Hatching Chicks is becoming depressing (Omphalitis rant)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by rascal66, May 19, 2019.

  1. rascal66

    rascal66 Songster

    Sep 10, 2015
    I love hatching and raising chicks. Hubby and I have been going full steam on hatching chicks this year. We are hatching for numbers of reasons, such as recycling our current flock, selling chicks, and having freezer meat. All is well and its been so fun and rewarding... Of course, until death starts showing it's face among my newly hatched chicks.

    Yesterday was day 21, and I already have 15 chicks in the brooder. However, I have already lost two to Omphalitis, and I'm afraid I have about 2 or 3 more chicks that look questionable. (One is currently very lethargic). I am trying what I can at the moment, keeping the brooder as clean as possible, applying iodine to some of the questionable chicks with big scabby belly buttons. Its just becoming saddening and its starting to get to me. I know I can't save them all... But I suppose that's a risk we take when incubating, hatching and raising new chicks.

    I know my incubator is partially to blame. It has caused me issues with my chicks before. I'm almost certain at times it's a degree too hot, but even if so, how do I control it?

    Sorry all. Just some hatching blues :hit
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  2. LaurEliz

    LaurEliz Songster

    Apr 8, 2018
    Central Illinois
    My Coop
    I don't know what kind of incubator you have, but I have propped incubator lids just slightly open with folded pieces of paper to lower temperature just slightly. I'm not even so certain it worked that much, but I've had pretty successful hatches by lowering temperatures that way. Again, I have no idea if this is actually a good idea or not. I've never lost a chick after hatching except for just one time. I'm not even sure what was wrong with him, as he was happy and alert for days and then just gone the first day after I moved him to the same brooder I used on his hatching buddies, all hatched chicks before and after, and all store bought chicks I've ever had.

    I'm sorry you're having a hard time. :( I hope your remaining chicks do well. I wish you the best of luck!
  3. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Crowing

    Aug 11, 2016
    While I don't clean eggs before setting them, if you're not already doing it, you may want to consider sanitizing the eggs before you set them as a preventive measure - this article by @Sally Sunshine provides more info, as well as suggestions for upstream preventive measures, like coop and nesting box cleanliness, in addition to thoroughly cleaning incubators.

    This thread has some recommendations for sanitizing solutions.

    As for the suspected high temps, is that based on the readings from an independent thermometer? If you don't already have one, it would be prudent to get (at least) one to confirm your suspicions. If you have confirmed that the incubator is inconsistently maintaining temps, under the circumstances, it might be worth looking at getting a new one.

    Best of luck!
    rascal66 likes this.

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