Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by WhispersToChickens, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. WhispersToChickens

    WhispersToChickens In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2010
    Last hatches went off like popcorn! 100% fertility and aboout 85% hatch rate I was HAPPY. (using still air styrofoamies-Only one has a turner, Im the turner for the rest) My Nov 29th due date...gave me 2 happy turkens, 1 baby quail (out of like 20 quail eggs) and 2 hatched but died later turkens including one in pic. I turn twice a day, I keep troughs full...LAST time I added in an extra bowl of water..this time I didnt. So my Egg turner hatch was due Dec 2.....I took them out of turner 3 days b4, and NOTHING, not even a pip! [​IMG] Still havent had the heart to look at those eggs. I did candle all the eggs from the failed nov 29 hatch....about 10% not fertile (was too busy to candle early on) and the rest had DARK SPOTS like an eye was starting and then....nutn. I took the ones that candled dark with air pocket out today and threw them at a tree (which is hard for me as I once did that to a guinea hatch only to have little gasping chicks---oooooh that was soooo AWFUL) and again I had fully formed chicks that never chirped or tried to get out. The problem I seem to be having is that my chicks are always DRY....see pic (and this one DIED) and I have to help about half of them out at least. I have 2 more bators full but Im so down Im thinking about tossing all those eggs. OMG I dont understand how I can go from popping like popcorn to a whole lotta nutn. [​IMG] !!!!! TY for letting me vent. BUT I know if I sell my bators....I'll just go buy new ones in a month....soooooo I have to be doing something WRONG?????? Tho Im thinking about blaming some roosters....its easier that way.

  2. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    Is it possible your thermometer and hygrometer are not reading properly?
  3. spartacus_63

    spartacus_63 Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    Central Iowa
    That is why I use the Bio-Bater. Never have to worry about temp or humidity. So sorry for your troubles.
  4. featherbaby

    featherbaby Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL 32210
    I think you just have the wrong incubator set up. Check out the forced air, humidity controlled, Brinsea bators, they are much more reliable than a still air one. They're on sale until end of the year at www.brinsea.com.

  5. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Do you have a guage for measuring your humidity? Also are you cleaning your incubators well between hatches? Sanitizing them very, very well is the number one thing to do in my opinion. Bacteria can be very nasty and fatal to growing chicks and growing conditions for eggs are a good breeding ground for bacteria.
  6. Jessiewoodard57

    Jessiewoodard57 Songster

    Jun 2, 2010
    Bushnell, FL.
    Sorry you are having such a bad experience with your hatches......I agree that your hydrometer may be off. I would test them. Also you stated that you had to "help over half of them out" of the egg, if you open the bator during lockdown you will decrease the hatch rate on the remaining eggs. (you lose the humidity everytime you lift the cover and moisture is pulled from the eggs). It has been my experience that when I help out that chick dies anyway.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  7. Terri O

    Terri O Songster

    It seems really odd to me that you had a fantastic hatch and then disaster. (so sorry) I have yet to set up my bator--sounds like it is the same as yours. I am leaning towards your thermometer being off...maybe it got dropped or bumped between hatches?
    I know what you mean about gasping chicks after throwing eggs...[​IMG] I always say I wont do it but sometimes those eggs that sound sloshy surprise you! Terri O

    ETA: Good luck on the husband thing...want mine?
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010

  8. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    It could have been anything. There are so many variables involved when hatching! I set 24 eggs and got 3 chicks from shipped eggs, that were a week late, because of my bad. As far as the other 21 eggs being clear as could be, I don't know why.

    This time I set another 24 and have 16 going dark, due on Saturday. Only 6 were clear as could be, some developed a dot and then quit. Who knows why.

    Some things that can go wrong...

    - Not cleaning the incubator after every use, leading to bacteria build up. Also be sure to rinse thoroughly, cleaning product left inside as residue can cause issues too.

    - Opening the lid too many times leading to chaotic temperatures.

    - Having too high or too low humidity. Too high seems to cause more issues.

    - Drafts or over night temperature changes to the room the incubator is in. Homes heated with a wood stove are especially prone to this. If the room temperature fluctuates, so will the incubator.

    - Thermometer not accurate. The ones that come with are never right, they need calibrated with a digital. It can be +/- 2-5 degrees.

    Some issues before you even set the eggs...

    - Hen laid the egg on a solid surface and put tiny cracks into it you can't see, allowing bacteria in.

    - Dirty eggs. Causes more damage to clean them than to leave them dirty. But either way, bacteria can be an issue.

    - Porous shells. Appear to have a spotted coloring when you candle. I've never had a porous one make it.

    - Shipping damages. Scrambled, ruptured air sacs, hairline tiny cracks, age, temperature, many things alone just in shipping. Plus everything else from the source you got them from same if they were your own eggs.

    - Rooster sucks at his job. He may have 10 hens, but he only visits with 3 of them on a regular basis. So if each hen lays an egg a day, only 3 will be fertile. So if you buy or collect eggs over a 4 day period, that's 40 eggs, with only 12 fertile. Add in all the other variables, you may get 12 chicks for 100% hatch of what was fertile, or just 2. Or nothing at all. Hens stay fertile for 2-3 weeks. But if he hasn't visited with her in a month... eggs won't be fertile.

    Plus all the rest of the potential issues I'm not thinking of right now. I always assume nothing will hatch so that when they do, I'm tickled pink. usually something comes out. Sometimes all of them. Sometimes nothing, even if you did everything right.

    But if you're getting chicks, and then they're not making it... there's something going wrong there. I've never had that issue and don't know what it could be. If I get chicks, they grow to be chickens. Never had an issue raising them, just with incubation.
  9. WhispersToChickens

    WhispersToChickens In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2010
    Appreciate the sympathy and lots of good ideas...TY esp. Mandelyn....

    Yes I clean and disenfect after every hatch...a little bleach a lotta water, some scrubbing the touch spots and then a day outside in the FL sunshine.

    I just checked the one with the turner....and tossed every egg at the tree without candling...and NOT FERTILE (tho it was my bad for not candling days 3-5) But not a SINGLE one fertile and that one was on lockdown!?!???

    As for having to help chicks-that they die....Nope they dont....I still have about 30 of those chicks now well feathered and out of the brooder and I had to help at least 20 of them. I let them pip, go about 10-12 hours and if no prgress I start an unzip///then if no prgress I work the top part and membrane off and let them get the butt part off....if they cant do that, then I do right them off. [​IMG]

    The one with the turner is new and this is my first attempt with it and my first time with a turner...I thought it would be SOOOO GREAT to JUST AD WATER and not have to do all the turning....and not a darn single one hatched.

    I try to only put the cleanest of eggs in the bator, if they are dirty either the dogs get them scrambled or they get washed and boiled up.

    We have naturally high humidity here (except at this time of year) and I keep my bators in the house and it is dry in here between the heat and a/c and open windows (welcome to FL winter!)

    I do hae to open 2-3 times a day to turn eggs b4 lockdown...so good point about humidity escaping.

    Thermometers all seem to be functional.

    I JUST 5 min ago checked the temp in the NEW one with the turner....and at fill throttle best I can manage is about 85 degrees steady..so something aint right there, think that one will be going back to tractor supply! UGH

    And yes, as many eggs as I do, I think its time to dump the Little Giants and hova bators and go for something higher end...this is tooooo frustrating.

    Thank You all for holding my hand....I will be eating A LOT of eggs till I can get some betta bators! [​IMG]

  10. funnybirds

    funnybirds Songster

    Oct 16, 2010
    So sorry.

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