HELP !!! Hatch went horribly wrong

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by SRB-1, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. SRB-1

    SRB-1 Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Dec 17, 2014
    I will start from the beginning I live in Iowa the temps very this time of year from 40 degree highs to -14 below. On Sunday December, 13th 2014 I had my mother start gathering eggs for me for 7 days. She has 8 hens’ red in color and 1 rooster body color white with multi colored feathers please excuse my ignorance on the breeds. I had a friend gather a few extra eggs from her mixed flock so I had enough eggs to fill my 42 egg turner for my forced air Hovabator. I started with 39 of my mother’s eggs and 3 from my friend on December 20th. I candled on day 5 culled 11 now I have 31 setting. Humidity ran from 52 on the low side to 60 on the high side temp at a steady 99 degrees throughout the first 18 days. On day 19 or what I thought was day 19 turns out that you can’t count the day that you set the eggs as day 1 (rookie mistake) I candled the eggs again and found 2 that had small nonmoving mass in them I culled them and cracked to see what went on I found small pencil eraser sized embryo’s dead in them. The other 29 eggs had veins and moving mass in them some mass larger than others but all moving. So I removed the turner and started the lockdown process bumped the humidity to 65% - 70% temp holding steady at 99 degrees. Day 21 Sunday the real day 21 had the first pip Monday morning I had one healthy chick great! Day 22 one more pip I return home from work 1 more healthy chick through the evening one more pip and hatch. Day am 23 one more chick I return home from work two more chicks. Evening of day 23 one more piped. Day am 24 no more pip’s, evening of day 24 I remove all of the chicks and add wet sponges to keep my humidity up and it spiked to 78% I removed the sponges within a few minutes and humidity was back to 70%. The chick that piped on day 23 was still alive and started to zip and was chirping and moving in the shell by the am on day 25 it had expired in the shell. AM day 25 two more had piped. When I returned home from work one of the piped eggs was moving with not much progress so I decided to help, got the chick out of the shell. The chick did expire within 5 minutes of removal from the shell it did have part of the yolk about the size of a marble still attached. At this point I decided to water candled the eggs what I found was no movement so I candled with a light just to be sure ,no movement so I started cracking eggs. What I found were some eggs I would say would be fully developed and in position to pip some were about half grown and three or four were dark blobs that were not developed. 3 of the 6 that hatched were from my friend she had collected them for two days prior to setting and the other three were from my mother’s flocks which were collected over seven days. Can someone troubleshoot this for me please? I would like to start another batch but I would like to keep from having the same problem or mistakes. Thanks in advance for the help
     
  2. scflock

    scflock Overrun With Chickens

    14,366
    2,264
    378
    Jan 13, 2015
    Upstate South Carolina
    My first hatch with a styrofoam incubator went exactly the same way. I was so discouraged that I decided not to hatch any more until I could afford a more expensive incubator. That being said, watching the expensive incubator work has helped me understand some of my own rookie mistakes with the other.
    I'm sure others more knowledgable than me will chime in, but here is my best guess. Your humidity was too high for the first 18 days, and perhaps the temperature was too low. I didn't buy a hygrometer, so I filled up all of the water trays in the styrofoam. I'm sure that made my humidity too high, and some of mine drowned. About 1/4-1/3 of the yolk needs to evaporate and be absorbed for the chick to have a large enough air sack to move into before the hatch. I never candled, and never measured my humidity. With the new incubator, I kept the humidity at 40% and everything worked much better.
    With your delayed hatch, it also makes me think the temperature was too low. A degree or two makes a huge difference. When you say steady temp at 99 degrees, is that on the incubator display, or on a thermometer at egg level? If you were going by the built in thermometer, there is a good chance that the temperature at egg level could be 1-2 degrees lower. That would explain the late hatch. Next time, put a thermometer on top of the eggs so you can get a more accurate reading at egg level.
    The main thing is don't get discouraged. It's a learning experience for everyone, and each mistake you make in a hatch helps you with your further hatches. You'll get it!
     
  3. SRB-1

    SRB-1 Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Dec 17, 2014
    With this round I had the thermometer/hygrometer right on top of the eggs during the first 18 days and on the bator floor for the lockdown period. For the second round I bought a new thermometer/hygrometer from incubator warehouse with the remote sensor. that should be more accurate my first one was an eight dollar one from the local farm store.
     
  4. scflock

    scflock Overrun With Chickens

    14,366
    2,264
    378
    Jan 13, 2015
    Upstate South Carolina
    Ok, good. Sounds like you had a good handle on that. I still say your humidity was a little too high. Near 60 is getting to lockdown humidity. What you described finding in your eggs was exactly what I found, fully developed but dead chicks. I think they drowned. Nest time, try only filling half of your channels and see if the humidity will stabilize at 39-42% or so. I bet that will help. Some people even run the first 18 days dry, but I would be afraid to do that with the low ambient humidity in the winter
     
  5. sdm111

    sdm111 Overrun With Chickens

    7,983
    1,298
    366
    May 21, 2013
    S. louisiana
    Research dry hatch and do that for styrofoam incubators. Too high humidity the chicks grow too big and cannot zip. Also use better thermometer sounds to me like above stated too low temp and too high humidity. Also IMO keep the plugs out from 1-18 for fresh air movement then plug one or both to up humidity.
     
  6. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,019
    2,498
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY

    I agree that the humidity was too high. I also agree with trying the dry incubation. I use a Little Giant styrofoam bator w/fan kit and egg turner. I did the dry incubation for my last hatch (loved it) and will continue to use that method. Out of my 16 eggs I had going into lockdown, 13 hatched.
    I also always recommend using more than one thermometer in the bator during incubation as well. I lost my first hatch to a faulty thermometer and will never again rely on just one.
    My hygrometer isn't calibrated, though I believe it to be fairly accurate. I only use the hygrometer as a guide anyway as I adjust (if I have to) my humidity based on the air cells of the eggs. I believe that is the key to controling humidity. The reason we watch humidity during incubation is to make sure the egg looses enough of it's moisture and the best way to do that is to monitor the air cells or weigh the eggs. I choose to monitor the air cells.
    For days 1-17 I do not add water. (My hygrometer shows an average of 40% w/o water in the bator.) I also leave my vents open (unplugged) for the whole incubation period. At lockdown I up the humidity as high as I can get it. I like at least 70%, but I shoot for 75%. If it's higher, great, but it generally holds between 70-75% until they start hatching then it will increase a bit.
    If you do decide to try dry incubation, just remember that doesn't mean you don't want any humidity at all. If your bator doesn't hold at least 20-25% w/o any water, I would recommend putting in just enough to keep it around 25-30%.
    A delayed hatch usually signifies low average temps, (as stated) so I would definitely think that you'll find the one you were using was low. (That's what happened to my first hatch.) I believe that if you lower the humidity maybe even try dry incubation if you are comfortable with that and have a good thermometer or two (or in my case, three...lol) that is reading an accurate temp, that you'll do much better.
     
  7. faith644

    faith644 New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Nov 28, 2014
    Farm Innovators Model 4200 Pro Series Circulated Air Incubator with Automatic Egg Turner i have set my eggs in this model it has the turner . my ? is the turner rocks 45* to the left and then back to flat it never goes to the right,Is this normal?
     
  8. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,019
    2,498
    416
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    It should go to the left, flat and to the right then back to flat. At least in my experience that's what they do.
     
  9. sdm111

    sdm111 Overrun With Chickens

    7,983
    1,298
    366
    May 21, 2013
    S. louisiana
    The turner only fits a certain way if u put it in one way it'll drop right in, if u put it in the other way it'll be a tight fit. Make sure it's not the tight fit way or it'll jam and can't turn all the way to one side. If that's not the case than I don't know.
     
  10. faith644

    faith644 New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Nov 28, 2014
    thank you both i got it working good thing i just set the eggs today this is my first hatch
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by