Incubating gone wrong, but why?


In the Brooder
Mar 23, 2018
Hello, first let me start by saying we appreciate this forum all the time! Our backyard flock is happy and healthy and a lot of thanks to our answered questions here. We’ve recently tried to incubate and hatch 7 eggs, on two separate occasions. I Wanted my 4 year to see the process as she loves our Ladies SO MUCH. Both times, neither hatched, we are devestated! The first time my thermometer was off by 4degrees (stupid mistake) and our humidity was too high early on, this is when I started extensive reasesrch as for it not to happen again. We used a little giant still air incubator. With 2 calibrated thermometers at top of egg level. A hydrometer, between 30-40 the first 18 days then increases to 65-75 at lock down. Temperature was consistently 101F, if it fluctuated at all it was by half a degree. Automatic egg turner, clean hands, distilled water. Checked air cells day 7 and 14, had chicken growth and movement up until lock down. None even internally pipped, what could have gone wrong?

I am sorry none hatched. But with info. You gave for still air everything seems to be good.

Only things I could think of is maybe a unseen temp spike.
Another possibility did you have vent plugs removed and were bottom vent holes unobstructed.

When chicks prepare to hatch they need a good air exchange.
Thank you for your quick responses! We had only 1 air plug in until day 10 then both were out the rest of the time. But the incubator is sitting on a table top, I wonder if this is what happened Would this stop them from even internally pipping? What should the incubator be set on?
I don't think what you set it on was your problem. I keep both red plugs in till day 18. I think temperature would be a huge factor along with the humidity at the end. Once you take the plugs out it is more difficult to regulate the humidity. I used room warm temp water to add to incubator. Did you use cold water to add to the brooder? May be temp out of range longer than it needed to be, I notice even with 73 degree water put in incubator the temperature dropped. Did you use more than one thermometer. I use three one at the bottom one at the egg top and one from the incubator this gives me a range to stay in along with humidity. I know if the humidity gets too hight at the end the babies can get flooded with water in their air sacs and that will drown them once they internally pip. I have not had that happen but I have read about it. That was why I used the "dry incubation method" plus from what I read it was the best method for the incubator I purchased. What kind of incubator do you have? Not sure if I helped or not. Keep trying you will get it eventually. Also use local eggs not shipped better chances with local eggs not handled by crazy shippers. Tootles!
I am so sorry to hear about your losses!
Sadly, LG still airs have to be monitored pretty consistently through the entire process; although it is possible to hatch with them, they are fairly high manintenance.
A couple of things to consider:
Did you candle your eggs through the process?
Did you do a necropsy on your eggs to see what stage of development your embryos stopped developing?
Were they local or shipped eggs?
I can probably help you get to the bottom of this, but it would really help to know those few things first. :)
Welcome to BYC LadyFlock the number one killer of embryos in LG incubators is temperature spikes . They tend to happen mid day . Watch for those . Your temperature should be 101.5 How did your air cells look ? were they good ? to big ? to small ? The LG has little bump legs that should keep the bottom high enough to keep the vents open . SuperMyke is right about dry hatching . The relative humidity where you live if high will make it necessary to do that .I always run dry . And often don't raise the humidity until I see the first pip. Calibrate your hygrometers . Check the humidity in the room you are incubating in as well as the temperature . Styrofoam incubators function best in a controlled environment. Several BYCers have hatched great hatches in Little Giant incubators . Like orrpeople said you have to babysit them .
I monitored it so close it’s hard to imagine a temp spike but it could have been at night or while I was out running errands. I had 3 thermometers and a hydrometer all calibrated. Our humidity here kept it at about 30, so I ran dry or with little water in the beginning. We opened the eggs last night only 1 internally pipped and the others were in position but never pipped. They are local eggs, we checked the air cells with seemed to be growing normally. The first hatch we tried they drown so I was pretty cautious about air cells and humidity in the beginning.
Are you turning the eggs while they incubate? Also, you can weigh the eggs to find out if your humidity is adequate. The eggs should lose 5% of their weight each week until lockdown. The Little Giants aren't known for their great hatching success, especially the models with no fan. I used one once and the temperature difference from one side of the incubator to the opposite side was five degrees. Hovabators are a tiny bit more money but seem to be a lot better in terms of quality.

It also could be a problem with the eggs you are incubating. Did you purchase them or are they from your flock?

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