Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by wolfpak, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. wolfpak

    wolfpak Chirping

    May 9, 2010
    This weekend's hatch is the worst I've ever had! Started with 20 fresh eggs from our hens, candled at 18 days, 6 failed to develop & were discarded. Down to 14 eggs....

    Using a Hovabator with fan & automatic turner, which was removed at 18 day lockdown. We use the top 1/2 of jumbo cartons lined up in the hovabator, and I normally put a few thicker brand wet paper towels alongside the cartons to keep humidity optimal. Have had almost 100% success in past hatches doing this.

    Even my first try at hatching, when we first got the incubator, & did not candle at all resulted in better than 50% hatch rate! I've hatched month old refridgerated eggs & had great success, too. But not today!!!!

    So, of the 14 remaining eggs, 8 failed to pip at all, and were fully formed, dead in the shell. Of the 6 live chicks, one has a herniated spot, where the yolk should have absorbed, protruding from its body ( & is spreading yolk all over inside the incubator, but still flailing around - unlikely to make it. From experience, abnormal chicks ALWAYS die of the anomaly) The 6th chick is weak, & I just helped it out of the egg, as it was a bit stuck. These chicks almost always are fine, in my experience.

    The only real difference this time around was super low humidity (20%) at end of week one, & my husband put the wet paper towels IN the carton tops, then set the eggs on them!!! (arrrrrgggghhh!) Wondering if the eggs wound up getting "water-logged" from this. Also, my thermostat seems to be going haywire, certainly not good.... having to make huge adjustments with the lever to control it, whereas only a nudge is usually needed.

    Wondering what the experts here think of my sad situation.... or perhaps its time to ORDER those Buckeyes I've always wanted...?!? Stinko...& disappointing!!!
  2. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    Feb 12, 2009
    Did you have the plugs in or out? What was your humidity the last 3 days?
  3. gabrielle1976

    gabrielle1976 Crowing

    Feb 21, 2009
    Columbia river gorge
    What was your humidity the first 18 days and what was your humidity at lock down till hatch.? What was your tempature ? Did they hatch on day 21 or day 22 or day 20 ect?
  4. Lady EE

    Lady EE Songster

    May 10, 2011
    I think your hatch was even worse than my last one! 21 eggs, all except one didn't hatch, and that one was killed by our cat.
  5. wolfpak

    wolfpak Chirping

    May 9, 2010
    one plug in, one out. Wanted to try to boost humidity.... which was mostly in the 70% range, but somewhat unstable. The little one with the herniated belly passed Sun pm. Four are big, strong & zooming around the stock tank we put them in (heatlamp at one end). The weak one is runty, but has lots of energy, seems healthy. Just splinted its toes, due to severe curling issues. Have had almost 100% hatches in the past.. think the issues are mostly related to the eggs being placed on wet paper towels at lockdown. Had husband help, he must have forgotten that the wet paper towels go OUTSIDE the carton lids!

    The 8 other eggs were formed, broke out the air sac end of the egg & could see them, down & all, well formed under the membrane.... boo! Probably not helping that the thermostat was a bit wacky as well! Just couldn't get good control... but nothing too wild, just not the constant, steady 99.5 I hold it at.
  6. wolfpak

    wolfpak Chirping

    May 9, 2010
    Had a WONDERFUL hatch last year. 18 healthy little chicks -- put in low sided stock tank in enclosed porch area. Somehow I failed to close the door completely, went to tend to the one chick that had a bubbly fish eye on one side.

    Evidently our new little rescued mini-doxie with the atrophied & weak hind legs got the door open, then managed to get himself into the tank (how I'll never know!) & proceeded to slaughter the whole bunch! Arrrgh!!! I came back 5 min later & he was laying stretched out, basking under the heatlamp, proud as he could be, amongst the carnage! HORRORS!
  7. Sweetlilbaby

    Sweetlilbaby Songster

    Apr 19, 2012
    Tacoma Washington
    I'm sorry for your loss. I also lost some chicks yesterday. I've been going over it in my head over and over of how it had to have happened. And what I could have done differently. :(
    Hopefully you'll get to try again and get a great hatch. Check craigslist for free eggs if you don't have chickens of your own to get eggs from.
  8. wolfpak

    wolfpak Chirping

    May 9, 2010
    Thanks, Sweetlil. Yes we have our own chickens & a few roos, so getting new fertile eggs is no issue. Sorry about your loss! Seems much worse when they've already "arrived," vs still in the shell.... In any case VERY perplexing. Didn't think any of the conditions were so far off as to result in the failure of 8 (of 14) to even pip! A couple of the eggs were moving a bit, as they often do, just prior to hatching, incubator is sterilized between hatches, & had not been used since last year! Sigh...

    Might just order a few birds (really want those buckeyes...), and definitely a new thermostat! All my previous hatches were great successes, so its especially perplexing... have to believe the damp paper towels played a role, along with the iffy control of temperature. At least they only take 3 wks to hatch!
  9. crazychickenwom

    crazychickenwom Chirping

    Feb 10, 2012
    Central Ohio
    I am so sorry for your loss...

    Understand the want for buckeyes!! I love mine and cannot wait till they grow up so I can have more. Just think, a good broody buckeye will do all your future hatching for you! If you are serious about getting the buckeyes be sure to check out the American Buckeye Club website. There is a list of breeders there that will be happy to help you get what you are looking for! Also, we are on facebook!
  10. wolfpak

    wolfpak Chirping

    May 9, 2010
    Thanks CCW, just like the characteristics of Buckeyes, from what I've read!

    Don't need anything special, as I have no intention of ever showing. Actually, many of the birds I have are mixed breeds, aside from some we have ordered in the past. Even hatched a few cornish rock meat bird eggs.... they were white, but other than that, no resemblance to the fast growing obese meat bird parents. Do love the docile & gentle dispositions! They've crossed with barred rocks, an Appenzeller roo, Easter eggers, red stars, RIR, NH, phoenix, delaware, & others. Its fun to see what emerges from the eggs! A Delaware hen was a favorite - very smart, great personality, & as we're in the midwest, the Buckeyes seem a good choice with our cold winters, & have good temperments too!

    The 5 hatchlings from this weekend are doing very well, the runt is running around with its little bandaid foot splints, and seems just as healthy & busy as the rest, just tiny. We currently have about 50 adult birds, as we recently took last summer's extra roos in for butchering.
    Hate it, but can't have that many with the hens. They ran all over our place here in the country, and were so ornamental & fun to watch... life in the food chain, I guess!

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