Help. Chicks dying half out of shell...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ahawks1, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. ahawks1

    ahawks1 Out Of The Brooder

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    I've been incubating my duucle eggs from my hen and so far every one has been fertile since she started laying. I've hatched 3 chicks out of 6 eggs so far, a couple I've had to help out, the others died before hatch or during hatch. My question is, the last couple eggs have pipped and zipped and when I check on them again, the chicks are dead hanging out of the shell. The one today had peeped all day but never cracked the shell, so I made a small hole in the shell where his beak was and put him back and when I checked again he was dead too. They seem to get half hatched and start acting like they're choking on air and just die. Any idea What could be going on?
     
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    First, being you seem to be a "hands-on-hatcher" have you collected a lot of info on that so you will know what to do and what not to do??? I am not a hands-on-hatcher so I do not have a lot of experience in that. I am a hands-OFF-hatcher and I have hatched some duucle eggs with good hatch rates.

    Now at what humidity do you run for the incubation(for the first 18 days)? What humidity do you use for the Hatch? What temp do you use. Did the duucle pip on time or early or late?

    What type incubator are you using? Is it vented good?
     
  3. ahawks1

    ahawks1 Out Of The Brooder

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    I only assist if I feel they aren't progressing very much in a matter of time. I work 11 hours a night, 5 days a week, so I'm in long enough to turn eggs I've set recently and remove hatched chicks. I do staggered hatches because I'm trying to increase my hens and my one hen I have lays about every other day now. So I've got eggs hatching about every week. The first Egg that hatched took almost 2 whole days, the next took less than 2 hours. I'm running at about 40-50% humidity, and the chicks are not sticking at all. I usually leave the humidity and raise it a couple days to 60% before each batch is set to hatch. By the time they hatch and are dry, it's back to the normal humidity I run. I turn at least twice a day if possible, but I just don't have time every single day like I should but I've had no problems with that. I have a homemade cooler bator that holds temp at 99.5 I have 4 thermometers I interchange to make sure it stays the same. I have 3 separate batches going in it now, plus a set of 20 silkie eggs a neighbor gave me he had extra set to hatch tomorrow. And the ones that have pipped are always on the day 21. But I've had every other Egg set, to hatch, I number them to record dates and every even numbered Egg has hatched and every odd has either pipped and got halfway out and died or didn't even pip. No eggs have quit early, and her very first Egg she Laid was fertile, but didn't hatch but the second Egg did. The chicks that die out of shells have absorbed their yolk and are fully developed, but as soon as they get almost out, it's like they just give up. They start gasping for air, stop peeping, and just go to sleep and never wake up. It's just odd for them to get that far and just stop.
     
  4. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    How long have you been hatching with this cooler-bator?
    Have you been---for a while having good luck hatching---then this problem started with them dying as they are coming out the shell?
    Or this has been happening the whole time?
    Do you candle and remove bad eggs often?
    How do you clean up the "mess" after each hatch?
    Does the inside of your incubator smell clean or kinda bad?
    I asked above about air exchange vents----you have those and how are they set-up?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
  5. sdm111

    sdm111 Overrun With Chickens

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    Imo your humidity is too high during days 1-18 should be more in the 25-30% range. The chicks grow too fast and big with too high humidity and usually are too big to turn in the shell to zip or are too weak at hatch. Research dry incubation method
     
  6. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Here's my opinion. First, you are already running a fairly high humidity for incubation. I too prefer around 30% ish for incubation. But if you are staggering hatch so that new eggs are going in every week. The eggs that are in there are going through up to three lockdown periods of high humidity per set. I can't imagine that they are loosing enough moisture during incubation.

    Second, turning is important. Eggs need to be turned for proper chick and CAM development. It can affect the viability of the chicks.

    Third, I'm totally a hands on hatcher. I also make sure that I run high humidity at hatch so that eggs that are pipping/zipping continue to get decent humidity even when I do open my bator. I would be wary opening the bator at less than 65%, I prefer at least 70%, but with staggered hatches every week and higher incubation humidity to begin with, I wouldn't advise highering it either.

    In my opinion, this is what I would consider. Investing in a second bator if you absolutely need to do staggered hatches. Even if it's a cheap lg from TSC. Just use your own thermometers/hygrometers for accuracy. That way, you can do staggered hatches and come lockdown they can be moved to the hatching incubator.
    I would bring down the humidity during incubation for all standard eggs and let the air cells guid you with adjusting humidity, such as in this method: http://letsraisechickens.weebly.com...anuals-understanding-and-controlling-humidity

    And if you are going to be hands on with the hatching process and have a separate hatcher, I suggest bumping up to 70% at hatch so you have a little leeway when opening the incubator.

    Those are my thoughts.
     
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  7. Poultry keeper2

    Poultry keeper2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Wait but I keep my humidity 60-65% and I have great hatches, an the incubator is still air, do you have a fan in your incubator?
     
  8. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    You running that high for incubation or just hatch and have you ever tested your hygrometer? Yes, I have forced air. Usually though, any differences in forced/still leans in the opposite direction though. Because the air in a still incubator doesn't move, humidity builds up quicker, often meaning still air can succeed at a lower rate.
     
  9. Poultry keeper2

    Poultry keeper2 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm on day seven would it be ok to lower the humidity? I mean I do hatch eggs a lot but should I lower it.
     
  10. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    You can adjust humidity at anytime, but your best bet is to go by your air cell development (which the link I shared explains.) If you've never checked your hygrometer for accuracy it could be reading high and not actually that high. I know a handful of people who pull off incubating at 50%, but I honestly don't know anyone not in a high elevation, that can incubate that high successfully. It's not impossible, just rare. At least in the table top incubators.
     

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