Humidity and temp at the right places ... still no hatch??????


8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
North Central Oklahoma
Okay, we were/are having trouble with hatching eggs after they incubate seemingly perfectly. We get to lock down with all the eggs still going and moving chicks inside. We were having trouble keeping the humidity up to the proper level but we've gotten that fixed. They are incubating at 40 to 45% and then we have the humidity up to 65% to 70% during hatch. Our temps stay constant between 99 and 100. And they still are dying before they hatch? Any other suggestions as to what might be happening that we can change? When we eggtopsy the chicks seem normal, aren't shrink wrapped, etc ... AAAAUUUGGGHHH!!!!
What are the details? Type of incubator, if it is a home made incubator perhaps the thermostat allows for too much of a swing in temp. before kicking back on, breed of eggs, were they cleaned and if so how and with what, where did you get the eggs, did you candle them, is this your first time hatching or are you a seasoned veteran, where is the location of the incubator (the garage or in the house, etc...), and anything else you can think of.
I ask because I am planning on hatching some eggs in the near future and what is discovered to be the problem here may help others in the future from repeating it. As with anything else that goes wrong, work your way back from whatever is most likely to have caused this, ruling out the most obvious first. I'm very sorry that you are having troubles, hopefully you will find the cause of it.

Best of luck to you.
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It's a homemade incubator, cabinet style. We heat with light bulbs and have a small fan as well. One of the thermometers keeps a record of highs and lows in a 24 hour period and the temp never changes more than a degree or two which should be perfectly acceptable. There is a shelf between the heat source and egg racks. We have a wide shallow bowl down with the heat source for humidity during the incubation period and add a folded towel on top of the shelf during lock down to up the humidity enough. We don't set dirty eggs at all so that isn't an issue. We also don't set porous eggs. We don't touch the eggs (we have a rotator) for the first 4 or 5 days and then we candle them. We candle again on day 8 and remove anything not fertile at that point in case something was slow. After that point, I candle every 3 days or so to make sure they are still growing well.

When we get to the last week, I mark the air cell with a pencil to monitor moisture loss. Then we go to lockdown within 72 to 48 hours of hatch.

We have no problems with the growing of the chicks. When we do eggtopsies they have all formed perfectly. A few haven't reached the stage of absorbing the yolk. A few have been upside down which means they weren't going to hatch. The rest literally do everything, are right side up, absorb the yolk, etc ... and just never hatch. We've hatched one chick in four settings and we helped him some because he was taking too long after he pipped and we didn't want him to shrink wrap.
Is there proper ventilation in the incubator? Do you open it up during lockdown at all? If the incubator is in a garage or shed is there a chance of some kind of fumes getting in (paint, exhaust, gas,). Are you using shatter proof teflon coated light bulbs (they will create fumes that are deadly to poultry). Are the thermometers getting the temps from the egg rack or from the shelf area? Are you going into lockdown too late (I have read some people prefer 5 days). Please don't get offended with the questions, I'm just throwing mud at the wall and seeing if anything sticks. Hopefully a hatching guru will chime in. Best of luck to you.
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