First time, not sure what went wrong

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lemonie12, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. lemonie12

    lemonie12 New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2016
    Any advice would be great...

    This is my first time incubating eggs. My first chick hatch exactly at 21 days!! But no others hatch, today is day 26. I have read that it is not uncommon for some to not hatch on day 26 given the temp, humidity or the age of the egg. This little fella is one of 16 eggs. I'm at a loss ... I didn't expect all the eggs to hatch my first round but it seems rather odd that only one did and 15 did not. We candled most of them half way through and saw dark spots or lines in most of them. (I figured I'd leave them all in to see what happens.) The temp has stayed consistent and the humidity is has also stayed in the recommended window. Im not sure why but I did find it weird that after my chick hatched the humidity was wanting to stay around 65-70%, instead of 60-65%. When it was higher I'd crack the incubator to pull it back down to around 60%.

    Any thoughts or suggestions??

    At this point I don't think the rest will hatch but I don't have the heart to toss them just yet :-(

    Should I try the warm water test? I haven't seen any signs of pipping.

    What did I do wrong?
     
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    What did you use for humidity the first 17 days?? The "recommended" humidity is often too high for most people's eggs and the chick drowns at hatch because the "recommended" humidity is too high and prevents the egg from loosing enough moisture. The "recommended" humidity in the incubator's manuals and many books don't take a lot of things into consideration that are variables in what your eggs and your enviroment need. If you ran above 45% and did not check your air cells for growth I would highly suspect drowning. You can read more here on the why's and how's of humidity. http://letsraisechickens.weebly.com...anuals-understanding-and-controlling-humidity If you are NOT in a high altitude I highly recommend a low humidity incubation and monitoring the air cells to find what humidity works for you. Mine is 30% the first 17 days on standard sized eggs, (higher on the small silkie eggs). For hatch I use 70-75% because I am hands on. When you do eggtospsies, if you do them, look for excess fluid in the egg, very wet chicks and large (possibly malpositioned) chicks. These all point to high humidity.

    Once a chick hatches the humidity goes up because the moisture on the chick adds humidity to the bator. This is perfectly natural. Mine often shoots up to 85%+ becuase I hatch at a higher humidity. As long as there is no condensation in the bator, I don't worry.

    A hatcher day 21 signifies your temps were good, and with that being the case, (unless that egg was sitting in a warm spot and the rest of the bator was cooler) I would not expect the other's to hatch more than 24 hours after first hatch. Especially if there is no movement or internal pips.

    I myself am not a fan of the water candle/float test. It's virtually useless in my opinion. The egg has to float AND wiggle independantly to be certain of life. (Usually that movement can be detected through candling or holding it, in my experience.) Any other outcome holds no certainty of life and death. Any egg with a decent air cell will float and a sinker can still be alive.

    And [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  3. lemonie12

    lemonie12 New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2016
    Thanks so much for your thoughts!!

    I read on several different sites before I put the eggs in and they all said to keep the temp around 99.3-99.6 and the humidity between 50-65% and was noted that 60% is ideal, so that's where I've kept my bator at the whole process... I didn't know it's best to keep it lower at first.

    Do you add more eggs or just have one group in there the whole time? Unfortunately I only have two hens that are laying right now so I a couple smaller groups of eggs in there with different hatch dates... Is that a problem other than needing to adjust my humidity for them?

    Thanks for the link! I'll check it out [​IMG]
     
  4. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I am also a dry hatcher. I tried and tried at the recommended humidity settings and it didn't work for me either.

    Is your incubator still or forced air? If it has a fan, 99.5F is ideal. If it doesn't, 101-101.5F (measured at the top of the egg) is ideal.

    Staggered hatches don't work so well unless you have multiple incubators to move eggs around in. When they're all left together, eggs being locked down for hatching need higher humidity, while those eggs that were added later still need to loose moisture. Plus the incubator can get pretty yucky when you do have a decent hatch. Definitely better to set all your eggs at once if you don't have a separate hatcher. I usually collect for around a week (turning them 3 times a day while I'm holding them), but have pushed collection time to two weeks and still had a good hatch.

    Do some tweaking, try lower humidity next time. And always be sure to calibrate your thermometer(s) and hygrometer(s) before each hatch :)
     
  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I agree. I am totally not in favor of staggered hatch, there are many that do and have decent hatches, but you are putting the later eggs at a disadvantage to loose moisture when it comes time to up the humidity for the first. I would suggest at least getting a couple successful hatches under your sleeve before taking on staggered hatches.
     
  6. lemonie12

    lemonie12 New Egg

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    It's a still air, one of the cheap styrofoam ones. I'm working on getting the humidity down and temp bumped up a hair. I've cleared out all the eggs that didn't hatch and going to continue with the ones I have in there since they're already started. I candles them last night and all but one are growing inside!! [​IMG]

    I'd like to look into getting another or different incubator, my husband was looking at the self turning, have you either of you had experience with those? If so, would you recommend it?
     
  7. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Yep, you need to get your temp up to somewhere around 101F for a still air.

    I use one of those cheap styro bators myself, so I can't really recommend any. Brinseas are expensive, but they've got great reviews. Hovabators are another brand I hear good things about, and they're reasonably priced. Or, you could check out the DIY incubators and build one yourself, which is what I'm considering. Good luck!
     
  8. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I agree with Brinsea or Hovabator. The both have devoted customers. You can get/use an auto tuner in most of your styros as well as the plastics. I have an LG9200 that I have the turner for, but I don't use it anymore. I prefer to hand turn.
     
  9. rottlady

    rottlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    live at 1800 feet in New Hampshire
    I run a Hovabator still air

    I keep humidity at 40-55% for the first 18 days (1 moat filled) then bump up to 60-65% for the remainder (2 moats filled and both red plugs removed)

    I have hatched out 4 batches of eggs this spring.
    1 batch was hand carried from NY to NH and got really cold on the trip. out of 12 I had 2 hatch (but one died), 4 full term but dead

    Then I hatched out Delawares 15 eggs (shipped from NC to NH), 8 hatched live (on time), then the next day the incubator bottomed out at 98 for some reason for 6 hours 1 unzipped but died and 3 full term but did not hatch
    Incubated along with the delawares were 4 Legbar eggs (shipped from Wa state to NH). 2 hatched on time (along with the 8 dels) then the temp drop then 1 full term chick dead in shell

    Last was 6 Barnevelder eggs from a local person and all 6 hatched right on time
     
  10. Cedar and Stone

    Cedar and Stone Just Hatched

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    Have you found the liquid-in-gas thermometer that comes with the still air Hovabator to be accurate? I've got one thermometer that agrees with it, but two that read about 2 degrees lower. I haven't come up with a good way to find out who's right.

    Cedar
     

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