Help me troubleshoot my bad hatch please :)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lizrndiver, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. lizrndiver

    lizrndiver Chillin' With My Peeps

    204
    1
    109
    Jul 30, 2009
    South Beloit, IL
    Last month I had a really great hatch with shipped eggs getting 10/12 beautiful new chicks.

    So I ordered another 18 from the same breeder. I set them in the same incubator ( a Hovabator Genesis) and kept the same humidity.

    I keep 2 hygrometer/thermometers in there and they both consistently read 100.4. The Hovabator instructions say that usually the theromstat is more accurate, so since my previous hatches have been pretty good, I have never messed with the settings. For humidity, I do a dry hatch where I start by filling the small channel with water and that usually gives a humidity of 50%. I then leave it alone unless I get down to 25% and then I add just a bit of water. This keeps the humidity around 40-50% most of the incubation. On lockdown, I go up to 65% and keep it there.

    This hatch I got 6 out of 20. The part I'm upset about is that 14 made it to lockdown with great movement at the lockdown candling.

    The 6 that didn't were either clear or earlier quitters. that's okay.

    That 8 that went to lockdown and didn't hatch, I had only 2 pip. One pipped at the wrong end and eventually died. One pipped and never zipped, I opened it and it had a crossed beak.

    I had 4 that pipped internally and peeped for 2 days. No external pip. I eventually opened them and found they had never absorbed the yolk and also had one eye much larger than the other.

    I had 2 others that died without any pip at all. One had no eyes and the other had a weird "build"....a big head, tiny neck and body.

    I just wonder if I got a bad batch of eggs genetically, should change the humidity or alter the temp setting on my incubator, just finally had statistics catch up with me?

    Any ideas would be great.

    Thanks,

    Liz
     
  2. laceynoelle

    laceynoelle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2009
    Reno
    No, it sounds like bad genetics. Are they a different breed from the first batch? If not, either the breeder has more than one flock of the same breed (most do) or you've got incredibly horrible luck this time.
     
  3. lizrndiver

    lizrndiver Chillin' With My Peeps

    204
    1
    109
    Jul 30, 2009
    South Beloit, IL
    First time was 6 Speckled Sussex and 6 Delaware. I got 4 SS and 6 Dels.

    This time it was 7 Speckled Sussex, 7 Delaware, and 6 Coronation Sussex.

    I got 3 SS, 2 Delaware, and 1 Coro Sussex.

    Liz
     
  4. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,286
    27
    193
    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    If all your eggs were the one breed, I'd say bad genetics. But three different breeds, all showing weird deformities, I'd say it was more likely caused by an early temp spike. Especially as you previously got two lots of eggs of the same breeds from the same breeder and hatched out perfectly healthy chicks. I don't think a breeder would have three different flocks all throwing deformed chicks, and they wouldn't have noticed it yet. I vote for temp spikes. They can cause horrible deformities.

    Edit: I'd email the breeder and just ask them if they have more than one flock of each breed. If they don't, that would rule that theory out altogether.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  5. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:X2
    deformities are USUALLY due to temp spikes or just too high of a temp altogether (faulty thermometer)
     
  6. lizrndiver

    lizrndiver Chillin' With My Peeps

    204
    1
    109
    Jul 30, 2009
    South Beloit, IL
    So if it was an early temp spike, is that just a risk of hatching eggs?

    Since you can't watch the incubator 24/7 and you have to trust that if it is the same each time you look at the thermometer then it is the same temp.

    I do have a high/low feature on one of my thermometers, but it only shows temps to the nearest degree. It shows 100 for the high and 99 for the low unless I open the 'bator to candle.

    Then I can drop as low as 97 for a couple of minutes.

    Liz
     
  7. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,286
    27
    193
    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    To check for temp spikes, a thermometer that measures to the nearest degree should be sufficient. If you've got one, and it showed 100 for the highest, I'd have to wonder if it's accurate. If your temperature stayed between 99 and 100 in a fan assisted bator, that's as good as you'd ever want really.

    Out of interest, what day did your chicks hatch on?

    P.S. No, temp spikes are not just an unavoidable risk when you're hatching eggs. Some bators are better than others at holding steady temps, and some places are better than others to situate your bator in order to minimise the risk of temp fluctuations. In general though, if you have a decent quality bator that's in good working order, and you site it somewhere that the ambient temp is fairly steady, out of sunlight and away from draughts, you shouldn't get any temp spikes at all.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  8. Melissa Rose

    Melissa Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,178
    24
    161
    Aug 14, 2011
    South Texas
    Can I ask a question here Please [​IMG] ! I have had trouble with two hatches. Not all the eggs going into lockdown live are hatching. The first time they piped but did not all zip. the second time three did not even pip. When candled on day 23 they were not moving / died. I think I had an issue with humidity being to high during incubation the first time but I corrected it for the second time and still had problems. I noticed when trying to figure out what it might be by checking everything that at the bottom of my Incubator it is 3 degrees cooler than at the top. When I put the eggs into lockdown I took the shelves from up at the top and put them together at the bottom because I did not want the chicks dropping down through any cracks. Could the lower temp have caused my problems? I was keeping it at a steady 99.5 but when I temped the very bottom were the eggs where placed for lockdown it was only 96.5 degrees!!! Thanks for any input and help [​IMG]
     
  9. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    16,711
    533
    408
    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I have an LG and having hear about the heat spikes I did something about it.

    Place in as many jars of water as possible to absorb the heat before it damages the embryo and provide heat if temp should drop.

    I use a human non-merc thermometer that doesn't go up and down with the changing temps but rather stays at the highest temp it was exposed to. So while my digital may show 99 degrees, my human thermometers may have recorded 101. Helps me to track problems.

    I goofed and turned the temp up and got 106 on my human thermometers; fortunately, I was checking in on the temps as I had just changed it and the 3 hours at 106 was corrected quickly. Did it impact the hatch rate? Maybe. Got 50% hatch and learned my lesson: don't touch the temp controls on the LG. Use ventilation holes to moderate!
     
  10. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:96.5 is too low in my opinion.. for hatch I never let it drop below 97 for duck eggs and 98 - 98.5 for turkey eggs.. for chickens and quail I just maintain the regular incubation temp
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by