I am so discouraged and upset

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by silkiechick05, May 22, 2010.

  1. silkiechick05

    silkiechick05 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2009
    North Texas
    This was my first time hatching.

    I started out with 41 eggs. On day seven, half of those were infertile or died an early death (most were plain not fertile).

    Twenty eggs made it to lockdown, eleven hatched. That's not a wonderful rate right there.

    Last night, one of the chicks died. Now I only have ten. To top it off, another chick is starting to act like the one that died.

    So, ultimately, I have 10 chicks out of 41 eggs and one looks like it could till die.

    I am so upset.
  2. ChickFila

    ChickFila Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2010
    I am so sorry...
    It is weird your chicks are dying. What do you feed them? What is the temp. of your brooder?
    Are you sure your chicks eat and drink ok?
  3. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    It can be discouraging. Many of us have been there too. Try to look at it this way. If you have a male and female then in 6 months you can hatch out your own eggs and they hatch much better than shipped ones.

    You have more than two so you are on your way to a great flock. Sometimes they die from cocci or just don't thrive. It weeds out the weak ones and you will have a stronger flock.

    Keep an eye out for disease, learn and read up on how to have a better hatch and soon you will be the one helping give advice!
  4. silkiechick05

    silkiechick05 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2009
    North Texas
    It is hard to see that chicks fully develop and die right before life.

    They have plenty of food and water. They are on a high quality medicated feed.

    Not quite sure the temp of the brooder but the light is right over them and they seem comfortable (running and playing)


    I have my own silkies and one of the eggs hatched (out of two). At least that was exciting
  5. Penturner

    Penturner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2010
    Reno Nevada
    Approx 25 % hatch rate, are these Shipped eggs? If so that is not unusual. My hatch rate on shipped eggs has been 3 percent. so out of your 41 eggs i would have gotten 2 chicks. Yes it is discouraging.
    I have so far not had any problems once chicks make it to the brooder. First of all what age are the chicks now. You need to KNOW the temp of your brooder. chicks need temps of 95 degrees once they are dry fluffy and ready to go to the brooder. warm to you is not necessarily warm to them. laying around looking comfortable could very well be exhausted and dying from being chilled. The biggest concern for chicks being chilled is Pneumonia. You may not ever see it coming. I had the light right down on my day old chicks also. the temp was only 92 degrees. next are they eating and drinking? Finally some chicks are simply not strong enough to survive for a very long list of reasons. deformities including ones you cannot see. inability to properly digest food. Just lots of reasons. Losses need to be tracked and accounted for. the more you understand about the last chicks death, the better you are prepared to prevent the next ones. But losses will happen. it is all part of the experience.

    Some other thing I would consider are, bedding. is there anything like dust deodorizers etc that could be effecting the chicks respiratory system in the bedding or anything else.
    Look carefully for anything they could be eating. I have one older chick (6 weeks) that loves to kick wood shavings into the water dish then eat them. Almost to the point of ignoring all other food. I am in the process of moving this chick to the outdoor run where it will not have access to wood shavings. So for at least 12 hours out of every day he has to eat good food. When I bring hi in at night the first place he heads is the water dish and starts kicking wood shavings. He is an addict. So with that sort of situation in mind look for anything that might be going on. are they eating shavings? being pushed away from the feeder to often? just about anything. It requires watching the chicks and not thinking about how cute they are. but what could every single behavior mean for the well being of individual chicks. Chick fighting over that morsel of food is funny, but not for the chick that always loosed the game. and yes they can loose until they die.

    What about their energy level, not as a group but each and every single chick.

    Look at their eyes are they bright and alert? are the chicks active and being more so every day. all that sort of thing. they should all remain similar in their development and growth. if one or two are not you have a problem.

    Best of luck, and sorry for your losses.
  6. msheets

    msheets Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    Hurricane, WV
    I'm really sorry your hatch wasn't what you expected [​IMG] The problem is likely something easily fixed, I set 46 eggs in my bator & NONE hatched. All but 6 made it to lock down but none of them hatched, my problem was a thermometer that wasn't accurate. I hope you find out what's going on & your next hatch turns out great!
  7. silkiechick05

    silkiechick05 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2009
    North Texas

    Thanks for all of the information. I will calibrate my temperature and humidity for my next hatch. I have an extra thermometer that I will put in the brooder. What should I be looking for in the individual chicks' behaviors? They are on wood shavings right now. I noticed them picking around in the shavings, but I'm not sure if they are actually eating them. Their food is in a lid so they can get in and scratch around and eat.

    The eggs were not shipped.

    I am a failure...
  8. Junglebob

    Junglebob Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 27, 2010
    You might try giving the chicks a little sugar in their water for a couple days. Don't blame yourself for eggs that aren't fertile. If it makes you feel better I incubated eggs for the first time out of 120 eggs not one hatched. I think my problem was the termperature as I had a hen sitting on 6 eggs from my flock as were those 120, she hatched 4 and they are doing well after a week.

    I've raised a lot of day old chicks that I've bought and I'd say I have rate of probably 95 % surviving. The one exception was the year I got some with pollorum from a hatchery.

    I'm sure my problem with the first batch of eggs was the way I was checking the temperature. I'm using a plastic bag with water in it and a medical thermometer in the mouth of the bag with a rubber band wrapped around it. I had a small cup in the center of the incubator and I've convinced it was 107 degrees when the water read 102, I had a digital household thermometer that always read about 5 degrees higher. Now checking the temperature of the water in the closed plastic bag, I find they are about the same. The digital medical thermometer is about $5 at Walmart and it says it is accurate to .2 of a degree. The brand is Omron. In about 2 1/2 weeks I'll post we'll see if I can rave about my results. My incubators have fans too BTW.

    Do watch for signs of coccidiosis when they are a two weeks old. I never feed medicated feed, but will give them 1/4 cup of white vinegar per gallon of water if they show any signs of it. You may want to use medicate feed, and I can see why you might with only 10 chicks from the hatch.

    My last batch of chicks I did lose maybe a half dozen the first week or so, don't remember if it was a batch of 50 or 100. I became concerned but after that didn't lose anymore. Hopefully you won't lose anymore out of that 10 you have now.
    Last edited: May 22, 2010

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