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Failed twice.... guidance please.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Lovesdisney, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Lovesdisney

    Lovesdisney Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a pair of silkies my kids show for 4H. They are our only birds remotely show quality. I have been told I should hatch a few of their eggs and see if we get a couple more we can show next year. My daughter was also given a black cochin hen and my son a Black Cochin Fizzle roo... which I would like to hatch a few... just to have a few fuzzy fellows....

    To start we took 6 silkie eggs and put them under my friends broody hen. She threw 3 of them out, we checked nothing developed, the other 3 never hatched. We then took 8 (I think) eggs and gave them to another friend with a very expensive incubator.... (holds 1000 eggs, etc) and since he hatches a ton of eggs we hoped for better luck. Nada... none hatched. So I am not sure if my roo is shooting blanks or if we have done something wrong. I would like recommendations for some kinda small reasonably priced incubator (I am obviously not going to mass hatch anything) and direction as to what to read to try and "get it right" assuming my roo is successful....

    I am feeling frustrated and my kids are heart broken. I would appreciate any insight.

    Thanks!
     
  2. 53convert

    53convert Out Of The Brooder

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    That dont mean nothin.....just keep trying......nothing ventured nothing gained ehhh.
     
  3. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    It has not been a good hatching summer. I think it's just too hot. Most of my hen hatches have been dismal failures. The few eggs I caught after pipping almost instantly shrink wrapped. Every chick that has lived I have helped out of the shell. It's too dang hot.

    My bator hatches have been better, but not 100%. I'm wondering if the heat is affecting the eggs from the get go. The shipped eggs I have hatched did less than 50%. With one set a bunch of the eggs started and then had blood rings. The one who sent them to me wondered if they had started developing in the box and then quit in the transition into the air conditioned house during the 24 hour resting period. It was an interesting premise.

    I had another local hatcher tell me that her grandmother insisted that you wouldn't get good hatches if there had been a lot of storms. She said she has found that to be true. We couldn't come up with a good reason, except maybe that the air pressure fluctuating would be bad for the hatch. Again, who knows?

    Silkies are notoriously hard to hatch. For some reason, they just seem to be more fragile than other breeds. Check the fertility of your silkie eggs (look for the bullseye). If the roo and hen are too fluffy, sometimes he can't get the job done. If I'm not showing them I take a pair of scissors and trim everybody up back there to help matters. I also trim up around their faces when I'm not planning on showing them. It seems to help the boy notice the girls and he becomes a lot more amorous.

    On the eggs you put under the hen, did anything develop? I always put the unhatched eggs in a tightly sealed ziplock and gently crack them open to see what went wrong. It's very educational. Make sure you put them in a ziplok though. Should one every explode you will never forget it. [​IMG]

    I also do small hatches. I have a Genesis Hovabator 1588 and I have loved it. Today is the first day it has been off since March. I've had it now for two years and it is going strong. The one problem I had was with the power cord, but when I called the manufacturer, they put one in the mail to me that day for free. Their customer service was awesome and the incubator quality is great. I don't use the turner in mine (mainly because I'm too cheap to buy it). The most I have tried in it is 2 dozen eggs. Usually I am running about a dozen at a time. It works great. The price hovers somewhere around $150. You can get other styrofoam incubators for a lot less than that. There is a Hovabator 1602 and the Little Giant series both for around $50. I started with the 1602 and kept having temperature fluctuations that killed everything off. Wish I had just gotten the 1588 from the start. It would have saved me money and heartache in the long run.

    Frustration is just a part of hatching. It does make you nuts when hatch after hatch fail. Just keep slogging on though. Eventually you will find what works best in your area.
     
  4. SierraView

    SierraView Chillin' With My Peeps

    Crack open some eggs over a weeks time and check the percent that are fertile. A white spot on the yolk is infertile, a white spot with a white ring around it like a bullseye is fertile. There are pics of fertile and infertile on this forum someplace if you do a search. Once you know for sure you have fertile eggs then trouble shoot the incubation.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Some thick feathered chickens, like Silkies, sometimes need a vent trimming to help fertility. As Jenjeran said, check some to see if they are fertile. If they are not fertile, try clipping the feathers around the vent area for both the male and female to help him hit the target.

    This thread has pictures of what to look for to see if they are fertile.

    Fertile Egg Photos
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=16008&p=6

    Also, did you open the unhatched eggs to see if they had started to develop or at what stage they failed?
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  6. Lovesdisney

    Lovesdisney Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central Kentucky
    Ill be checking eggs in the frying pan tomorrow morning....
     
  7. SierraView

    SierraView Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]
     
  8. okiedrifter

    okiedrifter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:dont let the kids know what your doing....I have one daughter who is 27 now and she still wont eat fresh eggs she call them aborted chicks and calls me a meanie for not putting them in the bator...
     
  9. ChristineR

    ChristineR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That is a great idea. I wanted to look at my duck's eggs that never hatched, but there was no way I was willing to crack them open.
     
  10. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    I cannot stress enough the need for the sealed bag. I used to just open them until I got a 'sploder. Ugg. That smell will burn the hair right on out of your nose and you cannot get the stench out of your hair. Double ugg.

    Seeing what happened is pretty educational though. It's sad to see little dead or partially formed chicks, but it helps improve your later odds.
     

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