018
306
234
128
Do you trust your measuring device? Is it the same one for both incubators? Many people run their incubators close to 55 percent For the first 18 days.
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
Sep 29, 2014
6,914
18,678
871
New Zealand
Shipped eggs can be difficult to hatch and that has nothing to do with your incubation technique. I've found they'll often die very early, or right at the end before lockdown. Silkies have the added issue of overly large skull vaults which can prevent the chick from getting into the correct position to hatch, and it can also prevent them turning in the egg to unzip. Make sure you calibrate your thermometer too because the temperature being off can cause chicks to die when they are fully formed but haven't internally pipped yet. You also have no control over the health of the breeders flock, or how well they are being fed, so there are many factors that can cause late deaths that you can't control.

If your eggs have lost the percentages you say then I would lock them down at this stage of incubation or at least increase the humidity to 50%.

It can be very humid indoors where I am (like 80%) but with my incubator, unless I add a small container of water, the humidity goes too low. I keep my humidity around 30%.

Chicks can't actually drown. Before they internally pip they haven't started proper respiration, but are still relying on the vascular system to provide oxygen. When they do internally pip they are relying on the fact that the air cell is large enough to sustain them until they can externally pip. If it hasn't grown large enough they will suffocate.
 

Brandysgirls

Chirping
May 15, 2020
56
70
63
Shipped eggs can be difficult to hatch and that has nothing to do with your incubation technique. I've found they'll often die very early, or right at the end before lockdown. Silkies have the added issue of overly large skull vaults which can prevent the chick from getting into the correct position to hatch, and it can also prevent them turning in the egg to unzip. Make sure you calibrate your thermometer too because the temperature being off can cause chicks to die when they are fully formed but haven't internally pipped yet. You also have no control over the health of the breeders flock, or how well they are being fed, so there are many factors that can cause late deaths that you can't control.

If your eggs have lost the percentages you say then I would lock them down at this stage of incubation or at least increase the humidity to 50%.

It can be very humid indoors where I am (like 80%) but with my incubator, unless I add a small container of water, the humidity goes too low. I keep my humidity around 30%.

Chicks can't actually drown. Before they internally pip they haven't started proper respiration, but are still relying on the vascular system to provide oxygen. When they do internally pip they are relying on the fact that the air cell is large enough to sustain them until they can externally pip. If it hasn't grown large enough they will suffocate.
So you don't think that they can drown when they pip and there is entirely too much moisture on top of them?I understand where you're coming from and everything else I totally agree with but I don't agree with that and that's just because I've had chicks to pip the air sail and then die and when I open them up there is so much sticky gooey moisture over the top of their nostrils and their mouth and just all inside of the egg. Why do you think they can't drown in the fluid that's inside the egg after they pip? I'm always up for suggestions so I'm trying to figure this one out lol!!! And my house is about like yours it's so very humid so I incubated them without water and the humidity ran at about 30 to 35... I did add water just a tiny bit every few days and I do trust the way you device because I made absolutely sure that I weighed them on grams this time because the last time that I weighed them they were gaining weight not these eggs but the batch before so I didn't weigh them on the same thing both times apparently so I made absolutely sure that I did this time !!!and I do have calibrated thermometers to make sure that my temperature is correct. They're on day 18 but I went ahead and put them in lockdown and a few days ago I upped the humidity to 45 to 50 to try to give them or keep them from losing anymore moisture... I don't have any internal pips just yet... And right now I have the humidity on 65 so I'm really hoping they're going to be okay. It's so so scary hatching chicks I love it more than anything but it is so scary because I just don't know if I did the right thing.
 

Brandysgirls

Chirping
May 15, 2020
56
70
63
Do you trust your measuring device? Is it the same one for both incubators? Many people run their incubators close to 55 percent For the first 18 days.
I do trust my measuring device.. I calibrated it with boiling water and ice water to be sure that it was correct!!! I cannot incubate anywhere near 55 at all I can't get above 40 without having sticky chicks that can't turn in the egg I wish I could incubate normally but I can't not where I live and not in my house anyways ugh they're going on today 19 today so hopefully tomorrow I'll get some pips and we'll see 🙏
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
Sep 26, 2015
2,027
2,447
357
Portland OR
I do trust my measuring device.. I calibrated it with boiling water and ice water to be sure that it was correct!!! I cannot incubate anywhere near 55 at all I can't get above 40 without having sticky chicks that can't turn in the egg I wish I could incubate normally but I can't not where I live and not in my house anyways ugh they're going on today 19 today so hopefully tomorrow I'll get some pips and we'll see 🙏
Hopefully some of your silkie hens will help out and go broody for you. That doesn't eliminate the issues with shipped eggs, but most hens do a much better job than an incubator- is there any reason you're not keeping some of the hatched chicks for breeding stock and using their eggs?
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
Sep 29, 2014
6,914
18,678
871
New Zealand
So you don't think that they can drown when they pip and there is entirely too much moisture on top of them?I understand where you're coming from and everything else I totally agree with but I don't agree with that and that's just because I've had chicks to pip the air sail and then die and when I open them up there is so much sticky gooey moisture over the top of their nostrils and their mouth and just all inside of the egg. Why do you think they can't drown in the fluid that's inside the egg after they pip? I'm always up for suggestions so I'm trying to figure this one out lol!!! And my house is about like yours it's so very humid so I incubated them without water and the humidity ran at about 30 to 35... I did add water just a tiny bit every few days and I do trust the way you device because I made absolutely sure that I weighed them on grams this time because the last time that I weighed them they were gaining weight not these eggs but the batch before so I didn't weigh them on the same thing both times apparently so I made absolutely sure that I did this time !!!and I do have calibrated thermometers to make sure that my temperature is correct. They're on day 18 but I went ahead and put them in lockdown and a few days ago I upped the humidity to 45 to 50 to try to give them or keep them from losing anymore moisture... I don't have any internal pips just yet... And right now I have the humidity on 65 so I'm really hoping they're going to be okay. It's so so scary hatching chicks I love it more than anything but it is so scary because I just don't know if I did the right thing.
I haven't experienced that before and I've incubated quail at 75% humidity for the entire duration of incubation (I kept adding eggs so ended up in permanent lockdown with eggs hatching all the time:oops:). It was more humid outside the incubator than in it at the time and they were my own eggs so I assume the eggs were set up for those conditions.

What temperature are you incubating at? I'd be inclined to set it a little higher if that is happening because that will help the egg to lose more moisture. My incubator is forced air but I set it to 100-101 as that's what's worked well for me. The chicken eggs I've incubated recently have only just lost the minimum amount of weight during incubation and that was with my humidity at 27-30%. I don't think they would have lost enough if my temperature had been set to 99.5. One factor I've read is that when the humidity is low it doesn't conduct heat as well as when it is set at a higher level.

I also found this passage that explains more:
Air relative humidity (RH) also influences evaporative
egg heat loss, and consequently, embryonic or fetal
temperature (Decuypere et al., 2002; Molenaar et
al., 2010). As the amount of energy required to
evaporate water is 2.26kJ, eggs lose 2.26kJ energy as
heat per gram of evaporated water. Thus, the lower
is the relative humidity inside the setter room, the
greater is the loss of water by the egg and, therefore,
its heat loss. This indicates that eggs incubated at
low or high RH conditions may require different
incubation temperatures to maintain the same
embryo temperature (van der Pol et al., 2013), as both
incubation relative humidity and temperature affect
water vapor diffusion through the eggshell.


How are you positioning your eggs for hatch? If laying flat you should have the low dip of the air cell facing up as that is where they will pip and that should keep any residual moisture away from the chick. You could try hatching them upright as that will also allow excess moisture to drain away from the chicks head. If you are incubating the eggs upright they need to be turned to at least a 45 degree angle back and forth.

Cutchin H.R. et al (2009) showed that an angle of turning of 15° (relative to the vertical) leads to embryonic mortality in the second part of incubation 10 times greater than when eggs are turned at an angle of 45°. In the same study, it was also found that the incidence of embryos showing excess residual albumen at 18 days of incubation, increased to nearly 20 times. Both hatch and intermediate embryonic mortality was observed when eggs were turned at an angle of 30°.

Do you turn your eggs right from the beginning of incubation? A lot of people leave shipped eggs a few days to settle and start turning after 3-5 days. I turn mine right from the start whatever their air cells are like because I've learned it is essential for the development of the extra embryonic membranes. This article explains it very well and stresses the importance of egg turning right from the start:
https://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/the-biology-behind-egg-turning

In my last batch one egg had a rolling air cell but I still set it on its side like all the rest and turned it the same as them. It settled in the fat end but was always particularly large and uneven looking, so I didn't get my hopes up on that one. They were blue green eggs so after a certain point I couldn't see into most of them to candle, and this was one of those eggs. But it hatched out just fine.

Incubation really is an art that varies so widely between each persons individual setting/micro-climate. Once you figure out what works for you in your incubator in your environment, it will get much easier.
 

dougieee

Songster
May 7, 2019
150
496
111
England, Midlands
How many eggs did you set in the Brinsea?
I only ask because its took me three years and ten hatches to really understand how my cosmo evo 72 works.
Because its such a large incubator if i set between a dozen and twenty then i struggle stabilising both humidity and temp BUT if i set 40 plus then filling two wells with water gets me a stable 38% humidity that stays completely constant, temp is also constant with hardly any fluctuations, if the incy is empty then i also struggle to raise the humidity to anywhere near 60% even with all eight wells full of water, the added bonus is when its full its spikes nicely when they start hatching.
Basically my incy holds 72 and likes to be full, it hates it being empty because of all the extra space.
My best hatches are when ive set 50 plus eggs.
 

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