got any tips on hatching eggs with 'loose' air cells?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by johnskoi, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. johnskoi

    johnskoi Chillin' With My Peeps

    ...,, i've been hoardering (ordering) silkie eggs from quite a few breeders for quite a few months now .... just about every one of them has offered LOTS of helpful tips on hatching.... i've had an overall 50% + at aminimum on hatch rates the eggs that i have the biggest problem with are the ones who from day 1 have an abnormally shaped air cell....

    i've learned to keep 'em upright with minimal turning the first week and i usually have no problem bringing them to 'pip day' .. that's where the problem comes in.... if almost all have pipped (or if zipping starts) and there's still any that haven't pipped, i'll candle the egg and break thru the shell at the widest point of the air cell with the tip of a box cutter and then using a toothpick work enough of the shell away to see whats going on and to give myself enough 'operating room'.... if i see the beak has poked thru the membrane, i'll usually leave them be and see how they progress with regard to everybody else and go from there.... if they haven't poked thru the membrane and i can see their beak under it, i'll break the membrane as close to the beak as i can while avoiding veins.... both of the above situations, i've learned to work with, but would still like to avoid....

    the one's that i can't help at all are once again the ones with the distorted air cells --- upon necropsy (if ya can call it that), the chicks beak is somewhere tucked under the chick with no hope of ever touching the shell...

    i've got the brinsea units with auto temp and hum contols... 99.6 degrees throughout incubating, 50% hum the first 18 days, 65 - 75% the last 3 -4 days (my hatches usually run 22-22.5 days...

    also -- i ALWAYS lay them on their sides the last 3-4 days --- is there better success keeping them upright? ... just doesn't seem natural, but what the hey, nothing really about hatching silkies is.. lol

    i've also found with the silkies with high vaults, i sometimes have to help them a little more by breaking the shell away from around the vault and making judgnent calls as needed......

    .. maybe i'm interfering too much, but i'm finding the less i do , the less successful the hatch....

    any and all suggestions are appreciated!

  2. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2007
    How big are the aircells upon lockdown? If the eggs don't dry out enough during the first 18 days, the chicks get too big within their shells and can't position themselves into hatching position as easily.
  3. williamsl77

    williamsl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2011
    I've been having the same problems with shipped eggs. I just last night and today had a big hatch of NOT shipped eggs and I almost can't believe how different it is. Something about what happens to the aircells during shipping really makes hatching much more difficult.

    I have some babies due on Wednesday from shipped eggs (silkies). This is going to be the first batch that I've tried hatching upright in egg cartons. Will let you know how it goes.
  4. johnskoi

    johnskoi Chillin' With My Peeps

    got that tshirt, too, when i was running higher humidities ...i'm almost thinking that maybe cranking the humidity up a little for these guys may enable them to turn a little better...... on some of these distorted air cells (and in answer to your question, i think they're plenty big -- i'll have other chicks from the same shipment hatch without a hitch) , there are big peaks and valleys --- almost like an ekg print out --- i honestly don't know how the chicks develop as far as they do ...

    i should probably add that i hand turn 3 times a day until lockdown, alternating forward and backward, and rotating egg position in the incubator --- i DO however check the eggs during lockdown, but the incubator comes right back to the humidity and temp almost immediately

  5. johnskoi

    johnskoi Chillin' With My Peeps

    shipping can be brutal on 'em ...i've never seen the distorted air sac on any chicken or peafowl eggs that i've hatched from my own stock or friends ( i have had one bubbly air sac that went from end to end on one of my silkie's eggs and iirc, nothing developed).... i've had some horrible results on shipped eggs that were not too far away and i've had beautiful results on eggs from very far away (and vice versa) .... friggin' gremlins, i tell ya..... ... and every once in awhile, i'll find a boob shipping eggs ---- fool me once...

    best of luck with your hatch--and i'm REALLY curious to see how you make out with them upright -- i've got a bunch going into lockdown on wednesday...

  6. SimplySplendidSilkies

    SimplySplendidSilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2010
    Adairsville, GA
    John I have not hatched shipped eggs for some time now but I wanted to say......................
    are you ready...............................
    I think 50% humidity for day 1-18 is a bit high. I used to run my humidity this high but when I lowered it to around 30% my hatch rate increased. You may want to try it and see what happens.

    Warm Regards,
    Your pal Tisha [​IMG]
  7. johnskoi

    johnskoi Chillin' With My Peeps

    tisha (one of my mentors), i'm going to lower the humidity right after i send you a pm ...
  8. RubyNala97

    RubyNala97 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 9, 2015
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I know this is an old post, but how did the hatch turn out, during lockdown, in the cartons?. Just got my second batch of shipped silkies this morning!

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