HELP! cannot get the chicks to PIP!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by JAHVREM, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. JAHVREM

    JAHVREM Out Of The Brooder

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    to all who offer advice, i am willing to listen. recently we built a new bator, (changed from a full sized fridge to a mini); reason we changed, too much temperature fluctuation in the big fridge, between the rows, and too much heat loss.

    we are into our 5th or 6th round of eggs in the bator, and have only hatched a few chicks. out of 40+, each time, only 2 or 3 chicks hatch, but upon breaking each and every egg, we have about 90% development. and it seems that death or cessation of development stops roughly at the same time, every time. the chick is fully developed,but does not pip. beautiful fat healthy chicks.

    temp is consistant the entire time at 99.8 degrees on each shelf of the incubator. stays there every time i check, with 3 calibrated mercury thermometers. 99.8. i start the humidity at about 30% for the first 18 days. then up to 60% during lockdown.

    now i have tried lockdown a couple of different ways. first was moving them to a styrofoam bator, but have never trusted the consistancy of the temps. still would get a few chicks, but most died at this stage. so i started leaving them in the main bator for a while on the bottom of the fridge, but time has come and gone for them to hatch.

    after breaking a gazillion eggs, i still have the same problem; chicks develop completely, but fail to pip. don't actually break thru.

    ****IN ADDITION: we have a fan in the top of the bator to keep the air circulating.....

    WHAT IS THE #1 REASON these chicks are dying? i have hatched many chicks over the years, with foam bators, home made bators, broody hens. i don't get it. what could be wrong this time? they are perfect and complete. any suggestions would be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    Are they pipping internally and then dying or do they die before that?
     
  3. JAHVREM

    JAHVREM Out Of The Brooder

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    the inner or inside skin is not broken either, so my opinion is they die before pipping.

    it almost seems like their beak is still kindof tucked, or not in the right position to peck out of the shell.

    that might be a rather uneducated observation, tho, cuz i don't have any way of know how the beak would be positioned to hammer out of that shell!! any help is appreciated.
     
  4. This does not sound like your actual problem, but I would def. shoot for a higher humidity at lock down (the first 18 days seems ok)
    The only other things that comes to mind is either a bad egg position or not turning enough. I have to be honest though and say, those are only guesses.

    Edit. Is the air sac look to be the proper size at times during incubation? If the air sac is abnomally large (humidity too low 1st 18 days) this "could" press down hard enough to keep the chick from turning all the way. I cant seem to find that air sac size chart I had....you might try googleing it or searching on BYC. It compares size with certain days of age in incubator. I just built a new one as well and am due to lock down on Wed. I ran 30-40 % and will raise it as high as I can get it on lock down.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  5. JAHVREM

    JAHVREM Out Of The Brooder

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    found the air sac chart. mine seem adequate and appropriate.


    by the way, i use those electric turners, i think someone mentioned "not enough" turning as a possibility?

    and, another odd thing, ....i am trying to hatch buckeyes, javas, and barred rocks.

    all of these eggs are developing as described above, but at my first set in the bator, i also had a buckeye hen go broody, which is not common, especially in the winter!! anyway, eggs in bator died, 12 eggs under hen yielded 11 chicks, fat and happy....i am very baffled.

    it seems like 15 yrs ago, when i started with mutt eggs in a cheapo styrofoam bator, i didn't worry about temp or humidity, and had mutt eggs, hatched EVERYTHING i set.

    now i am so much smarter, but hatching less and less.

    i will be curious how your batch of eggs go in your new bator. good luck!!
     
  6. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    Do you put your eggs in cartons at lockdown. I've had great success doing that. Helps them get into position to pip better in my opinion.
     
  7. JAHVREM

    JAHVREM Out Of The Brooder

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    hi mahonri i have not tried the cartons, was always worried about affecting temperature and humidity. just laid them on side in bator set at 99.8 with humidity at 60% do you worry about heat or humidity fluctuations?
     
  8. Syharrison

    Syharrison Out Of The Brooder

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    in your case i'd go back to basics. get yourself a steady incubator for about $80
    alot of people make a massive deal when it comes to humidity but others hatch all without any.
    turn them three times a day from bottom to top. morning evening night.
    out of interest do you have any deformaties with the chicks that hatch ???
    to me it sounds like your "lockdown" is where it all goes wrong, with three days left just leave them in the bator untouched and obv turn of your automatic turner.
     

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