Help--incubating problems with Little Giant 9200

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by madornato, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. madornato

    madornato Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Newnan, GA
    I am on my 4th hatch of chicks, and I am obviously doing something really wrong. Out of 41 eggs, the most I've ever gotten to hatch is about 20. I have an egg turner, I store my eggs properly before incubating them, and I even got my hubby to install a CPU fan to circulate the air inside the incubator. I have an Acurite temperature and humidity readout that I placed in the incubator. I closely, especially this last time, monitored the temperature and humidity. For this hatch, 9 or 10 eggs had to be thrown out around day 9 because they were either not fertilized or were quitters. Around day 14 I had to remove an egg because it was really starting to smell--a chick had quit growing and died. Another weird thing that happened this time is that the chicks started hatching on day 19 (not even quite 19 days). Another weird thing--I had 2 chicks that pipped the next day (day 20), they had broken large pieces of their shells off, and then promptly died. After 12 hours or so, I removed them. There was nothing wrong with the chicks inside the eggs--they just died for some unknown reason. I am now sitting at day 21 and have 11 unhatched eggs in my incubator. I have only hatched 17 out of 41. I am completely frustrated. I should be getting better hatches than this. The previous hatch I had 8 or 9 that did not hatch--I opened them up, and the chicks were completely formed--they just died. I'm doing something wrong, but for the life of me I cannot figure out what it is. I did open up one of the little windows in the incubator 2x to remove chicks but only when the humidity was like 80-85% as a result of the chicks hatching releasing moisture into the air. I was trying to keep the humidity aroud 65-75% for the last 3 days (closer to 65%), but when the chicks started hatching, the humidity would rise to 80 or 85%. What am I supposed to do when it gets that high? Also, I have my eggs laying directly on shelf liner covering the wire bottom; when the chicks hatch, they kick the rest of the eggs around. Could that be causing some of my problems? Please, please advise. I am wanting to purchase some eggs to hatch of a special variety (so far I've been hatching my chickens' eggs), so I want to get this figured out to get the best hatch possible.

    Thanks so much.
     
  2. Loving My Peeps

    Loving My Peeps Chicken Whisperer

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    Aug 19, 2010
    Central, Maine
    I recently read something about the chances going up if you place the eggs in a cardboard egg carton for the lockdown. Somehow the position keeps the chicks from drowning and also prevents the others from being rolled around. I have not tried this yet but people have had great success with this method. I have read it several times on this site. It may be worth a try if your humidity is so high. Best of luck.
     
  3. madornato

    madornato Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Newnan, GA
    Thanks for the information. I had heard that some people use cartons. I wonder how the chicks get out and move around once they're hatched, if there is even any room to move around with the egg cartons in there. The humidity should still go up quite a bit when several hatch at a time, right?--or do the cartons absorb some of that humidity? Definitely worth a try next time. That should work pretty well if I could get all my chicks to hatch within about 24 hours of each other. Right now they're hatching 2-3 days total from beginning to end.
     
  4. friskebluegills

    friskebluegills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2010
    I use little giant incubators too, and I seem to have pretty good hatch rates. I keep my humidity set at 65% throughout 18 days. then the last 3 I get it to 80% They have a better chance getting out with more humidity and none of mine have ever had soft bellies. Also were is your thermometer. We set ours right on the eggs and I keep the temp at 102, but that's because ours is still air. yours would obviously want to be set at 99.5, but if the thermometer isn't on the eggs you're getting a different reading. I keep one on the eggs, that came with the incubator, and then I have my humidity and temp one off to the side. That one always says about 3* less than the eggs themselves, but again that's still air so that might not matter as much. If they are hatching early it's because the temp in the incubator is to warm. a degree throughout the incubation period can make them hatch a day early so my guess is that yours is set a few degrees to high. that could also be the problem with the dieing chicks. Also I lightly spray the shells with water when they start hatching, usually with chickens it's not as important, but if you ever do guineas, ducks or turkeys I would highly suggest it. I hope this helps good luck with your next hatches.
     
  5. madornato

    madornato Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Newnan, GA
    Thanks, Friskebluegills. Do you sit your eggs in egg cartons during the last 3 days or do you just lay them on the wire? I tried to keep the temperature at 99.5. I had the acurite sitting directly on the eggs (I hope that's ok, and I hope that will give an accurate temp. measurement), and I have another thermometer with a probe tip that I stick in one of those little holes on the opposite side of the incubator. The temperature variance, even with the fan, was sometimes 2 degrees or more, but I tried to look at the acurite one most often--when I got it set initially, I left it alone. I called the company that makes the little giant, and they said 1-2 degrees difference from one side of the incubator to the other is no big deal. They also said to lightly mist the eggs 2x/day with warm water after lockdown. I didn't do that because I was happy with the humidity level the incubator was set at. Now that I've heard from you, I'm thinking I had the humidity set too low. As far as the temp., I don't know. It ran at 99.5 or thereabouts for the 1st 18 days, and then I left the setting the same for the eggs even after I placed them on the wire; therefore, the eggs during hatch were about 1-2 degrees cooler than before. I read somewhere to do that because the chicks create some heat of their own getting into position to hatch and during the hatching process itself. I guess if I use the egg cartons next time, the eggs will stay at about the same temperature as when they were in the turner. Thanks again.
     
  6. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 24, 2010
    From my last hatch, the egg on the side near the fan were hatch 1 day late then the controller side. My guess... the temperature is not quit the same as one might think. I used egg carton with few holes in the bottom for air circulation day 1-18. And turn over it side on the 19.
     

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