I'm glad to be a member. I am trying to hatch Black Copper Marans eggs to go with the two birds that

JoeyCurrin

In the Brooder
Jul 25, 2016
31
8
27
Northern Idaho
I have a Brinsea 20 with an attached humidifier. I ran my incubator for the first 18 days at a temp of 99.8. Humidity at 35. At 18 days, I increased my humidity to 70. I had one hatch out of 12. I was told that with too much humidity the membrane is too rubbery for the chicks to pip through. I had large air sacs, but intact membranes. I don't want sticky chicks, but I want them to hatch! Do you think that this time I should reduce the humidity to 60 during lockdown? Thanks for any help that you can give me on my BCM's.
 

RubyNala97

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 9, 2015
4,625
1,048
351
Hudson Valley, NY
I have the same incubator but without the humidity pump. I shoot for 75% humidity at hatch but I like to be able to open it up if I have to and remove shells, rearrange eggs and check on pips. If you're strictly hands off during "lockdown" then you can probably do fine around 65%. Were you happy with your results from your last hatch? There's no set number for humidity at hatch time, you have to play with it a little and find what works for you & your eggs. Do you monitor air cell growth throughout incuation? Because the same goes for the first 18 days. There's no set % but your air cells will tell you what is working for them.
 

JoeyCurrin

In the Brooder
Jul 25, 2016
31
8
27
Northern Idaho
No, I was not happy with one little hatched chick and 3 fully developed chicks that didn't pip. They had a large air sac, so I think that the problem was from day 18 on when I had the humidity at 72. I was told that the higher humidity caused the membrane to rubberized making it difficult for the chicks to pip. So I was thinking of keeping the humidity at 30 for the first 17 days and then at lockdown bump it up to 60. Do you think those numbers should work or am I liable to get sticky chicks, or again rubbery membranes. Thanks so much for your input.
 

FridayYet

Innocent Bystander
9 Years
Mar 3, 2011
12,756
4,908
541
The Land of Enchantment
Depends on how large the air cells are. I've incubated at anywhere from 32 to 45%, sometimes changing weekly depending on air cell growth. If your eggs were white or porous, a little higher is better. Dark eggs need lower humidity. I lock down at 70 ish, again, depending on the air cells.

Was your temp and humidity checked with calibrated instruments? My Brinsea runs about 0.3 degrees high.
 

RubyNala97

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 9, 2015
4,625
1,048
351
Hudson Valley, NY
No, I was not happy with one little hatched chick and 3 fully developed chicks that didn't pip. They had a large air sac, so I think that the problem was from day 18 on when I had the humidity at 72. I was told that the higher humidity caused the membrane to rubberized making it difficult for the chicks to pip. So I was thinking of keeping the humidity at 30 for the first 17 days and then at lockdown bump it up to 60. Do you think those numbers should work or am I liable to get sticky chicks, or again rubbery membranes. Thanks so much for your input.

Was this your first hatch? If I'm understanding you correct, you saw a large growth in air cell size between day 18-21ish? If that's the case then that is totally normal. It's called "draw down". The aircells draw down significantly right before internal pip. Did they internally pip? Was there a lot of extra fluid when you opened them up? They must have died right at the end. And I'm sorry, I misread your first post, I thought you had 12 hatch, not 1/12. I do not think the lockdown humidity caused the issues with the hatch. Lockdown is a time when you have a little more wiggle room with temp and humidity. Like Friday said, did you calibrate a separate thermometer & hygrometer, so you could see if the brinsea was running accurately? I would look into what was going on the first 18 and trouble shoot from there. Also were these your own, local eggs? And how was the air cell growth during days 1-18?
 

JoeyCurrin

In the Brooder
Jul 25, 2016
31
8
27
Northern Idaho
I bought my eggs from a breeder that has pure Bev Davis line of BCM. This was my first hatch and the eggs were very very dark and extremely difficult to candle. I did see what vaguely looked like an enlarged air cell. I did use a thermometer to check the temp. The Brinsea is only .1 degree warmer than the thermometer. I didn't have a hydrometer to measure the humidity. When I opened the eggs they were fully formed and peeping the night before, on the 22nd day. That is when I could truly see the air cell and see that they had not pipped through the membrane. There was no excess fluid around the chicks. Some of the other eggs only had partly developed fetuses and were full of fluid. Obviously they had died much earlier. I had been told to incubate with a temp of 99.8 instead of 99.5 as I would have better results. I ran the incubator at 35% humidity the first 17 days. Then I was told to increase the humidity to 70-72% during lockdown. I am a RN and understand the importance of details that affect the chicks, so I really felt badly that I had failed so badly. Now I am hearing to do a dry incubation so that is why I thought that I should program the incubator for 30% and if it ran between 30 and 35 that would be good. Then on day 18 increase it to 60 to soften the shell without rubberizing the thick BCM membrane. Now you can see why I am so confused as to what to do. I have hatched Guinea eggs with no problem, but these BCM eggs are truly testing me. Again, thank you everyone that has offered to help me. Joey
 

JoeyCurrin

In the Brooder
Jul 25, 2016
31
8
27
Northern Idaho
Sorry that I wasn't clearer. I had them shipped across the USA. I also just bought a hygometer/thermometer specific for incubators. Now I just need to know what values to maintain. Thanks again for your help.
 

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