hatching mortality report -- suggestions?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by amazondoc, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

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    Hey guys --

    Seven developing eggs went into the hatcher last Tuesday. Thursday night, five pipped. Friday, four hatched successfully. Friday, I opened the pipped/unhatched egg. Saturday, I opened the unpipped eggs.

    1. external pip -- fully formed, malpositioned (upside down)
    2. no external or internal pip -- fully formed, normal position, membranes looked dry -- but that might be due to length of time left dead in hatcher?
    3. no external or internal pip -- fully formed or maybe almost fully formed, normal position, membranes moist but not especially wet or squishy looking

    The hatcher ran within one degree throughout hatching, about 99.5-100. It's forced air. Humidity was kept 65-70 by injecting water into a receptable through a vent hole. The hatcher was never opened from Tuesday to Friday afternoon.

    Anybody got suggestions? I'd like to get hatcher mortality down as low as possible, obviously. Thanks for any input!
     
  2. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    Can't help with the analysis, but I'm sorry to hear about your loss.
     
  3. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

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    I'm not even sure it was all that unusual, in the grand scheme of things. The highest mortality rates in developing chickens are during the first 3 or 4 days and the last 3 or 4 days of incubation. But I have no experience yet with the practical side of things -- actually hatching the little buggers -- so the more input I can get the better!

    And the four chicks that hatched are fat and happy little things. I've been taking pics, and I'll post em over in the breeds section eventually. [​IMG]

    Thanks for posting!
     
  4. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    I would guess too high of humidity first. 65-70 is on the upper end of what most people hatch at and since none even pipped it would make sense they are drowning in the eggs. Most of mine that never pip have drowned and if you open the eggs right away you often find lots of fluid in them. Pips facing down will also drown easier where pips facing up will often survive high humidity.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  5. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

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    Thanks for the input! They didn't look wet, but I'll definitely keep that in mind.
     
  6. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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  7. ginasmarans

    ginasmarans Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    West Tn
    I struggled all Summer and just had so-so hatches. This last time I tried something different and had a wonderful hatch.I hatched 33 ou of 39 eggs. I kept the humidity between 30% and 45%throughout incubation and on day 19,I bumped it up to 60-NO HIGHER. The chicks popped out like popcorn. I had been having trouble with chicks being completly formed but not making it out. Here is what I think. I never had my humidity super high ayway,so I don't think they drowned, I think even at 50%,the air cell does not get large enough to hold enough air to sustain the chick until it can externally pip, and it suffocates.
     
  8. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

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    Great page! Thanks, Jody!

    I had done a search for embryonic mortality and embryo mortality, but I hadn't come across that one. Lots of good stuff there!

    And thanks for the input, Gina!
     
  9. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

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    Jody --

    I checked the links in the sticky. The msstate one and this one:

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/AA204

    seem particularly helpful.

    From those two sites, I suspect that actually LOW humidity in the hatcher may be the problem.

    I've got a couple more "test" hatches before the Marans eggs come out. The next eggs are going in the hatcher tomorrow. I think this time I'll concentrate on making absolutely sure that the humidity doesn't drop below 65. If I still have the same problem, I'll try decreasing humidity next time.

    Thanks for the links!
     
  10. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Could your humidity gauge be off? Put it in a plastic bag with damp salt and it should read 75% after a minimum of 4 hrs. Also you can use the condensation as a guide. There should be just a little cloudiness at the edge of the incubator windows. If they are mostly clouded over or forming large drops it may be getting too high and I pull a vent plug.
     

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