Hatching fail- but why?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Crittendenflocks, Dec 6, 2018 at 9:02 AM.

  1. Crittendenflocks

    Crittendenflocks In the Brooder

    39
    29
    45
    Jun 10, 2018
    Hello everyone!
    I am new to hatching chicks, I do not have a hen looking to hatch for me so I am using a little giant still air incubator with forced air fan kit to hatch. This is my 4th round of eggs in the past 5 months. The first 2 hatched went great 85% hatch rates and pullets are ready to lay anytime now, we even had one from our first hatch start crowing at 9 weeks! The eggs I used for those hatched came from friends of mine. I used my own eggs for hatch 3 & 4. Hatch 3 consisted of 7 eggs 3 were unfertilized and 2 stopped developing early on with in the last 2 hatching, we lost one on day 2. Hatch 4 has been a disaster. I set 18 eggs on 11/11 and we lost power around 11/23 for about 5 hours needless to say we lost 7 eggs. We had a short power outage a couple days later for 2 hours tops. On day 18 I prepared for lockdown and all 11 eggs looked great air cells seemed nicely sized, incubator temp was steady and humidity was at 75%. By day 21 I could see eggs tilting and rocking and it seemed like we were doing fine. Day 23 we have one egg hatched and it doesn’t have the yoke fully absorbed. It seems to be lethargic and all the rest of the eggs are not showing any sign of hatching. I candled and I don’t see any pips or movement so I begin an eggtopsy. One chick was not dead! So of course that was a death on my fault( or was it) all of the rest were fully developed but had not absorbed their yokes... why would this happen? My egg shells are thick but when candling I seen no sign of internal pips!? I’m attaching the eggtopsy results in hopes that someone can help me understand what I did wrong for next hatch! I have silkie and polish eggs going in after I get the incubator set back up and I desperately want to get this right. Oh yeah and I have Ayam Cemani roosters so you may notice the black skin. Thank you I’m advance for any tips and insite
     

    Attached Files:

    007Sean likes this.
  2. Compost King

    Compost King Songster

    636
    1,164
    237
    Apr 19, 2018
    North Carolina
    My first hatch, 2 hatched 1 died with in an hour. You aren't the only one to have a bad first hatch. My problem was that as soon as one hatched I removed it right away and I ended up shrink-wrapping the rest with in their own egg membrane with low humidity from opening the incubator. I have no idea what you caused yours but I thought I would share my first experience so you aren't to hard on yourself knowing others have failed hatches too. I have been hatching every month since April and it wasn't until July before I had decent hatches and November before I could say I had a great hatch. I have been crossing my Ayam Cemani roosters and found the females come out black and the males not so. So you have sex links.

    I couldn't figure out my problem with my first hatch for the longest time, I eventually figured it out by reading about other peoples failures in the archive of threads here on BYC and found someone with the exact same problems who did the exact same mistakes I made
     
  3. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Songster

    1,273
    1,546
    231
    Apr 13, 2016
    NC IL
    What was the humidity prior to lockdown? If you ran 75% the whole way through, that will give you near hatch day deaths, been there done that. Also, do you have trusted (preferably dial, not digital) thermometers inserted in this incubator? If so, do you check them often? Little Giants are kind of known for spiking temperatures, especially the older they get.
     
  4. Crittendenflocks

    Crittendenflocks In the Brooder

    39
    29
    45
    Jun 10, 2018
    Thank you so much! I have a few different breeds of hens. Ayam Cemani, Black Australorps, lavender and buff orpingtons, rir, barred Rocks, a leghorn, a few backyard mixes-Easter Eggers, and a white crested black polish. I’m excited to see what kind of mixes we end up with having the Ayam Cemani roosters. I’m also thrilled about hatching more polish and silkies. I have 4 polish and 20 silkies so hopefully we can get atleast 3 hens
     
    Compost King and 007Sean like this.
  5. Crittendenflocks

    Crittendenflocks In the Brooder

    39
    29
    45
    Jun 10, 2018
    That’s really good to know. I got the incubator from my grandfather he bought it back in 2014 he used it maybe 5 times total. I use 2 different thermometers in there. A digital and a dial. The digital is a humidity thermometer and it has a temp reader on it. I have been reading from the dial which is on top of the eggs keeping it as close to 99.5 as possible. The humidity was around 40% during the first 18 days. Is there any tips or tricks to keeping the incubator I have holding temps? Thank you so much for the in-site!
     
    Compost King and 007Sean like this.
  6. 007Sean

    007Sean Enabler

    12,015
    52,553
    1,212
    Oct 25, 2015
    South Central Texas
    @Crittendenflocks , do you have a separate hygrometer that has been calibrated and is separate from the incubators hygrometer. Also, do you use an independent thermometer that is accurate?
    Looking at the pics and from the information you gave, and in my experince, the humidity has been too high throughout the incubation process and the temp may have been a bit on the low side.
    If the set date's are correct, then those two things are more than likely the culprits.
    Sorry your having a rough time incubating.
    Temperature and humidity are the two most important parameters to have as close as possible to being dead on.
     
  7. Crittendenflocks

    Crittendenflocks In the Brooder

    39
    29
    45
    Jun 10, 2018
    The incubator itself doesn’t have the meters attached the ones I am using are separate. I am going to calibrate them and see if they are effective. I know this is trial and error and I am grateful for your experience.
     
    Compost King and 007Sean like this.
  8. Compost King

    Compost King Songster

    636
    1,164
    237
    Apr 19, 2018
    North Carolina
    I do not know what the ideal humidity should be before lock down but I start mine around 50% and let it fall into the 30's then add water to get back up to 50% and let it fall ... keep repeating until day 18 when I complete fill all the water compartments and have between 60-75% which I maintain for the rest of the hatch. This system works for me.
     
  9. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds!

    42,556
    74,271
    1,452
    Feb 9, 2015
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    x2

    Also your location and season has some effects on incubating, so some adjustments may need to be made at different times of the year.
     
  10. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Songster

    1,273
    1,546
    231
    Apr 13, 2016
    NC IL
    That should be fine, providing you have calibrated your dial thermometer in both ice water and boiling water. There aren't any tips or tricks for the Little Giant really, the electronics start going iffy after being exposed to heat and moisture for long enough. What that will do is result in a spike, or multiple spikes, and an incubator hitting 102 degrees or more will kill your chicks. Your hatch could have been delayed due to the power outages, but that wouldn't explain chicks that were dead in the shell when you opened them, thus thinking the temperature may have spiked.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: