First time incubating


In the Brooder
Jul 9, 2021
This is my first time every incubating hens and a lot of my eggs have stopped developing,
Today is day 23, I think the temperature my incubator is showing me is wrong, I set it to 37.7 degrees but I think that it was actually much lower and so my chicks have taken longer to develop
One chick has pipped but the membrane was very sticky and dry so I took the egg out of the incubator to moisten the membrane with my finger
I added more lukewarm water to raise the humidity
I’m so anxious and scared I’m doing everything wrong
I removed bits of the shell and left the membrane for her to break but she’s not making a lot of progress?? She’s also not
Making any noise either but I can see her breathing. I’m worried she is stuck to the membrane


Jul 7, 2021
How long has she been pipped for? I had one who had pipped and was breathing but not chirping. I made the call at about 26 hours to help and he is 4 days old now. Hopefully out of the woods. Good luck!


In the Brooder
Jul 9, 2021
Thanks guys for the replies but I’m afraid she passed.

She was breathing very shallow and her membrane was beginning to go a very dark tan so I de used to help at around 6am this morning, I noticed that she pipped at around 9pm last night but she seemed abnormally weak and very tired that I decided to keep a close eye on her the whole night! To say I am exhausted and drained is to say the least!
But this morning I broke off more of the shell going around and i noted she was very dry too, there was not a lot of bleeding so I kept going, her breathing kept getting more shallow

I gently encourage her to turn or move with a little push on her beak, she started to push herself out but then stopped, I think from exhaustion but she hatched out at some point (egg still attached)

I noticed something very strange, her wings were noticeably smaller than any chick I’ve seen ( I have some experience with broody hens) her belly was swollen as if filled with air? Like an air bubble?
Her yolk was fully absorbed though. This was the same with her neck, there was like an air bubble sort of?? It was very weird, I’m not sure if that’s normal. Her eyes were also forced shut which makes me wonder if the chick was premature? As my temperature was lower than the incubator had shown. Could this by any chance be due to inbred? I got the eggs from a breeder nearby, He seemed pretty decent but when I asked if he changes the roosters, he was a quick to change the topic, I don’t know much about inbreeding in poultry so it was just a small suspicion

I’m sure the temperature was the definitely the main reason i had such a bad hatch rate, I started off with 16 eggs and I’m left
3 at the moment, the eggs that were bad were mainly quitters anyway

The chick that died this morning was a light Sussex by the way

But thanks for the replies, really appreciate it :)


9 Years
Aug 6, 2013
Las Vegas, NV
Next time try 30% till lockdown then bump it up to 70%. There needs to be a certain percentage of the of moisture loss when chicks are developing inside the egg or they just can't get out. The air cell shrinks so when the chick pushes through the membrane there isn't alot of air to breath or they drown inside the egg. Chicks I find with too much humidity grow too big and can't position to pip the shell. Also take into account your ambient humidity when making calculations on your incubator humidity.

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