I need help!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by emsevers, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. emsevers

    emsevers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been having problems with my hatching results and I'm getting really frustrated. I thought I was doing everything right but I can't be. I use a 1588 hovabator. So I have no problems with temp. It stays constantly between 99.5 and 100. I do use a turner. I have been keeping the humidity between 30 and 40%. I have two temp/hygrometers in there and I know they are accurate. I also put them in egg cartons to hatch them in but I make sure there are holes in the bottom for air to get through. I'm not sure what I should be doing with the red vent plug. I have been leaving it out for the first 18 days and then when I raise the humidity to 70% I put the plug in.

    This last hatch I started out with 18 golden laced cochin bantams (shipped) and 12 Ameracauna frizzles (picked up locally). I candled at day 10 and I pretty much left everything in because I wanted to make sure I gave everything a fair chance. Then when I got to day 18 I candled again and all 12 of the Ameracauna's had developed to the point of hatching and only 7 of the GLC's made it that far. Then hatching day comes and I get 7 of the 12 Ameracauna's and 1 of the 7 GLC's. We opened the eggs up that hadn't hatched and found that they had just died in the shell. They hadn't pipped the internal membrane or anything, they had just died. So I can't figure this out. I thought maybe because I was trying to hatch them in the carton that could have something to do with it but then I don't think so because it looks like they didn't even try.

    Has anyone dealt with problems like this and actually figured out how to fix it? I'm getting more eggs in hopefully this week that I really want to have a good hatch with so I want to figure out my problem before I set those eggs.
     
  2. peaceful

    peaceful Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 24, 2008
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    Well not sure but here are some thoughts:
    1. Cartons can be a problem for hatching. From days 1-18 have eggs in cartons with pointy side down. From day 18 take out of egg carton bottoms, (but can use flatter egg carton tops), and put eggs on their sides, and no turning.
    The fact that the chicks didn't pip doesn't prove anything about the cartons.
    2. The red vent plugs can be out when hatching unless you are having trouble keeping humidity, which it doesn't sound like you are.
    3. Is it possible too much handling?
    (4. It is possible that the Hovabators temperatures are off a bit. There is a way to adjust them after trying a hatch. Did you chicks hatch early or late? Although on re-reading your post sounds like you double checked with back-up thermometers)
     
  3. emsevers

    emsevers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 30, 2008
    Carlton, OR
    It's not possible that I handled them to much. I only candled them on day 10 and day 18 when I took them out of the turner, that was it.

    The ones that hatched were right on time if not half a day early. I'm pretty sure the temps are right on because both the thermometers read the same.

    I'm truly stumped. I think I may try not using the carton next time on day 18-21. I don't know what else to change.

    Any other ideas would be much appreciated.
     
  4. mediazeal

    mediazeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 26, 2009
    I am just starting out too
    I've tried to read everything here since these folks have so much knowledge and share it so willingly.[​IMG]

    I loved the long thread on humidity. Temp is a known factor but Humidity seems to be the magic 8 ball of hatching.
    once you have eggs in good condition and fertile, which may have been one issue for you since the GLC's were shipped.

    so I decided on 40% humidity, for the first 18 days. Never below 35%, never above 45%.
    And for hatch, I'm in the 55-65%
    I had an autoturner and hatched in egg cartons (bottoms have been cut out the whole time)

    I was interested in the Brinsea incubator instructions that said eggs should lose 13% of their weight from day 0 to day 21.
    And if they are losing too fast, raise humidity, too slow, lower it.

    I think it's hard on eggs to be shipped. I lost alot in my batch too. They just never started.

    Sorry its been frustrating. All this hope and then bad results is really hard to take.
     
  5. Backyard Farm

    Backyard Farm Certified Personal Chicken Attendant

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    Apr 1, 2009
    I was having same frustration until I started setting humidity by weight loss rather than by various gauges.

    I try for about 11 - 14% by day 18
    I weigh in grams the day they go into the bator. Then again about 5 days and adjust the humidity accordingly. Then again day 11 or 12 when I am candling.

    MUCH better hatch rates!!

    My son made this nice little spreadsheet for me with the formulas built into it but you can also do it just using a calculator..

    Just had 15 out of 16 shippped eggs hatch today.

    Hope this helps...
     
  6. emsevers

    emsevers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Carlton, OR
    What kind of scale do you have to weigh them? I don't have anything at the moment, so do you have suggestions on where to get one that is affordable?

    Do you think that the humidity is the reason they get to the point of hatch and then never try to come out?
     
  7. mediazeal

    mediazeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Again, I'm still in my first hatch (Day 22: 7 babies so far out of 12 with 4 more that are in there just in case) so you know there are others with more wisdom. I'm just writing what I have learned here.

    Two factors, shipped eggs have a hatch rate overall of around 50% (I was told by the shipper) and humidity is key.

    How I understand it is the relative humidity needs to be just right for still breathing (not drowning), having the right amount of room to develop (air cell increases at right rate), the membrane staying moist enough to break when the time is right but not be sticky.

    The weight tells you a ratio of how fast that particular egg is losing moisture and the graph tells you how that relates back to how much it should weigh. You can adjust the humidity so it is right in your climate, altitude, etc. And your chickies have the best chance.

    Experimenting will eventually get you to a general 18 day and last 3 day average that works but it's a lot of chicks to go through to get there.

    Where to get a scale: someone who was explaining the weighing working for her told me ebay. You can get a jewelers digital scale that weighs in grams for around 30 bucks. Search for jewelers scale.

    It sure sounds like you have done everything else right, so it may be finding the right humidity for your situation and weighing is a scientific way to get there.

    Good luck.
     
  8. Butterball

    Butterball Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't really have any advice except to say that I've mostly had really good hatches, but I have had some not so great hatches as well. I keep my incubator at 50-55% during the first 17 days and days 18-21 I raise it to 65-68% or so. The red vent plugs are suppose to be in the entire time until chicks start hatching (or unless your humidity gets to high otherwise). It will help them fluff up a bit when you take the plugs out and the humidity usually stays up. However, if it begins to drop, you just put the plugs back in. Did your inc. come w/directions? I have a hovabator as well. I mean this in no way to seem rude, but it usually has good tips and humidity reccomendations with it.
     
  9. Butterball

    Butterball Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 29, 2008
    Sorry, I forgot [​IMG] I am an obsessive candler, but I make sure not to candle after 16 days. They don't ssem to like to be bothered much in their last few in-shell days. [​IMG]

    Good Luck!
     
  10. merrydancer

    merrydancer Out Of The Brooder

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    I got a very inexpensive one off ebay.. make sure it is a 1 - 250 grams or 1 - 100 grams range for more accuracy. I think it was about $15. WELL WORTH IT!! [​IMG]

    Here is one that would probably work great on ebay today. $15 free shipping 1 - 200 grams item # 260379543311.
    Here is on with 1 - 100 gram range $12 free shipping item# 110369535294.

    I thought I had lost it recently and needed one ASAP ... called local stores and the best price was $35 YIKES!! [​IMG] After a house-wide hunt found it!!

    I think humidity is definitely one of the reasons why chicks "drown". I know my problems with "developed but didn't hatch" chicks almost disappeared when I started weighing to adjust humidity.

    Also, a local lady who brought chicks from me was having similar problems... told her about weighing... now she has great hatches with the same incubator.

    you just figure that you want an egg to loose about .6 - .7 of its orginal weight every day. At day 5 the math looks like this .65 x 5day = 3.25% So lets say that your orginal weight was 65 grams. So at day 5 you want your egg to weight 96.75% of the original weight or (for this example) 65x 96.75% = 62.8875 grams. So if your egg weighs more... then decrease your humidity a bit.... if it weighs less, then increase your humidity a bit.

    From what i've read, there is quite an acceptable range of weight loss. I try to aim for the middle. I've also read that they tolerate loosing too much weight better than too little (drowned chick syndrome).

    I found the egg likes to roll off the scale so I took a little bit of bubble wrap (2"x2") and cut a little hole in the middle (1/2" diameter). I put this on the scale when i "0" is out. The little indentation keeps the egg from rolling when I weigh.

    You will find that each egg does not have the same weight loss percentage... just go with the average. ... again... a wide weight loss range is acceptable.

    Hope this helps... it SURE made a difference for me!![​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009

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