Eggs keep dying before pipping~please help newbie!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by rescuechick29, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. rescuechick29

    rescuechick29 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 20, 2011
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    Hello everyone! I'm pretty new to chickens and am embarassed to admit that I am currently ATTEMPTING to hatch my 5th clutch of eggs (1 survivor to date) Here's my current stats:

    Using a Brinsea Octagon Eco 20, hand turning
    humidity at 40-50% with a recently calibrated Accurite hygro/therm
    temp steady at 99-100*
    set a dozen silkie eggs on 5-6 and weighed everyone that day

    So! After stalking this site for the last few months, but unable to post from my phone, I am now desperate (and able to post) to finally get things right. I (think I have) have learned from researching and doing sickening amounts of eggtopsies that no one has shrink wrapped as MOST never even internally pipped. EVERY egg was viable at lockdown, EVERY time. Admittedly, the first time (before this site:) I opened the bator after lockdown twice, only to add water but no one had pipped. Humidity was 50% for 18, then 60-70% after lockdown. I started doing some research and concluded that they drowned? To make a long story short, 2 pullets that I bought ended up being roo's and I couldnt help but try again. AND again. I've altered the humidity in 10% increments with each set and still had no luck. They are always alive and well at lockdown, and then nothing. I bought the kitchen scale hoping to monitor them more closely. We are at day 5 and many have lost a gram already so I closed the vent to just a crack....

    What the heck to I keep doing wrong??? Most of the chicks still had yolk sacs attached and my one survivor had to be helped and had splay leg. None of the last hatch even pipped internally but all were postitioned correctly and they didn't appear dry...both membranes looked fine but who knows, I don't have much to compare them to as I've never seen a 'normal' hatch. I never realized things could be this diificult and it is very disheartening. I live in the city so the roo's have to go but I'd love some babies to hold back from them. Please help....
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  2. phoenix912

    phoenix912 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try changing the name of your post to help chicks die with out pipping . You might get more responses.
     
  3. phoenix912

    phoenix912 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry no one has helped you. I don't know any thing about that incubator.
     
  4. teckkev

    teckkev Out Of The Brooder

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    Your Temp is fine. The humidity I use is 50-55 and the last 3 days I raise it to 65-70. I never done the manual egg turning, I always had egg turner. One thing to consider is your initial handling of the egg. Your skin with leave body oil on the egg that can fill the pores on the shell. I bought a box of hopsital gloves to handle the eggs.

    I'm a newb myself, but the above is standards that most use from my initial research. In the beginning, it is all about trial & error.

    Good Luck,
    Kevin
     
  5. psittacinekane

    psittacinekane Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2009
    After having the same dismal outcomes you are experiencing, with many disheartening eggtopsies, I decided to try the dry incubation process recently (just going with the ambient humidity in the room and then transferring the eggs to the hatcher on Day 18 where the humidity is a consistent 65%). I'm having much better luck than before. Give this a try; See if your results improve.
     
  6. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    I also go with a lower humidity. We are in Florida, so the ambient humidity in my incubators is around 48% all the time. I use an automatic turner, but have hand-turned sometimes, too. At lockdown, I insert a wet sponge, which doesn't really bring the humidity up much, only to about 52%, and usually have good hatch rates.

    Could your incubator be getting too cold at night? I have trouble in the winter maintaining temperatures in mine.
     
  7. rungirl

    rungirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it's a humidity issue also... too high during incubation. I have a Brinsea Octogon 20 Advanced with a turner and I get excellent hatch rates. Yours is basically the same machine. I do a dry hatch, which means that you don't worry about raising the humidity until lock down. The egg needs to lose water before hatch time, otherwise the chick may drown in the shell before it pips. That could be what's happening with your hatches since they are dying right before pipping. You only need to bump up the humidity before lockdown to prevent shrink wrap. Because if you think about it, the hen really doesn't raise the humidity of her eggs as much as a big plastic case does and she's allowing the eggs to get air as she warms them.

    Here's ChookChicks's post about incubation and she talks about it. https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/incubation-cheat-sheet She's talking about a homemade incubator, but there's good information on humidity on this post.

    Good luck.

    Lisa
     
  8. rescuechick29

    rescuechick29 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 20, 2011
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    Hi all! Thanks for the replies! The last hatch that I attempted I considered a 'dry incubation' as the humidity was around 40% for 18 then 60% after that. This time I have weighed them so as to even more closely monitor them. With humidity at 40% they have lost 1 gram in 5 days so I bumped it to slow them down bit.
    At this point I feel like I have tried every humidity level with terrible results. There's no way it could be the hen right?? She's a funny lookin lemon partridge sizzle and he's a cuckoo silkie. In other species I know of lethal gene combo's, that coyldnt be the case here? One wouldn't think that they would develop as far as they have, poor buggers.
    Not sure if me living a few blocks from Lake Michigan has any bearing humidity issues as much as these crazy hygrometers! I don't hold my breath on hatch days anymore....now its become eggtopsy day :/
     
  9. rescuechick29

    rescuechick29 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 20, 2011
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    After re reading the replies again, my last clutch was incubated at 40% but I allowed the bator to dry down to around 20% before adding more water, which ended up being every few days. I'm hoping that with my kitchen scale and some simple calculations that I will be able to pretty much ensure hatching this time. I would LOVE to hatch out some pure silkies to help the burn of being lied to about the roo's...they're going to have to go somewhere soon and I've had no interest so far.

    Oh, and my eggs haven't been washed (though they're clean) and I do wear gloves as I work at a shelter where's there's lots of buggies about! I don't think its a bacteria thing, its the humidity I'm betting.
     
  10. moetrout

    moetrout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It sounds like you handle your eggs a fair amount. Now keep in mind I have only hatched one clutch of eggs, but I got 14 out of 24, so some success. After reading your post though the first thing that struck me is that it sounds like you are opening up the bator to weight eggs and maybe you shouldn't. I did practically nothing the first 18 days. On day 18 I upped the humidity and didn't open it unless necessary. I don't know who it is that always says this but......walk away from the incubator!
     

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