Incubation Help Please!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lyndseybr, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. lyndseybr

    lyndseybr Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay so my first hatching was a flop I think. I started out with 12 barred rock red rock eggs. On day nine we candeled them, all but two were fertile. Candled on day 18 before we closed everything up and there was movement in all of them. On day18 I raised humidity to 65 to 70% I only ended up with two hatching one of which we had to euthanize because it had a slipped tendon and one rotated femur on the other leg. Days 1 to 18 we kept at a temperature of 99° and between 50 and 55% humidity
    they are in a forced air incubator with an automatic rocker. This time I have acquired eggs from a barred rock rooster and a white splash rooster from barred rock hens, americana hens and Isa brown hens.
    36 of them are going into the incubator in the morning.
    to help improve my percentage of hatching what would people recommend I try differently this time? There are so many different opinions and so many different variables I'm finding it overwhelming to troubleshoot when this is only my second time.
    I opened a few of the eggs that would be on day 28. Yes I candled them first. The chick was ready, yolk gone, but died. Bad genes???
    This round that I'm starting tonight I'm going to keep humidity around 20-30% until day 18 then raise to 60-65% My temp will be 100 degrees and actually slightly lower on day 18-19 and lower 20-21 (according to the thread on here by Sally) Any other thoughts?
    One successful chick out of twelve is very discouraging for a first time :(
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    My first question with something like this is always: Are you relying on just one thermometer in your incubator and if so, is it calibrated. My first hatch was like yours. I ended up with two (late) hatchers and one survivor. Why? Because I relied on one (brand new thermometer). I find out after that thermometer was 6 degrees off!! I never use just one andI always recommend to others to have at least 2 thermometers in the bator to check each other from. (I use three now!)

    My second suggestion would be to try a "dry incubation" or "dry hatch". I switched to the dry method on my last hatch and I love it! Out of 16 eggs that went into lockdown, 13 hatched. (I use a little giant with the fan kit and egg turner.) I did not add any water to my bator the first 17 days. (My hygrometer has never been calibrated, but it's fairly consistant with the outside humidty when not in the bator.) Running dry my hygrometer read an average between 40-45%. I also leave my vent plugs out for the whole incubation. At lockdown I lay my eggs flat and up my humidity to as close to 75% as I can get it. (I use sponges in the bator to help with humidity and make it easier to keep it up w/o opening the bator all the way to add more water to the wells.)
    my temp stays fairly constant at the 99.5, give or take a degree (to be expected with a styro bator.) It averages out right anyway. lol
    I also keep a close eye on the egg's air cells to determine if the humidity needs to be adjusted. The last hatch, running dry, I did not have to adjust at all.
    Good luck! Hope your 2nd is better than your 1st.
     
  3. lyndseybr

    lyndseybr Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes. I am putting another thermometer inside tomorrow (forgot to buy one while in town today)
    So you were virtually dry until day 18?
    I opened my 4 vents, try are all of the top to reduce my humidity down to 20 ish. Want to leave them open but I find the heat hust can't keep up so with the first one I closed 2 of the 4 to help temp stay up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
  4. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Yes, I did, but my hygrometer read on average about 40% w/o any water. When I researched "dry hatching" everyone named a different humidity average. What I found was generally you want at least 25% ish humidity. If you can accomplish this with no water great, if your bator is less than 20-25% You'll want a minimum amount of water to get at least the 25%. The key though, is to monitor your air cells and make sure they are growing at the right rate. This will tell you if you are running too low or two high. (Or you can do the egg weighing, which I have never done, do make sure they are loosing the proper amount of weight/moisture). If the air cells are too big for their incubation stage then you need to higher the humidity, if it appears to small, then you lower the humidity. It's real easy once you start doing it and get used to judging them.
     
  5. lyndseybr

    lyndseybr Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok.
    I read that about air cell marking on 7,14 & 18th days when candeling. I candeled but didn't mark air cells. I missed that info before somehow :(. Will be doing it this time.
    Well thanks!
    I have a plan of action in mind now and my eggs are in so I'm going to run with it and hope for the best!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
  6. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Good Luck!!! (I didn't know to mark my air cells on my first hatch either. lol)
    Have you seen the awesome candling thread on here?
     
  7. lyndseybr

    lyndseybr Out Of The Brooder

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    Turns out I found another thermometer. However I want to go digital or wireless. My inc has a red lid and I can't see the Mercury at all in the red light lol
    But at least I can quickly peek inside to check. I just set it on top the eggs that are in the rocker :)
    I feel a bit better about this round now. [​IMG] thanks for the tips
     
  8. lyndseybr

    lyndseybr Out Of The Brooder

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    Voila!!!!!
    My incubator is set at 100, the thermometer that I put in sittin on top the eggs is reading about 94
    I upped the inc temp to try get that temp up to 100!!!!
     
  9. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I use digital. [​IMG] Keep us posted how this one goes!
     
  10. lyndseybr

    lyndseybr Out Of The Brooder

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    Soon as I go to town I'll be getting a digital one [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

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