Failure to Hatch - what happened?


POOF Goes the Pooka
12 Years
Nov 27, 2009
Wilmington, NC
My Serama hen presented me with a total of 7 eggs, laid 2 days apart. I put them into the incubator on the day they were laid (I have a staggered hatch going on with some Cochin eggs anyway, so the timing hardly mattered). Eggs 1 - 4 pipped on their respective day 19's, though they didn't actually hatch until day 20. Two of them pipped at the small end of the egg, and I helped them out of the shell (I don't know if they might have made it out on their own, I just didn't want to risk losing my first-ever Serama babies!) All 4 are doing great. Egg #5 didn't pip on schedule, though I saw it move when I candled it. Since the 'bator was running a little cool, I thought perhaps the egg might be developing a bit slower. When egg #6 pipped on its day 19, I checked egg #5 (day 21) by cracking it open on the large end in the air cell. The chick was still alive, though it was backward in the egg and had grown to the point that it was tightly wedged in the shell. The membranes bled slightly when I touched them, so I wrapped it up in a moist paper towel and left it alone. When I checked it a few hours later, the chick had died.

I know how some people feel about opening the 'bator when the hatch is in progress, but the other chicks have not been shrink-wrapped. I don't know why I have had so many chicks coming out of the wrong end of the egg, but most of them have at least managed to pip the egg on time. Does anybody have any ideas as to what may have gone wrong with this chick?
Maybe it was just to weak to make it out, maybe the humidaty was wrong.
I would of helped the chicks also
, good job with all the other chicks
Hatching eggs is not an exact science. Its nice if you can get 100% hatch, but its certainly not unusual not to. Its just the nature of.....nature. Dont worry about the ones that didnt hatch, concentrate on the ones that did.
I set 23 RIR eggs. yesterday they started to hatch. This morning my humidity dropped to 58. I immediatly started to up the humidity. I noticed 2 had pipped actually had holes in them. So after awhile of no advancement, we took one out and very carefully cracked some of the shell away. The poor thing was shrink wrapped. So we moistened the membrane and slowly started to remove it. It went well chick is ok. 2nd chick started to bleed. I was sure she wasnt going to make it but now she is running around in the incubator like nothing ever happened. I still have 4 more in there that hasnt done anything yet. So we will see what happens. so far out of 23 I have 19 fuzzy butts.
Thanks, all for the encouragement! Egg #6 pipped at the wrong end of the egg (I'm beginning to see a trend here) so it got an "assist" on day 20. It's doing fine, I think it's the cutest one yet! Yesterday was day 19 for the remaining Serama egg, and day 20 for 6 Bantam Cochin eggs (most of the Cochin eggs have been doing day 20 hatches). Nada. This morning, 3 of the Cochin eggs were pipped. This afternoon, a fourth Cochin egg had pipped, and the final Serama egg (at the wrong end, so what else is new?!) Figuring I had nothing really to lose, I pulled the final two Cochin eggs and opened them at the air cell. Fully developed, one shrinkwrapped, one not, both dead. Oh, well, it happens.

I am wondering if the backwards chicks might be related to shrink wrapping. I can see that a loss of fluid in the egg earlier in the development process might result in the chick getting stuck ''wrong way to" even before lockdown. Without an aircell to break into, these guys are pretty lucky to be alive! They have to go straight to breathing the outside air, no internal pipping, I reckon they are also lucky not to bleed all over the place when they do pip. If fluid loss is the problem, there's not a lot I can do about it - My home made 'bator is too small for a turner, so I have to turn by hand. I've had some good hatches, and some really dismal hatches out of that styrofoam cooler with a 15-watt bulb. This has actually been one of the better ones. Even without the eggs that are in there cheeping now, I have 10 new Cochin babies and 5 Seramas - what am I going to do with them all?!!

Sheila, 19 out of 23 is terrific! Good for you!
Hi could some one tell me what you mean by shrink wrapped. I had 16 eggs in my incubator 7 were still liquid and the rest failed to hatch it seemed like they were around a copke of days to hatch time. One of the chicks had pipped out but after one and a alf days stopped so i decided to help it but aftercremoving the shell and putting it back in the nator t died instantly. I had maintained a steady temp of 37 throughout and then on day 19 raised the the humidity. My last atch went well i got 11 out of 19 but i was really dissapointed with this cant understand what went wrong i did everything the same as last. In the last jatch i helped 3 pipped chcks that were the wrong end and they are fine. Any ideas!!!:(

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