Incubation failed x3 please help.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by 5Banks Ranch, Oct 3, 2015.

  1. 5Banks Ranch

    5Banks Ranch New Egg

    May 3, 2015
    Hello everyone this is my first post. Love reading everyone's experiences. I am so disappointed today. I've been babying my incubator for 18 days and today candled before lockdown, lost them ALL AGAIN. This is my third round and I'm giving up. This round I had some special Black copper Marans that I was sooo looking forward to :( I need help. First round I followed manufacturers instructions, lost 24 of 24. Second round, stayed with man. Instructions but kept closer eye on temp and humidity. Instructions said to set at 65% humidity and 99.5 deg. I did, lost another 2 dozen. This last round I was so excited because I really wanted some BCMarans. The lady I got them from told me my settings were not right. I needed to be at 30% humidity. So I did a dry incubation and added ZERO water and it stayed at 35-38%. Here I am at lockdown and lost 8 BC Marans and 4 polish. Incubator is foam one from TSC. Guessing it's total junk. So disappointed! Thanks everyone!
  2. gjamesi

    gjamesi Out Of The Brooder

    Hand turned or mechanical? Double check temp readings by separate means? Forced air or still?
  3. Guyswithchicks

    Guyswithchicks Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 28, 2015
    Oh that is rather disappointing.
    To lose that many developing chick's would indicate something major is happening with your incubator. I think though that you need to provide more details. Did you perform any eggtopsies? If so at what stage did the chicks die? Had they internally pipped ? Did all the chicks seem to die at the same stage?
    Are you using more than one thermometer as a reference? And did you calibrate them? Is your hygrometer calibrated?
    That is enough questions for now.
    Important to know that you are not alone and the problem is solvable.
  4. MadAnt

    MadAnt Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 3, 2015
    99.5 is very low temperature. You should start from 102.2 for the first 3 days, then drop to 101.3 and bring to your 99.5 for last two days.
    65% humidity is right number.
    Turn twice a day by hand. This will drop temperature little bit, but this is natural.
    Candling twice. 7th day and 15th day.
    Thats all.
  5. RubyNala97

    RubyNala97 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 9, 2015
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I don't totally agree with all the advice you have received. First question would be is your incubator still air or forced? It's probably the Little Giant 9300. Did you have a separate thermometer and hygrometer in the incubator that you tested and calibrated? How do you know the eggs were dead? They are local eggs, not shipped?
  6. Rod-T

    Rod-T Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2015
    Deer park, Washington
    I have a farm inovater with fan..and turner
    Basically I have found Is the temperature guage on it was horrible off .right off at being can't trust it. Go to Walmart .usally there arpund a buck.the thermometer on shelf hide each other so can set 3 thermometers in your cart. Continue shopping 15 min later look at the thermometer if they all read the same your good to go..if one reads diferent try a diferent one wait again.. if all read same likely there aucurate.
    Since there cheap I'd buy them all so you have back ups to compare with.
    I have one wired in window of my incubator ..when it's a 100 in there incubator thermometer says it's only 88.. so don't trust the factory thermometer.
  7. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2015
    [​IMG]First of all welcome! I am so sorry that this is your first post but I understand your disappointment. I started 3 years ago and my first several batches went terribly. I gave up for over 2 years and just started up again this spring. With that said I have learned so much from this site that all of my batches this year have been between 85%-90%.

    You definitely need additional thermometers and hygrometers. I bought 2 digital ones that have a probe that is left in the bator and the screen is placed on the outside - very easy to read. Having more than one is nice because you can calibrate them and get a better sense of what is going on.

    Since you have a fan, keep your temp around 99.5. Now if your temp drops to 99.0 or goes up to 101, do no freak out. As long as it does not spike for an extended period of time you should be fine. Mine usually does range from 98.9 to about 101.0. Now for humidity. Dry incubation has brought me great luck. The humidity you were shooting for (mid 30%s is perfect IMO). Keep it that way until lock down then raise to between 70%-75%. Candle your eggs on days 7 and 14. If your air cells are too small then your humidity is too high and you need to lower it. If your air cells are too big then you don't have enough humidity and you need to raise it. There are several good pics as to what they should look like on these days. When you are doing dark shells like Marans air cells can be difficult to see. But you can go by what the other eggs (like your Polish) are and treat the bator based on that.

    Don't give up. There is a reason you have not had good hatches. I think your first two round were that your humidity was too high. As for this last round I would suspect something with temp was the cause. Any spikes or drops in in temp? Has your thermometer been calibrated? Like I said I really like the digital because it is so easy to read. We all have failures in the beginning, and even on occasion once we get it figured out. Good luck and try and again. [​IMG]
  8. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY

    I totally agree with not agreeing. [​IMG]

    Ruby is right. The first thing is temps and that will depend on still air vs forced air. If it is force air then 99.5 is the right temp. If it is still air you need 101-102 taken near the top of the eggs. Now for the next thing that was mentioned and is very important-the accuracy of your instruments. You absolutely must have reliable thermometers/hygrometers. I use no less than 2 thermometers in my bator and if they start not coinciding it's time to test them. NEVER trust the gages on the incubators unless they have been checked for accuracy. Once you know that you have accurate temps you are half way there. Humidity. I agree with the low humidity incubation process as long as you are checking your air cells for growth. I use a low incubation method myself ( ) with fantastic results. If you are NOT in a high elevation or extremely arid climate I highly recommend the low humidity (often labled as dry) incubation, especially with the styrofoam bators. I strongly believe anything over 45% humidity for the average is too much (unless your air cells say otherwise.)

    Now, if you are hatching shipped eggs, that's going to drop your hatch rate automatically. Shipped eggs are compromised by the handling during shipping. @RubyNala97 has done a lot of research on shipped eggs and lots of hands on with shipped eggs.

    Another factor- the BCM eggs. I have seen a lot of people struggle with hatching BCM they are not the easiest breed to hatch. Even experienced hatchers have struggled with this breed.

    My opinion overall is this. Make sure you have at least 2 checked thermometers so that you know that your bator's heat is adequate. Get some local eggs to practice on and find the hatching method that is going to work for you. Set them and go with the method in the link I gave you for low humidity and check air cells. If you still have many DIS chicks do the eggtopsies to see if you can pinpoint what is going wrong. Eggtopsies are good at pointing out the range of times chicks are dying, they can point to too high or low humidity among other things. I hope you don't give up yet. Hatching really is a matter of finding what works for you and making sure your temps are accurate.
  9. lillihen77

    lillihen77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2015
    Spirit lake Idaho
    I have a little giant and the turner and the first hatch w/the thermometer it came with.99.5 always and as for a hydrometer...I just went for it and keep my water full and warm.i had 20 eggs and 5 have hatched healthy and 3 are I did do a huge double yoker and they are both good size and moving they just went into lockdown ...hopin I get the 50% when all is over (9/5) the twins are my biggest worry. Most lost eggs were gone by day 12 :(
    I'm going to do it again!! Don't give up :) very very rewarding!!
  10. ranmar1

    ranmar1 New Egg

    May 4, 2015
    I hope you can help me--I have 2 eggs hatching today--my 1st hatch!!
    My little bantam hen has 2 eggs and I noticed that both are pipped this moring. Tonight they are still in the same condition, I can hear them peeping and hear them pecking but they aren;t making any progress. Any help??

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