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Incubating Issues

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MemawJo, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. MemawJo

    MemawJo New Egg

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    Oct 7, 2016
    Help!!

    My mom brought her Guinea eggs over for me to care for in her incubator. She had the trays completely full with eggs with different hatch dates. The humidity was at 51% and temperature at 99.5F. She had all of the eggs pointing with the small end up. She said that this helped them breathe. We had one egg start pipping 4 days ago. He could not get the shell off and this morning was barely moving and not peeping. I decided to remove the shell to zip it and left the membrane in place. I checked at lunch and he was still moving. When I got home at 6:00 he was dead. I feel awful.

    I did check on him every time when I added water. I have also read that my mom should have put the small end down. I went ahead and turned the eggs so large end would be up. Is this going to kill the Keets? Should I leave them small end up? She has had two Keets born with crooked toes and splayed legs which one died and the other will need to be culled. :/I've read the positioning can cause this problem. Please help me decide whether repositioning is the right thing to do.

    Thanks,
    Discouraged:/
     
  2. Mak24456

    Mak24456 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2016
    NC
    Most definitely should always be big end up. Small end up doesn't help them "breathe" since eggs are porous and air enters from everywhere. The air cell is located in the fat end of the egg (unless displaced by rough handling or shipping) and tipping them small end up could cause the air cell to move.

    When you say the humidity was at 51%, was that for the entire incubation period or just lockdown? 51% is a little too high for incubation and a little too low for hatch day.

    If you can get an egg out to candle, check to see where the air cell is. If it's in the small end and actually stays there without moving around I've read it's best to just leave them like that. So far, which end have the hatched ones pipped at?

    You say it's been four days, if there hasn't been any other peeping and hatching I'd say it's probably too late. I'm really sorry, best of luck with the rest [​IMG]

    If you'd like a more in depth read on hatching, this is a great resource:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hatching-eggs-101
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
  3. MemawJo

    MemawJo New Egg

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    Oct 7, 2016
    Thanks! Since my post I have had another hatching keet die right before hatching. I refrained from opening the incubator and left him to do his "work". It was strange as he still had quite a bit of yolk left. I'm keeping the humidity at 50-55% through incubation and up the humidity to 60-65 for hatching. I read that because their shells are so strong and membranes so thick they need the extra humidity to keep things soft. Should I cut the membrane if the shell is missing to avoid shrink wrap or do I just prevent it through increased humidity?

    I have a new incubator arriving today that allows me to lay them flat. I only have a few left from the earlier hatches. The largest hatch was put in on 09/19. I'm hoping I will have better luck with these 24 eggs in the new incubator.

    Any guidance on humidity and temp would be greatly appreciated. I read one post that said that her incubator was not calibrated correctly. Makes me wonder... Maybe the new incubator will be the answer.

    Thanks,
    Rhonda AKA Memaw Jo
     
  4. Mak24456

    Mak24456 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2016
    NC
    Very sorry to hear that :(

    Humidity... nobody can really agree on it. The most crucial thing is not really to maintain any exact humidity, but to look at how much weight loss there is and how much the air cells grow. If the humidity is too high, not enough water will leave the egg, and the air cell will not grow and take up space, resulting in big, wet chicks that have difficulty turning and may be sticky.

    Bottom line is small air cell = too high humidity, big air cell = too low humidity.

    I suggest you google the dry hatch method, really interesting info there.


    When you say the incubator wasn't calibrated correctly, do you mean it had a built in thermometer? I good idea would be to get a digital thermometer you can pop right in there. Preferably with a probe, and then stick it in ice water to see how close it is to 0 or 32 depending on your units of measurement.

    I'm mostly going off on chickens here because that is what my humble amount of knowledge is limited to, but the two shouldn't be too different! Keep trying, I'm sure you'll have plenty of little keets running around in no time :D How many survivors have you got? and I'm assuming your new batch's due date is the 17th?

    This looks like a very good thread that may help you out quite a bit!
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/759166/questions-about-incubating-guinea-fowl-eggs

    Page 2 has a nice air cell growth diagram!
     

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