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High humidity, huge air cells, 0% hatch rate ???

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Gypsy07, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Songster

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Just had an awful result with my last batch of eggs in the 'bator. Going into lockdown I weighed them and they'd lost FAR too much weight over the first 18 days. I usually aim for an 11-14% loss, these ones had lost 25%! The air cells were huge but by then there wasn't much I could do about it. Anyway I was going away overnight on 'hatch day' so I thought I'll just leave them to it and see what happens, but I wasn't expecting much. And sure enough only one pipped, didn't even get its beak out, and the rest all died in the shells. Nine properly formed very small chicks, but all shrink wrapped in the eggs. The membranes into the air cells were tough and dry.

    Which sounds like a humidity problem, right? Humidity far too low.

    Well... My last hatch I ran at 30-35% then 60-65% for lockdown and did okay, but after taking advice from a few people about how 'dry' hatches weren't always the best idea, I thought I'd bump humidity up for this one and see what results I got. Ran it at 50% then 70% for lockdown. I know by lockdown the damage was done, but I ran it 20% higher than normal for the first eighteen days and ended up with air cells twice as big as they should have been! So what happened to them? My hygrometer is definitely accurate.
  2. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    were they your own eggs or shipped? I had this happen earlier this year...bought some eggs and none hatched. Second batch from same person I upped the humidity, bought a new bator and doubled the amount of eggs I ordered. None. When I opened mine one was still alive, it live for 2 days but never really did much, it also had one eye that was smaller than other.
    Were the eggs porous?
    What breed?
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    It seems to me that your egg shells must have been more porous, which allowed too much moisture to escape.

    Other than that, I'd say your hygrometer was off.

    Sorry for your loss...

    Better luck next time.
  4. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Songster

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Thanks guys. That was pretty much what I was suspecting. The shells looked OK when I set the eggs, but when I broke them open today to see what had been going on inside, they seemed very thin and crumbly to me. Oh well. To look on the bright side, I suppose if that was the problem then at least it wasn't anything that I did wrong...

    They were shipped eggs, I got them from an ebay seller, and they were Marsh Daisys. It's an old British breed and they're pretty rare. They're nothing fancy, just rather hard to find. And hard to hatch, going by my success rate so far of 2 chicks from 22 eggs. And both of them were roos! Bah.

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