Hatching Eggs

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by ccrawf, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. ccrawf

    ccrawf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 6, 2009
    Springfield, Missouri
    I’m hoping that some one can give me some insight and help teach me something about hatching eggs. As posted previously, I had my Blue Slate hen lay a total of 12 eggs, so I put them in an incubator. The first 6 went in 23 November, then the other six and 5 chicken eggs went in 7 days later.
    4 of the chickens hatched the other day, the fifth egg never developed. I’m still learning about candling, so was sure what I was seeing at first. Waited until the chicks hatched to crack it open, and it just had a runny yolk.
    I numbered all the turkey eggs as I got them, put them in an egg carton with the pointy end down, and keep them at a constant temp of about 70 degrees until they went in the incubator. It was a still air incubator I borrowed from a friend and pretty sure I kept the temp at 100 degrees, and the humidity at a good level.
    10 of the turkey eggs had no shadows in them, but I waited until the chickens hatched, then cracked them open. Obviously too late to see if there was a blastoderm or what ever the term is inside, but 2 of them had a definite growth, or small white patch, but they were mostly just runny yolks.
    So my real question is about the turkey eggs. #6 and #12 were the ones that grew, so one should have hatched yesterday and the other should hatch next week. So I decided to crack the first egg open. The poult in it looked developed, had feathers and everything, but there was no movement at all. It looked dead to me. But there was no off smell. I’ve heard about poults developing but then not hatching. Any idea what causes that or what I can do to improve my hatch rate? Is there any way to candle the remaining egg and determine if it is still alive? Should I be able to see movement? Can you mark on the egg, in pencil, and keep track of the size of the air pocket?
    Thanks for your help and advice. Really love this site.
     
  2. Kennyog

    Kennyog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2009
    Oak Grove
    Your turkey eggs must not have been fertile.Are you turning your eggs by hand or does the incubator have a auto-turner? It is very important to turn the eggs. Remember also, turkeys take 28 days to hatch. You should stop turning turkeys eggs on day 25.
     
  3. ccrawf

    ccrawf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 6, 2009
    Springfield, Missouri
    Probably 10 of them weren’t fertile. 2 did develop, one just appears to have died after about 20 days, at least. The last one also developed and fills most of the egg. Yes, I turned them by hand, 3 or 5 times a day. And I kept the humidity level up at the end, too. Since I miscalculated the date, don’t think I stopped turning in time, not sure if that is what killed it or not. The last one I definitely stopped turning 3 days early. It should hatch in the next day or so, assuming it is going to hatch.
    And that is my question: Is there a way to tell if the chick is still alive? Can you see movement or something during candling? And any idea what causes them to die that late into incubation?
     
  4. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    One reason they can die near hatching is if there is not enough air exchange in the incubator. I have forgotten to take the plugs out and suffocated more than one bator full of eggs. Also, if the humidity is too high average during the incubation period, they can drown when they pip. I had a chick drown today, an olive egger... boo hoo.... Then four other chicks pipped and hatched that had been the same row of the same bator. Sometimes you can't make it perfect for every egg. Just keep trying. Before I incubated many more eggs, I'd be cracking several of them open to check for fertility.
     
  5. ccrawf

    ccrawf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 6, 2009
    Springfield, Missouri
    Thanks on the spot. That helps some. I'll pay more attention to the hunidity. I was using a borrowed incubator this time, but plan to build my own for next spring.
    As I said before I was really surprised to get eggs in the winter, and had nothing to loose by incubating them. Glad to know that at least 2 were fertile. THe last one is due to hatch tomorrow. The first on never even pipped. and didn't appear to have even broken the internal membrane. You win some and you loose some. But I got 4 baby chick out of the deal!!
    Thanks again.

    Clay
     
  6. hunter1hall

    hunter1hall Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2009
    Mackville, Kentucky
    I was having trouble hatching turkeys as well. I think i have it all worked out now. I hatched two poults the past two nights. Seems that during incubation my best luck has been 30-35% humidity, and then hatch them at 60-65% humidity. That is at least what has worked for me. I have three more to hatch. Two are due in the next day or so and then one more in about 5 days. Keep your fingers crossed. In case you are wondering, these are gonna be crosses. The hen is a bourbon red and the tom is either a Narragansette, bronze or bourban red. I dont think either of the two who have hatched are from the bourban red. They seem to be narragansette. I will post pics as they get a little older.
     
  7. ccrawf

    ccrawf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 6, 2009
    Springfield, Missouri
    If my last one hatches, it will be a cross. The hen is a (Blue) Slate and the Tom is a Spanish Black. I plan to mate them again in the spring. I also have a pair of Bourbon Reds that I’ll mate.
    Have any thoughts or ideas on how to ensure who mates with who? Or doesn’t mate? Part of me would like to have pure bourbon reds, but a part doesn’t care. Thought of penning each pair together or just penning the hens and putting the tom in the pen once every few days.
    Thoughts?
     

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