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INCUBATOR HELP

Discussion in 'Quail' started by titika, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. titika

    titika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am trying to hatch coturnix quail eggs. This is my third attempt. Originally the incubator was by the back door and I thought the temperature changes from opening and closing the door was the cause of death for my eggs. I moved it into my bedroom where the temperature is more stable, set 100 eggs in my turner. I float tested a few before lockdown, most sank and a few floated. I tossed the ones I noticed were cracked and smelled a little. I put the rest (sinkers and floaters alike) back in the incubator for lock down. They are 2 days overdue. I candled two of the floaters and two that sank. All 4 had small chicks in them but all where dead. It's like they get to a certain point in development and die off. I am going to candle a few more and see. Last batch I tried some even had a few feathers. I just can't figure out why they keep dying. It is frustrating. I keep the temp at 99.8 but it drops about 3-4 degrees before the heat kicks back on. (hovobator incubator) I bought it used so I am not sure if the thermostat is just bad and the temperature fluctuation is the issue or if a few degrees is ok. I figured when the hen moves to turn them the temperature changes briefly so it should be ok... Please HELP!
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    The best thing you could do is put another thermometer in the incubator. I never rely on what the built in meter is telling me. Use a good thermometer, one you purchase from a good brooder supply. Do a dry run and see if the meter in the bator is reading at all correct. If the embryo's are dying off early, that is generally a temperature problem. Sorry you are having so much trouble.
     
  3. titika

    titika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two seperate thermometers, one on the floor and one that is just a half inch above the eggs and they both read the same...
     
  4. titika

    titika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The one's that i opened up still have bright red blood vessels and yellow eggs sacs that look healthy. It's just really confusing and frustrating. I think I might break down and buy a new incubator and see if that is the issue.
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    That is probably your best bet.

    Are you opening the vents during incubation and at lock down? How old do you think the embryo's are at the time of death? This last question will tell us a lot as to what might be happening.
     
  6. titika

    titika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would guess not quite half way through. They have beaks and eyes and little claws. I will see if I can post a picture of one. I am warming up the bathroom so I can candle them in there without messing up the temperature too much in the incubator. Mostly just candling the few white ones and really light ones to see what's going on. I haven't seen any eggs moving but I thought I heard little chirps last night.
     
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Generally if embryo's are dying at half way, then that could be a few things....temp is off, and more likely it is too high. (cooler temps usually only delay the hatch). Improper ventilation or bad eggs with genetic issues. I doubt it was due to shipping of the eggs because usually the effects of shipping either grow the chick or they don't.

    So, first you need to get your eggs from a good breeder. Not someone you don't know or you are unsure of. Next, get a good incubator. The incubation process is pretty much everything if you have good eggs. Again, I always use 2 thermometers, one built in and one inside the bator. I don't care for still air, as it can leave hot spots all over the bator. So be careful if you use still air bators. And lastly, keep your venting open all the time if you can. Keeping the vents closed during incubation helps with controlling low humidity. But if you live in an area with high humidity, keep those vents open. Growing babies need air. And especially at lock down, the vents need to be FULLY open. They need maximum air to pip and hatch.
     
  8. titika

    titika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    These eggs came from my own quail so shipping is not the issue. I am thinking the temp got too high a few times. I noticed today that my cat was laying on top of it and covering the vents too. Likely he lays there most of the day while I am at work. Most of the chicks are a little smaller then this one. It still has the bright red veins in the egg so i don't know if it is alive or not but no movement from any of the eggs. Also I can see veins in parts of this chick that are still red... I am going to wait it out a few more days to be sure but I am at a loss. I will be buying a new incubator tomorrow and a fan for it too and see if that makes a difference. The quail I have that I got the eggs from are from 3 seperate breeders so not likely an issue with eggs being inbred
    [​IMG]
     
  9. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    So sorry you are having this much trouble. I am going to say that your problems are most likely too high of temp and possibly venting if the cat sits on the bator. He could be putting out enough heat himself that he is raising the temp too, along with blocking ventilation, could be raising the heat far too high.

    Good luck with your quail hatchings. I hope your next batch is successful. :)
     
  10. titika

    titika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What temp would you recommend? I was running 99.8
     

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