Incubator smells AWFUL!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by furbabymum, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. furbabymum

    furbabymum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So my chicks are hatching like crazy. The majority are done at this point. I have about 6 eggs left and I plan on leaving them in for a week just in case they're just a bit behind. Anyway, the incubator smells awful. I'm not sure how to fix this while there are eggs in it. All the hatching gunk and the baby chicken nasty is just awful. I almost puked this morning checking on them. There are about 8 chicks that hatched last night and are still super wet so I haven't removed them yet. I only remove chicks once they are mostly dry. I could be doing that wrong though. Anyway, I figure I can't clean it yet but surely this isn't just my problem is it? Do you have stinky incubators? There were 40 eggs in it btw. It's a big one. I do remove the shells after a chick has hatched. Still smells awful.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Very carefully you need to check the eggs that have not hatched. Very carefully.

    There will be a small after a hatch but nothing like you describe. What I suspect has happened is that one of the eggs has bacteria in it. It is now officially a rotten egg. As such it is dangerous. Please be careful. I’m really not trying to be funny.

    When bacteria get inside an egg in an incubator it multiplies like crazy. The egg material is a perfect nutrient medium for bacteria to grow. The incubator temperature is the perfect temperature. Scientists often use eggs at incubator temperature to culture bacteria. When that bacteria grows, it produces gasses. They can build up inside the egg to the point it explodes. Sometimes liquid will ooze out of the egg, foul smelling liquid.

    What you need to do is very carefully get that egg out of your house. Now! It could explode at any time. Do you want that thing to explode in your house and distribute that smell everywhere? I didn’t think so.

    I’d probably rap that incubator with a towel or something to try to contain it if it does explode and carry the whole thing outside. Once outside you can identify which egg it is by sniffing them. Get rid of it. Burying it deep is probably the best option. If I were hauling your trash, I would not want that smell in the trash.

    You can do with the other eggs as you will. In my experience they are not likely to hatch unless you put them in at different times. Or you can do the float test. That’s where you put an egg that has not pipped in a calm bowl of water. If the egg wriggles, something is alive in there. If it does not wriggle after a few seconds, nothing is alive in there. You can put any that wriggle back in the incubator if you wish, but I’d probably just ditch all the eggs and figure out how to clean and air out that incubator to get rid of that smell.
     
  3. furbabymum

    furbabymum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting. Thank you. Will be looking at the eggs that are left. I'll also try the wriggle test. THe eggs have been hatching these last 2 days so I figured I'd give a full 7 for all the eggs.
     
  4. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    A Big X 2 on that [​IMG]
     
  5. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The water test has failed me many times. Some chicks just don't move until they HAVE to. I have had several viable eggs that never moved in a water test.

    I don't have a lockdown, so I've got hands on the egg through out the process. I candle to look for shadows above the air cell's line, indicating internal pip. I then set those closest to the outside of the group, so they have plenty of room. Once they start making external pips, I may have to rearrange a bit. Once a few have hatched, I recandle the eggs to see if any have not yet made the internal pip. If they haven't, they get set aside.

    Once the hatching has slowed down, I candle for internal pips again. If any have failed to do it, I make a small hole in the egg at the highest point of the air cell. I only want to get into the air cell, not the inner membrane.

    Using this hole, I check to see if there are blood vessels and/or an internal pip that I could not see with candling. If blood vessels are present, I use a piece of another egg shell to lightly cover the hole, and put it back. If there are no blood vessels, I poke the chick to get it to stir. If he doesn't, then he is dead. If he DOES, but all blood vessels are gone, I begin to assist in the hatch before he DOES suffocate and die.
     
  6. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Although from what others have said, you do have a rotten egg in there. Exploding is sometimes just cracking and seeping, but no less horrible!
     
  7. furbabymum

    furbabymum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did have some rotten eggs. 2 actually. So I might make a new post about it but I'm gonna ask it here too. How do you keep your incubator clean during hatching then? It was totally sterile until hatching. I have an auto turner so I wasn't touching the eggs except the 2 times I candled. I'd just add water every few days and leave it. When they started hatching there was stuff everywhere. I do have a big incubator. The Hovabator that fits 50 eggs. Had 40 in there as I said previously. I was taking the shells out after hatchign and removing the chicks as soon as I could but it still got super gross. So how do I prevent that in the future?
     
  8. furbabymum

    furbabymum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And bumping
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I’ve never had a rotten egg in the incubator. That could change real soon since I’m starting some tonight. You never know. I do remember one under a broody when I as a kid. She had hidden a nest and that rotten egg broke during the hatch. What a mess. I was really glad that was outside and well away from the hen house.

    What do I do? After each hatch I wash the incubator really well. I use bleach on the plastic stuff but just soap and water on the Styrofoam. Start with a clean incubator.

    When I gather or otherwise handle the eggs, I have clean hands. No oil or grime. Try to keep the eggs clean.

    When the hen lays an egg, she puts a layer called bloom on the outside. That’s what looks wet when it is first laid but soon dries. That bloom helps keep bacteria out of the egg. It’s not perfect but it does a real good job. I do not wash the eggs or scrape them with sandpaper or anything that will remove that bloom.

    I only set clean eggs. I don’t worry about light stains, but any with much poop on them or any kind of grime, such as a broken egg, don’t go in the incubator.

    Rotten eggs can and do happen. You’re dealing with nature and that is not always nice. But cleanliness, not disturbing the bloom, and setting only clean eggs can really help your odds.
     
  10. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    It could very likely be your water..

    After using distilled water instead of tap, the smell did not happen. My first hatch stunk SO bad, and not a rotting smell.. It was just gross chick hatch smell. The tap water is hard, so minerals and all that.. Try distilled water or boil it before adding it next time and see if it makes a difference.

    ETA: I see you had a rotting egg which is obvious why it stunk.. I've had a rotten egg a broody buried in the bedding that broke. It was something else, I'll tell you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014

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