Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by horsechick, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. horsechick

    horsechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2007
    Eaton, Ohio
    We have been hatching for a while.
    Seems like we never get a large percentage of hatch. For those that get 75 and above.....HOW on earth do you do that?! [​IMG]

    I need to get a water wiggler and try that route.
    Seems like some grow fine and then at the end they either never pip or pip and don't come out.
    We just had one silkie pip earlier today. small hole. Finally I got out to look and listen to see if I heard anything. Nothing, opened hole a little more and it was gone. Poor guy, if I had helped earlier it may have hurt it too.
    It gets sooo frustrating!
    Some will half hatch and then the membrane gets too sticky/dry for them.
    We use 1588's w/auto turners. I have also noticed when they are collected over several days I usually have a couple that may hatch while still in the turner turning.
    Any insights?

    Will a water wiggler help?
    Temps and humidity seem to be right.
    How do you put a thermometer into the water wiggler and be able to actually view the little numbers on the thermometer?
    Thanks in advance for any suggestions,
    Best wishes and joy,
  2. willowcol

    willowcol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2008
    Macclesfield NC
    Sorry to hear your hatch is going kinda like mine did. I am going to try a lower humidity day 1-18 on the eggs I put in on Thursday. I think mine are drowning after the pip. Out of 12 eggs 4 hatched, I helped the last one after 24 hours and no hatch. I also am starting to think the ones with big vaulted skulls have a problem pipping and zipping. Its like they can't get thier heads far enough out to do it right. I am also going to try for 75% humidity during hatch to try and stop the sticky chicks from happening. My little white chick I helped died today also so 3 out of 12 isn't great, but better then none. I am starting to think my great hatches during the summer was because the humidity is usually so high here anyway so really did not have to do anything. It is so dry in my house I had to add so much water to get the humidity up. Hope you get a better hatch next time. Don't give up, collect some more eggs and try again. The babies I got from your eggs are getting so big. I am so in love with the 1, I would love to have more like that one, lol.

    Edited to add the people who use the wigglers use the therm. that has the little prob. I think they are made to display the temp. indoors and out, so have 2 temps listed on the screen. They put the part that would go outside in the wiggler. I ended up taking mine out. It just gave me something else to worry about.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
  3. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

    Oct 16, 2008
    If they are hatching early it seems they were kept to warm before putting in incubator. You need to keep them at 50 to 55 degrees and then at room temp 24 hours before putting them in. I put mine in the basement as it stays cooler down there but not as cool as fridge.
    I have had some stick that I had to help and I think it's because it is soooo dry here in Montan that I need to have my hum a little higher . I have kept it at 30-40 and then 65 last 3 days. I will do it more like 40-50 and then 70 last 3 days to see it that helps.

    Don't open incubator after day 18 as you will lose to much Hum. and they will shrink wrap inside. I have some tubing from fish aquarium that I made a hole for in the side so I could add water with a syringe and not open bator. i put a sponge inside so when i push water in the tubing it will go into sponge. You could use a wash cloth a sock or whatever. I hope that will help mine.

    I got 7 from 11 last time and one died. IM also going to get a better thermometer and hygrometer. I was told the hygrometers you get at a cigar shop are more accurite.

    Good luck !!
  4. natalie1136

    natalie1136 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 5, 2009
    Dennison Illinois
    I got a thermometor/hygrometer at a cigar shop last week. It is digital. I compared it with several other ones and i does seem to be pretty accurate.
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Hatching early is a sure clue that the temps are too high and they are devloping too fast. Sticky means there isn't enough humidity but also indicates a higher temp as they lost moisture too quickly.

    You need a good thermometer and a hydrometer.

    Temps in a water wiggler should 99.5.

    Day 1 - 18 humidity at 40 - 45%. Day 19 - hatch - 65 - 70%.
  6. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    I've noticed a difference in hatch rates: how cool you keep your eggs before you hatch, I keep mine in a clost that says around 40 to 45 degrees, when i started using it i thought it would be to cool. but my hatch rates went up. 85%+ closer to 90% even for eggs that where on the older side. I once made the mistake of placeing my hatching eggs next to a chimmeny that was warm. Becouse I let my eggs sit 24 hours in room temp before I put them in the incubator, I had an early hatch, which i never had before. The hatch rate was way down also. I keep my temp between 99.5- 100.5 with a Spot Cheek incubator thermometer from Brinsea, Vary accurate.
  7. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    OK, I'm up to several dozen hatches and here are the things, in order,
    I find to affect hatch rates.

    First, let's define hatch rate. Unfertile eggs don't count. Some candle
    and some don't. I open all my unhatched eggs to see what happened.

    1-Source of eggs and how you get them. Shipped eggs usually have
    a lower hatch rate but I have had a few around 90%.

    2-Incubator conditions such as temp and humidity. This can only be
    accomplished with an accurate temp/hydrometer. Wigglers are
    critical, especially at first. You may find one bator having an air temp
    of 100 makes the eggs 98.8. A wiggler lets you get to know your bator.


    4-The turners seem to make a difference as well as using the egg carton

    Even with all this I'll have horrible hatches in my Brinsea and great hatches
    in my Little Giant. There are SO MANY VARIABLES!!!! We've had one 90%+
    hatch. The rest of my hatches run from 10% to 75%.
  8. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    Quote:Now that you mention it I've had better results with my own older eggs
    that were kept cool. Hmmmm. Good point.

    I agree about the Brinsea spot check too. It's a great thermo. Accurites
    are junk. I keep a medical oral thermo in my wiggler.
  9. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Would you guys suggest doing a "practice run" (no hatching eggs; just a wiggler) with your bator for a simulated hatch just to get to know it? Or is it essential to have hatching eggs in there to learn how it works and what worked right?

    I'm trying to think of ways to prevent a ton of culls or issues when starting out with hatching eggs. It seems like it's really a learn by experience thing.
  10. millebantam

    millebantam Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2008
    Little Rhody
    I also agree on the colder egs. In the last few weeks I have been collecting Silkie eggs from my unheated coop in the mornings, and the eggs have been pretty cold. Some of them might even have been teetering on freezing. As an experiment, I tried hatching a dozen of these super chilled eggs. Yesterday I got 12 out of 12 to hatch.

    Another reason that I believe people have lower percentage hatches is over-candling. Very rarely will a bad egg do any damage in there before day 12 or so. I feel that by waiting a little longer, the embryo is more developed and solid, and less likely to have delicate veining damaged. Also, the less they are handled greatly reduces the chances of contamination. It seems like many people are to anxious to "count their chicks" before they're hatched, lol. I say to just leave 'em alone, candle once at 12 days or so, then again on day 19 when they go into the hatcher.

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