Fourth failed hatch...what to do? *Dry Incubation Progress*

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by E.M. Silkies, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. E.M. Silkies

    E.M. Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I have a hova bator still air incubator with the turner. I got it last December and tried two incubations back to back. Nothing hatched out of about 20 eggs between both settings. The third time I set well over a dozen and only 3 hatched. I was concerned about the first because they weren't shipped eggs. But I didnt stress too much because it was the first time. The second was shipped eggs so I wrote off as a failure with shipping. The third time I was concerned because they were all home grown eggs.

    Yesterday was my hatch date for my fourth setting and I've only had two hatched. I've had at least 3 others attempt but they appear to be dead now. I had about a dozen out of 30 eggs not develop. And I know they were fertile. Only two live hatchlings out of the remaining eggs so far. I'm a bit Frustrated and unhappy with my bator. Any advice?
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  2. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    did you ever open any of the unhatched eggs to see just where in the process they failed?.. if we had an idea of that we would have a better idea of what went wrong
     
  3. E.M. Silkies

    E.M. Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't opened any. I'm giving them a little longer in hopes that they pull through but I'll open a couple up and see what I can find. I'm not going to lie... It freaks me out a little to open em up. I'll take pics and Post them either today or tomorrow morning.
     
  4. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    good idea.. the more info we have the easier it will be to pinpoint the problem and hopefully make your future hatches a lot better!
     
  5. E.M. Silkies

    E.M. Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm definitely hoping for better hatches! I'm so irritated about it that I'm on the verge of giving up and buying a different type of incubator. I'd like to try and figure this out though instead of spending more money.
     
  6. farmerChef

    farmerChef Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    You could candle them with a good flashlight. Clear= infertile or early quitter, black/can't see anything= close to hatching or late quitter. You should see movement in the eggs.
    If alot of them are clear, they are most likely infertile. What breed are they? If they are silkie, (like in your picture) they might too fluffy to breed well. they might need a fluff trim. Show Quality Cochins, Bramhas, and Orpingtons commonly have to be trimmed too.
     
  7. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The Hovabator still air is a great little bator. I would guess something's going on with the egg fertility rate or genetics. To more accurately measure temperature in a still air, I make a "tester egg". I chip a hole in the pointy end of a store bought egg. The hole is just big enough to insert the little digital temperature sensor in there. Before placing the sensor, I use a bendy straw to blow out the contents of the egg. You just put one end of the straw in the hole as far as it will go, tilt the egg, and blow gently to expel the egg contents. Rinse the egg out and fill it with water. Insert the temperature sensor and seal with tape or candle wax or both. I place the egg in the turner rack with all the other eggs. This gives me the temperature reading inside each egg so I can eliminate worrying with all those temperature layers and gradients. You really should open the eggs that fail to hatch. You can learn a lot about what's going wrong.
     
  8. E.M. Silkies

    E.M. Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I set a variety. I had wyandottes, orpingtons, and silkies. The silkies, I know a couple weren't fertile but the rest should be because I just had some hatch from the same hen and roo when she went broody. Im pretty sure the wyandottes are having fertility issues but that's only because I haven't seen the roo ge the job done. The orpingtons appear to be the only things hatching. I candled right before lockdown and the few that were clear were from a different silkie pairing that I believe needs the fluff trimmed. The rest of the silkie eggs had blood rings. All the other eggs went into lockdown because they were completely dark. I'm miffed as to why no more have hatched.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  9. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thoughts that come to mind:

    1) Double check your temps and humidity. Try a few different thermometers and hydrometers to see what your numbers actually are. It's amazing how off these instruments can be. What are your temps? What is your humidity during incubation and lockdown?

    2) Cleanliness. What do you use to clean your 'bator?

    3) Maybe what you're using to clean the incubator is leaving residue/fumes in the heat.

    4) Location of the bator. Are the holes on the bottom clear of obstruction? Is the area very drafty/shakey/where the bator can be bumped.

    5) Anyone in the home who might be opening it (like a child) when it should be left alone?

    6) Health of the breeder birds and their nutrition.

    7) Handling of the eggs. Best not to touch them with your bare hands as oils can clog the holes.

    8) Eggs placed LARGE SIDE UP. (Sorry for asking but you just never know. Like in a help desk situation, "Is the computer plugged in?")


    If fertility in the egg is confirmed, it could be any of these factors or others not even mentioned/considered here.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  10. E.M. Silkies

    E.M. Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:1) My temps have been the best this last setting. Staying at 101 and humidity stayed between 50-60 the whole time. At lock down it's been just under 70.
    2) I usually use an all purpose cleaner. Something with bleach. I take it outside scrub it, rinse it with the hose and let it air dry.
    3) Would the bleach be doing that? Someone on here told me once that bleach was ok, because I was asking if the fumes would mess things up.
    4)It is in a room with the door closed at all times. The only person who touches the bator is me when I'm checking temp and humidity. I have it sitting on a trunk so it's not shaky.
    5)Again, I'm the only one who opens it. And that's as infrequently as possible.
    6) All very healthy, I and my neighbor raise the birds so I know they are in good shape. I can't really speak for the eggs I had shipped.
    7) They aren't handled often at all. I collect them and put them in the bator with bare hands. I usually candle a few throughout incubation and then candle right before lockdown.
    8) Haha, yes, large side up! You're right ya never know!
     

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