First time setting pheasants, trouble hatching?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by rdnckangel55, May 15, 2011.

  1. rdnckangel55

    rdnckangel55 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2011
    SarasotA Florida
    Hello! I was wondering if anyone could help me out. I've got 12 pheasant eggs that were 24 days yesterday. I've had it set at 99.5 and 55% humidity. I had one chick hatch roughly 20 hours ago and so far no pips besides! Any ideas what's going on?
     
  2. Kermit's shadow

    Kermit's shadow Out Of The Brooder

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    May 7, 2011
    How did you measure RH?
    Are the others fertile and did they develop correctly? (Did you candle them?)
    The RH seems a little high - I would normally use 45-50% (measured using a wet-bulb). They also hatch far better at that RH.
    If ever in doubt, use weight-loss as a gauge for RH control (obviously only possible if starting from day one). Buy a good quality scale - J-Scale are good, and weigh a few eggs before setting, write the weight on the egg and monitor the weight. If you buy a scale that reads to 0.01g, you can easily get RH right by weighing after 4-5 days. Aim for 12-16% loss between setting and pip - I find 13% about right.

    Small numbers of eggs, or batches with suspected poor fertility/viability can all be weighed to ensure that you get some viable eggs weighed.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  3. rdnckangel55

    rdnckangel55 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2011
    SarasotA Florida
    Ok thanks so much! I candled at 7 days and all appeared well, I also had the humidity about 50-51 until yesterday. Is it normal for them to hatch so far apart? I read on a thread that you can water test the eggs but I don't want to move them yet!
     
  4. Kermit's shadow

    Kermit's shadow Out Of The Brooder

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    May 7, 2011
    How did you measure RH?

    Eggs are far more robust than you would think - once you've hatched 1000's (or perhaps 100's), you'll realise [​IMG]
    Eggs will take all manner of "abuse" and be none the worse for it - if it wasn't so, no bird would exist, eggs must be able to take periods of cooling, even cold, and suchlike, it is a question of scale though.

    Moving the eggs should be no problem at all - carefully lower into water at around 99F and watch for twitching. You could also try candling them again - the embryos could just as easily have died after 7 days. After this time, hatching is very unlikely (presumably they have still not pipped?) - a good hatch would all be out in less than 12 hours, a draggy hatch might last somewhat over 24 hours - first to last. I have had a hatch of quite large batches happen in less than an hour (but that is unusual indeed).
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  5. rdnckangel55

    rdnckangel55 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2011
    SarasotA Florida
    I have an electronic thermometer that also measures humidity, I've used it to hatch chickens and it seems accurate. I will water test them and see what happens! Thanks for all your help I will try again! I just hope my one lonely ringneck lives!
     
  6. Kermit's shadow

    Kermit's shadow Out Of The Brooder

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    May 7, 2011
    Absolute faith in electronic wizardry is common, and occasionally misplaced....... But if chickens have hatched OK (90+% of fertiles, unless they are from a rare and inbred breed), it ought to be not so far out.

    The plus of having only one pheasant is that you'll have no problems with picking (cannibalism)......... perhaps a rather small consolation. They are easy enough to rear, no more difficult than chickens when on their own.

    If you are going to have another try with pheasants, you ought to open the duds to try to see what might have been the problem, so you can avoid it next time. If you float them, try to gauge how high they float - too high or too low would suggest RH problems, although dead embryos loose water faster than live ones, so would have the same effect as low RH.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  7. rdnckangel55

    rdnckangel55 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2011
    SarasotA Florida
    Yeah I believe I will use something else next time! I water tested and they all floated with maybe 30% out but it was the large end not the side that was out of the water. And I did crack one open to find an almost ready to hatch chick, already dead but maybe 1 day or less away from hatching! So now I don't know what to do, I don't know why they would die after in lockdown? Oh well trial and error
     
  8. Kermit's shadow

    Kermit's shadow Out Of The Brooder

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    May 7, 2011
    The air cell (blunt) end will always float uppermost.
    Invest around $40 on a good scale?
    Good luck next time, but there is never any need to resort to trail and error.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2011

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