HELP!! incubator problems!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by logan1237, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. logan1237

    logan1237 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 24, 2012
    if anyone could help this would be great.. i am having problems with my incubator i think. just yesterday all my eggs were supposed to hatch but the day before i had one start a hole in the egg and then it died.. its like it couldnt break out. then i had another one of my eggs that was peeping all night and stopped i broke the eggs open and it was dead... so last night i had a few peeping so i decided to break them out so they would have a chance to live. out of my eggs there about 10 chicks i only have 2 left this morning i dont understand why it is that they couldnt get out themselves is it my incubator or the way i turn the the other problem i have is that the chicks were half developed when breaking the eggs open i tried another batch of eggs a month ago before the ones now and the chicks were half developed they just stopped growing and dying is it the incubator doing this if anyone know please let me know thanks
  2. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2011
    S.E. Michigan
    Sorry [​IMG]Are the eggs shipped? Shipped eggs are hard. I would calibrate your thermometer and your hygrometer. You can go in The Learning Center and find how to. Where the chicks that pipped shrink wrapped? If so, the humidity was too low in lock-down. Hatching eggs is not easy and even a broody hen doesn't always get a perfect hatch rate.
  3. logan1237

    logan1237 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 24, 2012
    no they were not shipped they were from my grandma but i didnt get them as soon as they were laid she had them for about 4 days before i picked them up...
  4. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 12, 2009
    [​IMG] to BYC logan1237. What kind of incubator are you using? You should calibrate your thermometer and hygrometer, does it have a fan or still air. At least they are not eggs you are paying for so you can fix the problem and get more eggs. You can hatch eggs up to 10 days with good storage.
    There are a lot of good people on here to help you have a good hatch.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There are several things that could cause that. You might look through this link and see if you see something that jumps out at you. You looked at them. I didn't.

    Mississippi State Incubation Troubleshooting

    Opening eggs is hardly ever a good thing to do. Before a chick hatches it has to position itself, dry up blood vessels outside its body it no longer needs and absorb the blood, absorb the yolk, do something with that stickly stuff outside its body so it dries fluffy instead of all glued down, learn to breathe in air instead of living in a liquid environment, and who knows what else. Some chicks do a lot of this between internal and external pip. Some wait until after external pip to do this. It is really hard to judge when helping one has much chance of success. Usually you do more harm than good. Trust me. I understand your frustration. Most of us have been there.

    It's possible it could have something to do with the parent flock but I'd think not likely. Four days is not old for eggs at all. You can go a week without any problems, even if you don't turn them during storage. You do need to watch and not store them too hot. You may have shaken them up on the way home but other than that I'd think it is more likely an incubator problem.

    Have you calibrated your thermometer so you know what you are dealing with? Sometimes those pre-set incubator thermostats can be off and regular thermometers can read wrong due to manufacturing tolerances. The incubator being too hot, especially in the first week or so, could cause then to die in the last week. This might help.

    Rebel’s Thermometer Calibration

    Rebel’s Hygrometer Calibration

    Another thing that might cause that is not turning them, especially in the first week. That first week is when most body parts are forming. If they are not turned, body parts can form in the wrong place. Most of these chicks die in the shell in the third week.

    There are lots of other things that could be causing your problems. I sure can't diagnose it across the internet. Hopefully you can see something in that link that can help.

    Good luck!
    3 people like this.
  6. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    I noticed in another thread you opened the full incubator to take a picture. When you have a LG or Hovabator (syrofoam incubator) then you can't just open the lid during the last 3 days. This can cause the internal membrane to shrink/dry out which is where the term shrink wrap comes from. If they are in the shell and the membrane drys and and shrinks then it makes it hard for them to move to pip and even hard to breath as they have no diaphram. At any point you feel you need to remove a chick or do something (which should be avoided if possible) then open the top window. It lets out a lot less air and humidity. Chicks need humidity during hatching to help keep this membrane moist.

    My most common 'help' during hatch is to open just the air cell end of the egg and take very warm water and moisten the membrane then I take a warm wet paper towel and set the egg right back in there for them to finish on their own.

    I have had chicks hatch day 25 maybe even 26. I tend to leave them in a while before intervening. Most the time with these kinds of failures it boils down to a few things (based on my reading on this site).

    If they start developing and then just stop that is usually some kind of incubator/human error. It can be nutrition if the original eggs were from hens that did not have access to the right food but that is a small percentage. More than likely it is from temperature spikes early or humidity lows late. The styrofoam bators can work great if they are in a stable environment between 69-72 degrees ( I have an older model that litterally has that sticker on the outside of the bator). But if they are in an unheated room or in a window that gets sunlight or in a house heated by a more variable source like a fireplace it can be difficult to avoid temp spikes. As you head into lockdown, the last 3 days of incubation you need to get the humidity up and stay out of the bator. you can add water as needed through the hole in the lid with a straw. You haven't indicated in your post if you are monitoring temp and humidity and what it is. Remember temp is different for a still air then a bator with a fan.

    If you are going to try to help which isn't for most then you need to read all the related threads. I help sometimes and have gotten quite a bit better at knowing when to help and when not to. Mostly all I do now is moisten. Remember they can survive 3 days after hatching on the yolk so if they are 'stuck' in the shell for up to three days with you moistening the membrane they will be ok as long as they can breathe. They can not survive without blood or inards or yolk being absorbed so most helping beyond what I was talking about can cause one of those three things to not work right.
  7. logan1237

    logan1237 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 24, 2012
    thanks guys for the info my incubator is at 99.5 in temp but i do not have a humidity one.. i never even herd of that until today so i will be going to get one for my next hatch..
  8. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2012
    SE Missouri
    I agree to the other answers.My question is what do you mean half formed?.Before they are hatched their will be a yellow yolk which is abosorbs during hatching.Wete they missing limbs or was there a yellow bulb in front or below the chick?like its coming out if their body?
    It sure does sound like shrink wrap .what was your humidity day18 to 21?Should have been 65 - 75Were the ones you cracked out moving at all or peeping before you hatched them out? Itt may have been done too quickly as they have veins that attach them and need to dry up before they hatch all the way.Best way to hatch thrm is read all you can about hatching and about helping them outThere is a utube video on helping a hatch also.Good luck next time.
  9. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    You'll no doubt have much better luck being able to control humidity. If your humidity is too high the air sac wont grow enough to accommodate the chicks head when they internally pip so they drown. High humidity also creates a glue with the eggs album so chicks can't move about, can externally pip then not be able to move to zip the shell.

    Calibrate your hygrometer with a salt test (google salt test, it's easy to do). A good humidity to run is 35% first 18 days then 60% last 3.

    Good Luck.

    BTW- A quality combination temp/hygrometer that you can adjust the hygrometer reading after calibrating can be had fairly inexpensive from ebay.
    I have this model, it's extremely accurate and can be found cheaper than that ad. Others I'm sure can suggest other models that are quality and wont bust the bank.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  10. logan1237

    logan1237 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 24, 2012
    by half formed i dont mean that it was missing any limbs i just mean that its like it stopped growing and just died id say like a few day before to a week before it is to hatch and i dont understand why it is

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