Help an incubator-newbie troubleshoot?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by erinnyes, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. erinnyes

    erinnyes Chirping

    Sep 28, 2011
    Hi! :) Well, as the title implies, I've been using broodies, but recently got an incubator as a Christmas gift and figured I would give that a try. The incubator is a brand new Brinsea Octagon 20 Advance with autoturner. I set 8 marans eggs my own girls laid in it to "test" it, after the eggs had been stored for about 2 weeks.

    Well, I had an AMAZING hatch!! I ran the incubator at 45-50% humidity until lockdown and then upped it to 65-70%. 8/8 eggs made it to lockdown, and 4 of the chicks hatched with no issues at all. However, after that, I did run into some trouble. The first egg to pip, for example, externally pipped and then made no more progress for almost 30 hours (possibly more). I later found out that this chick was upside down in the egg (as in, it's butt was against the air cell and it never broke through). One hatched on it's own after much difficulty, and the last 3 made some progress but then got "gluey" and the egg membranes dried. In the end I had to help the last 3 out of their shells because I was afraid they would die. I know this is controversial, but a thread I found on here recommended it for these types of situations, and the 3 chicks are now thriving. I couldn't bear the thought that they might have died for a mistake I made in the humidity levels! All 8 survived and are now being brooded.

    My question is, the "sticky chick" problem seems to suggest that I should have raised the lockdown humidity more... do the rest of your agree with this? I know the fan incubators tend to dry the eggs out more, I just wondered if there was a way more experienced incubator-users deal with those chicks that do not pip and zip quickly! The ones in my batch that did were fine, it was the slow ones that dried out. If I should raise my humidity, by how much? Or am I totally off?

    Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated! :) Thank you very much!!

    Also, as a side question... does anyone "wash" your chicks when their down is all gluey and won't fluff up? Or do you leave it alone? I haven't messed with mine but it's been 48 hours and they sure do look awful. ;)

  2. tristancolli

    tristancolli Songster

    Aug 25, 2009
    When i get an eggs that membrane starts to dry out i get some paper towel and wrap the egg in it. or you could try misting the egg.

    WOOT!!!!! MY 200TH POST!
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013

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