I keep murdering my chicks!!

luvmydux

Songster
9 Years
Jan 2, 2011
120
1
103
I am so frustrated with incubating I could puke. I have been at it since March and I have yet to have a good hatch rate. I must be doing something wrong because 90%or more of my eggs die during lockdown. Please! Someone help!! I have the eggs in a egg turner in a dry incubator for the first 18 days. They seem to do great. The temp is somewhere between 99.5 and 101 at all times. Once I take them out of the Little Giant, I have a Hova Bator waiting. Then they go in there with a bottom full of water for humidity. I don't have a humidity guage because I don't see the point. I am unable to do much other than add some water for higher humidity so since I have it as humid as I can, I don't need one, right? I don't open the bator during hatch time unless there is a desperate need. The eggs start out rocking and peeping and then just die before pipping. Any insight would be appreciated. I really enjoy hatching but with this mortality rate, I am getting very discouraged. I will say the ones that do hatch seem to be in very good health and I am knocking on wood as I am saying I haven't lost any yet:)
 

luvmydux

Songster
9 Years
Jan 2, 2011
120
1
103
yes, only because it is really hard to add water with the egg turner full of eggs, and also because I have not yet had a problem with the first 18 days!!
 

luvmydux

Songster
9 Years
Jan 2, 2011
120
1
103
Anyone?? There has to be something I am doing terribly wrong......
 

keemyjax

Hatching
8 Years
Jul 18, 2011
5
0
7
I tried my very first hatching this winter. Started on Dec 3rd n had Christmas morning chicks. The grandkids were ecstatic! I got the eggs for incubation from my own hens. It was my understanding that the eggs must have humidity the whole time. We had a 70% hatch rate, which i thought was pretty good for beginners. We didn't have an egg turner... I turned them three times a day, every day. These hens have just started laying eggs this week.
 

luvmydux

Songster
9 Years
Jan 2, 2011
120
1
103
I tried my very first hatching this winter. Started on Dec 3rd n had Christmas morning chicks. The grandkids were ecstatic! I got the eggs for incubation from my own hens. It was my understanding that the eggs must have humidity the whole time. We had a 70% hatch rate, which i thought was pretty good for beginners. We didn't have an egg turner... I turned them three times a day, every day. These hens have just started laying eggs this week.
You didn't worry about humidity at all??
 

runswithchicken

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 11, 2012
35
1
34
Sussex County Delaware
I am by no means an expert, and struggling to get a successful hatch myself, but from what I've read around here trying to increase my hatch rate, the problem could be that your humidity is to high during lockdown. If they make it to lockdown and then are dying before they pip externally, they could be drowning when they pip internally because there is to much water inside the egg. Hopefully someone with more knowledge can chime in to confirm (or tell me i'm a dope
)
 

rosiethechicken

Songster
9 Years
Aug 2, 2010
150
2
103
Did you carefully open any of the died ones ?
Seeing inside may provide clues .

What position were they in ?
I am not very experienced, but from what I have seen, some die
in a position where they have no chance of pipping into the proper aircell.

What hatch rate are you getting ?
Not to sound cruel, but there will always be certain percentage that will not make it.
 

nurse_turtle

Songster
8 Years
May 28, 2011
3,518
100
201
Foothills of NC
I recommend using the hovabator at an incubator and the LG as the hatcher. I use dry incubation as well. It sounds like your doing everything right. I would get a dial type hygrometer and calibrate your thermometer. There are several threads here that describe how to do this.
 

luvmydux

Songster
9 Years
Jan 2, 2011
120
1
103
Ok, so after losing yet another batch, I opened them to investigate. I am thinking my humidity is too high because these chicks seemed pretty wet. There was some fluid like goo that came out with them (more than normal I think) so I am going to cut back on the humidity. I always thought you needed it high to stop them from drying out but I did add some a couple times (in the form of an extra tupperware bowl full of steamy water). I am almost certain I have been drowning them
I am aware that not all hatch every time but I am literally losing MOST of them. I am cutting down on humidity and we shall see what happens....... Has anyone had any experience with "misting" them during lockdown?
 

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