Having no luck :( *A few possibly graphic pictures*

JessB

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 27, 2013
18
0
22
Hey everyone!
I'm brand new to this egg hatching thing and never thought in a million years I would be trying to hatch eggs in my basement in the bustling city of Edmonton. But, after a 7 month winter and having NO broody chickens, I thought "why not".

Well. It hasn't gone so well to be honest.

I rescued 4 eggs way back in the middle of March after one of our chickens happened to be sitting on them for 10 days, and then suddenly stopped. The coop was sitting at about 5 Celcius, much to chilly for eggs. But 2 of the 4 eggs did survive and thrived with me underneath a lamp.

On what I guessed to be day 20, I heard chirping inside the egg and nearly dropped it I was so shocked. I tried introducing them back to a chicken that night, but she had no interest and only sat on them about 50%, I assume they got too cold and when I candled them the next day there was no movement, nothing. :(

BUT! I tried again, everyday I went into the coop and took the eggs home, marking them with a sharpie so I knew what date they were laid.
I had one that was meant to hatch April 22nd, while I was in BC visiting my parents. My fiance mentioned all day Saturday the egg was SO angry with him and everytime he walked by it would erupt in neverending cheeps. Sunday though, the egg was quiet.
Monday when I finally got home at midnight I candled the egg and saw no movement, so I gathered up my courage and cracked it open. The chick was fully formed, and from what I've read through the site, positioned perfectly. His head had pushed through into the air sack, but I could see nowhere that he tried to pip?




So, here's my issue. I have 2 more left out of about 9. One laid April 9, and one April 11. I believe then, that they should hatch on the 30th and the 2nd.

I want them to hatch so bad after all the bad luck I've had. I really don't know what I'm doing wrong. I imagine a lot though. I didn't know about humidity, so I have put 2 dishes of water under the heat lamp to try to boost it. But really have no way to measure it.
I do have a temp gun and keep them as close to 37.5 as possible as I've read everywhere that this is the "optimal temperature". Sometimes it fluctuates though depending on how warm our house is. I rotate them once per day too because thats what my grandma says to do, "and she raised chickens her whole life, so she knows best." lol.

I've thought about when I hear them chirping to make a small hole on the air sac end, that way at least they won't suffocate, as I suspect thats what happened with this last one. But I'm just not sure if thats the right idea or not.

Anyhow. Any information or advice or even criticism would be great. I want so badly for these little guys to hatch.

Cheers

Jess
 

Silkies~Polishes

Chirping
8 Years
Jun 2, 2011
234
6
91
Seattle, WA
Hi! I'm so sorry about you losing those chicks, must be so disappointing!

So you're hatching them under a heat lamp? I've heard of homemade incubators but not like this. Your temp range is good. I recommend getting a hygrometer to measure humidity, which is extremely crucial to have the right range for a hatch. But I really recommend if you want to hatch eggs buy a incubator or make a better homemade one. I use the hova-bator 1062N, but there are plenty of other good models out there and lots of good homemade incubator ideas.
You need to turn more than once a day, about 3 or 5 times a day, or an odd number higher than 1. Did you stop turning when they start pipping?
Don't make a hole in the air sac end, just let them do their thing.
Do you think you could provide a little more info about how you are incubating them, like a picture?
 
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JessB

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 27, 2013
18
0
22
I will for sure as soon as I get home. Its literally a big rubbermaid tub with a screen on top to keep the heat lamp at the right distance to keep them around the 37.5 range. The two eggs are sitting on some hand towels on top of a box lid that keeps them closer to the lamp (without the box lid they are too chilly.)

They don't pip :( In the eggs I've had that make it to 21 days, none of them have made any cracks on the egg.

I was turning them twice a day, but my grandma said I was handling them too much and that they would die if I kept touching them, so I did my best to stop. I try to candle them daily (with the flashlight on my iphone) to make sure all is well.

I'll send a picture in the next hour or so.

Thanks for your advice so far!
 

JessB

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 27, 2013
18
0
22




Okay. So... that right there is literally what it looks like. I used to have them in a little plastic tub, about 8" x 7", and the lamp sat above them, and I had filled the bottom of the tub with about an inch of water to let it soak into the hand towels they were sitting on. But I stopped all of that because my grandma told me that in all her years she had never heard of putting chicken eggs near water, but I had heard they need to be humid. My humidity right now inside that tub, is at 30%... This is so much more challenging that I thought it would be :(

I'm going to hunt around and see if I have anything smaller to keep them in, that I can sort of seal, to help keep the humidity up. I do have a lower wattage heating lamp that I use for my reptiles. I can't go back to the regular house lamp as already melted it and almost caught our basement on fire. :) Whoops!
 

lizanne

Songster
7 Years
Jul 3, 2012
1,051
40
176
Citrus Heights, Ca
Try reading this. Hatching 101: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hatching-eggs-101 It's a great article on here on hatching eggs, and figuring out what might have gone wrong with your hatch.
hugs.gif
 

JessB

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 27, 2013
18
0
22
Sigh. I posted a big reply and just lost it all.

To sum it all up, Thanks Lizanne. That article is quite detailed.

And! I'm so frustrated. :( I took the eggs home to see if I could hatch them, with no knowledge whatsoever and not thinking they would really hatch, to suddenly becoming very worried about them all the time and quite attached and devastated when they don't hatch.

After reading that article, and with Silkies advice, I've determined my humidity is REALLY bad. It's currently sitting at 15% and today is day 18 for one, 16 for the other. So I have moved the eggs into an aquarium. Glass on all sides. That should help with the humidity, hopefully. I just really don't know how to get it up without putting water under a heat lamp and letting it evaporate.... Unless I tried boiling the kettle and putting a glass on the other side of the tank to try to get it up? My biggest issue right now is getting them back up to 37.5. I changed out lamps from 150W to 50W and put the lamp INSIDE the aquarium. This way I'm not losing so much heat through the top....

I'm so tired. I don't mean to sound whiny, but this is surprisingly harder than I thought it would be.

I haven't any bubble wrap, so I'm not sure how to insulate the sides/top. I was thinking a blanket, but would that really do a lot? The clear plastic tub on the left side is a couple face clothes drowning in water, also in hopes to get the humidity up.


 

lizanne

Songster
7 Years
Jul 3, 2012
1,051
40
176
Citrus Heights, Ca
Sigh. I posted a big reply and just lost it all.

To sum it all up, Thanks Lizanne. That article is quite detailed.

And! I'm so frustrated. :( I took the eggs home to see if I could hatch them, with no knowledge whatsoever and not thinking they would really hatch, to suddenly becoming very worried about them all the time and quite attached and devastated when they don't hatch.

After reading that article, and with Silkies advice, I've determined my humidity is REALLY bad. It's currently sitting at 15% and today is day 18 for one, 16 for the other. So I have moved the eggs into an aquarium. Glass on all sides. That should help with the humidity, hopefully. I just really don't know how to get it up without putting water under a heat lamp and letting it evaporate.... Unless I tried boiling the kettle and putting a glass on the other side of the tank to try to get it up? My biggest issue right now is getting them back up to 37.5. I changed out lamps from 150W to 50W and put the lamp INSIDE the aquarium. This way I'm not losing so much heat through the top....

I'm so tired. I don't mean to sound whiny, but this is surprisingly harder than I thought it would be.

I haven't any bubble wrap, so I'm not sure how to insulate the sides/top. I was thinking a blanket, but would that really do a lot? The clear plastic tub on the left side is a couple face clothes drowning in water, also in hopes to get the humidity up.


I think just putting a small bowl of water, or some damp paper towels would bring up the humidity. Just make sure the chicks won't fall in the bowl when they hatch out. It's all a learning experience. My fist hatch did great with 10/12 hatching. This time I got shipped eggs, and I'm on day 10 and it only looks like 3/15 are doing anything.
he.gif
What is the temp close to the eggs?
 

JessB

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 27, 2013
18
0
22
So I set it up about 30 minutes ago and the temperature is up to 34, which is far higher than I'm sitting at in my bundled sweater and 16. my humidity is also up to 35, so thats exceptionally better then when I started.

The top of the aquarium is glass? glass or plastic? I'm not sure. I had started with the screen, but then thought about what you mentioned with needing to get the humidity up and the screen just wasn't doing it for me. The glass seems to be helping though. I like the idea I saw in the hand out Liz mentioned to read.. it mentioned hanging a shamwow along the side of the tank. I'm assuming thats something like a face cloth? At any rate it mentioned surface area will raise thehumidity faster than a deep narrow tub. So I'm going to try hanging a damp hand towel and see if that helps. Its definitely warmer and more humid right off the hop from the plastic tub I was originally using. My arm feels sticky whenever I put it in the aquarium. So I think thats a good thing. lol.

This sounds awful, but it makes me sort of happy to see that you had some rough luck with your second batch. At least I'm not the only one thats having a rough go with these guys .:)
 

Silkies~Polishes

Chirping
8 Years
Jun 2, 2011
234
6
91
Seattle, WA
Also a wet sponge helps a ton with the humidity, it raises about 20-30% if its damp, not soaking. I recommend putting one in at lockdown, that's what I'm doing right now. But it's probably the same as using towels.
 

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