having trouble with HATCHINGS


10 Years
Aug 17, 2009
Cut n Shoot Texas
Is anyone having any success hatching eggs in an incubator? I finally stopped trying... 4 times I set 42 eggs and 1 or 2 hatched. In 12 weeks I had 6 chicks all who turned out to be roosters. A friend of mine down south has had the same experience. We have both been hatching 70 % before this. Anyone else having similiar troubles?
Did you look in the eggs to see how much development you got so you couild maybe figure out what was going on? This might help.

Mississippi State Incubation Troubleshooting

No, I have not had your luck. I had one hatch earlier this year where I only got 10 out of 30 to hatch and two of those died. Those were eggs I picked up locally. 17 of those never even started to develop. I think I shook them driving home over some pretty bumpy roads, but I don't know for sure. The lady I got them from said her next hatch hatch was 100%. Of the 8 I got to live, 6 were pullets, which is what I wanted from that hatch but yeah, I was still bummed.

The next hatch with my own eggs was around 80%. A snake got one in the brooder, but out of the 16 that made it, 11 were roosters. As far as I'm concerned that was great because that was a meat hatch. All those will wind up eaten.

Then I had a broody that hatched 11 out of 11 of my own eggs during the heat of the summer. I haven't bothered to sex them yet. Again, a meat hatch.

So I had all kinds of luck, good and bad.

If yours are that consistently bad, something is going on. With my bad hatch, it involved driving home over rough roads with strange eggs. I have no idea what is different in your former good hatches and this year. If the eggs are not developing at all, is there something different in how you are handling them or storing them before incubation? Do you have a new rooster that is not fertile?

If they are developing then quitting, it could be the eggs or something may have got out of adjustment with the incubator.

As far as them all being roosters, welll I once got 7 pullets out of 7 straight run from a hatchery. I wanted a few of those to be roosters. Sometimes when you have bad luck it just gets worse.

Something is different for your hatches if you are that consistent, I just don't know what it is from here. Good luck in figuring it out. It's not always easy and a lot of the time you are never sure exactly what happened.
thank you guys! I want to just quit hatching all together.. but reading your success rate encourages me. I might just give it a year and try again. I think it is something in the food. I think that my laying pellets are causing my chickens to be sterile or something. Not sure. Just a feeling. I am letting them eat more bugs and less pellets til winter sets in. I am switching feed for sure just to give that a try
There are so many potential factors. First is the fertility of the eggs. If you start with non-fertile eggs, it doesn't matter what incubating conditions you use, they ain't gonna develop. When you crack an egg into the frypan and look at the yolk, are you seeing the tell-tale bullseye to indicate fertility? How old is your rooster? How old are the hens laying the eggs? I've had lower fertility on the eggs from my 3 year old hens than from my pullets in their first year of laying.

Nutrition of all the birds prior to fertilization is a factor that many people overlook too, thinking "an egg is an egg". But, just as good nutrition for a pregnant woman is important, good nutrition for a laying hen is important to the outcome of healthy chicks developing.

Last, would be your actual incubation environment. How recently have you calibrated thermometer and hygrometer? If they are not reading accurately, the incubation conditions could be way off, resulting in zero or low hatches.

I've heard before (as PP's also said) that more cockerels hatch in Fall than Spring. I can't think why this would be, but believe the anecdotal evidence. Therefore, rather than wait a full year to try again, you might want to wait until Spring.
thank you everyone. I had it all down pat and have been hatching chicks for years. This last summer was the first problem ever and I have been doing everything the same
No problems here. We have had a decent year.First batch wasn't so well, but a lot of eggs werent fertile. I think we have average around 70% for the year.
Are you using the same incubator? Maybe its a bacteria bloom in the bator and the disinfectant you're using isn't killing it.. Pretty sure thats why I only hatched 4 of 41 duck eggs this spring.. Just a thought.

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