Eggs several days late

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Sylavela, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. Sylavela

    Sylavela New Egg

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    Jun 4, 2016
    Hi guys,

    I've incubated 4 eggs and all were fertile and developing as seen from candling, and one chick hatched on time and we took him out after 24 hours, and float tested the other three and they were all kicking so we sprayed some water in the incubator and left them and there is a small crack in one of them and now they are 3 days late (Day 24) and I'm really worried because one has been cracked for over 48 hours and I think the temperature is about 1 degree too low (36.5 degrees) Will they be ok? Should I do anything?
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Take out the one that pipped (cracked), hold it against your ear and tap it with your fingernail. If the chick is still o.k. in there, it will respond. If it does, check this article on how to assist, if you choose to:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/step-by-step-guide-to-assisted-hatching

    The other two, candle and tap them as well, check for signs of life. 1*C under the ideal incubation temperature can delay a hatch by quite a bit, but day 24 is pushing it a little.

    Fingers crossed!
     
  3. Sylavela

    Sylavela New Egg

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    I just don't understand what we did wrong. Surely float testing and opening the incubator to spray some warm water in there wouldn't have killed them would it? They were all kicking strongly in the water and now nothing :(
     
  4. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    If I open my incubator where I live My hatch rate drops a lot, I have had as low as 2 chicks out of 40 eggs hatch, except for one time I had Zero. I can not say that float testing them or opening your incubator caused them to die like mine did---All I can say is what happened for me----Once I stopped Opening(for anything) the last 3 to 4 days I do have many 100% hatch rates, down to around 95% on some. And just for a Idea on my hatches----I have hatched over 5700 eggs in a little over a year.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I agree with Sumi. Opening the incubator shouldn't have effected them, especially with no pips at the time. I'm not a fan of the float test. Did you candle the eggs before you floated them? What was your humidity during the first 17 days??
     
  6. Sylavela

    Sylavela New Egg

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    They're all gone guys :( I don't understand why it did but lesson learnt- Never open the incubator during the hatching period. What a harsh way to learn said lesson. Those were the last of my chickens eggs I don't know what I'm going to do now.
     
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  7. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Chances that you caused anything bad to happen from opening the incubator is so slim, especially with unpipped eggs. I am constantly opening my bator during hatch-actual hatch and have no ill effects from it. (I'm not saying it never happens-with pippers, but it's not as common as you'd think, and not with unpipped eggs.) Before chalking it all up to that, I would look at your humidity and did you do eggtopsies to troubleshoot other possibilities?
     
  8. Sylavela

    Sylavela New Egg

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    They were alive and kicking the day we opened it so I don't understand how it could have been anything else :(
     
  9. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Well, for one thing high humidity for the first 17 days. When you opened it, they hadn't pipped, or you wouldn't have done a float test. IF the egg had not lost enough moisture prior to pipping they would have still been alive when you took the first chick out, but when they attempted to pip, they could have drowned on the excess fluid. Did you check your air cells at all through the hatch to measure the moisture loss of the egg? I'm not saying there is no way, (though I have to admit I highly doubt it) that it had anything to do with opening the bator. I think that too many people use that as a reason because they can't figure out anything else, and so the next hatcher automatically assumes that must be it. There are many hands off hatchers that have eggs make it to lockdown and further and not hatch, it's obviously not opening the bator that causes their demise. If they were all pipped and didn't hatch after opening the bator, I'd say, there was a greater chance that it had an affect, but not with unpipped eggs. My first hatch I was strictly hands off. I had 17 go into lockdown and had one survive. All of them were alive at day 18. It was temps and humidity that killed them. That is why I asked what your humidity was the first 17 days and if you did the eggtopsies. (Eggtopsies can point to problems such as humidity and temps.) Many of us are hands on hatchers that open our bators, not everyone is hands off. I certainly wouldn't suggest to someone that was having eggs pipping and opening the bator and having them die after to continue being "hands on", but I think it is important to look at other things and trouble shoot and mark them off the list before accepting that it is "opening the bator". You could do the same exact thing on another hatch and keep the bator closed and have the same thing happen if you didn't troubleshoot for other things as well.

    The chick that hatched could have been from an egg with a more porous/thinner shell and lost enough moisture to hatch successfully, where the others may not have. I just think it wouuld be better to rule out other possibilities.

    What kind of chickens were they? There are two breeds that carry a lethal gene and have an expected 25% DIS rate. I'm just saying there are other possibilities.
     
  10. Birdinhand

    Birdinhand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry for your loss, it's happened to me and I know that unfun feeling. it's not all that unusual to have eggs grow out to maturity and not hatch if the humidity or temperature is off. If the eggs are shipped, people often say to be happy if 50% hatch, or even less. I would make double sure you had the humidity and temperature right. temperature can be a funny thing. I used 5 different thermometers and got 5 different temperature readings. temp varies also with placement in the incubator, especially if it's a still air incubator, so I swap the eggs around at least once a day. a couple of computer fans can do wonders to even out the temp. this years hatch I made a study of temperature and humidity and found a reliable thermometer and hydrometer and watched the temperature and humidity like a hawk. even with a thermostat, the temp is relative to humidity and I've seen big swings in humidity cause big changes in temp (dryer=hotter). I found the basic laminated paper backed thermometer sold by Hova Bator to be spot on, I think it's calibrated. the dinky plastic hydrometer sold at petco seemed pretty reliable for humidity. my first hatch last year since childhood resulted in "mushy chick" syndrome, with most eggs making it all the way to pipping only to drownd, due to too high a humidity in the first 18 days. this year I drastically curtailed the humidity in the beginning, I think it fluctuated between 30-50%, till the air sac was on track with the common charts out there, then upped it a little as needed, and then during "lock down" I raised the humidity to about 75% and resisted with all my might to not open the incubator to take out the chicks as they hatched. this was rather difficult since I had a 5 and 7 year old begging to either "help a chick hatch" or "hold the cute little fluff ball, please!". I kept a close eye on temp throughout, shooting for 99.5. if the temp goes over about 103 or thereabouts, it's curtains, if it stays low by a few degrees, you may still have a good hatch, but likely delayed. what I've come to understand is that if you take the time early on to get the humidity and temp dialed in, the chicks will not need any assistance come hatch time. expensive embryo's not withstanding, extraordinary measures should not be necessary. all that said, in the wild, survivability of hatchlings all the way to sexual maturity, of any bird, is remarkably low due to one type of threat or another, in other words, don't beat yourself up, jump back in and do your best to learn from your mistakes. the one antidote to failure is the triumph of hard earned success!
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016
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