IncuView Experiment Fail

Discussion in 'Quail' started by gilpinguy, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. gilpinguy

    gilpinguy Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 4, 2015
    Gilpin County, Colorado
    Kind of long, I'm sorry. But I am really frustrated here and wanted to include as much info as possible.

    I have been using an IncuView forced air incubator for over a year and haven't had a hatch rate over 50% - most have been much less than that, closer to 20%. I have redundant thermometers and hygrometers, so I know temps and humidity are good (99.5F and 40%-50% for incubation, 65%-75% for lockdown). We live at 9,000 feet elevation, but I have read that this shouldn't be a problem if the eggs were laid at the same elevation which they are.

    I suspected that the egg turner for the IncuView wasn't turning the eggs adequately, so I tried an experiment.

    Instead of laying the eggs flat and letting the turner turn them, I put the eggs in standard paper quail egg cartons (fat end up) and just put a box under the end of the incubator. This put the incubator at a fairly steep angle. I switched the box to the other side at least 3X a day, basically rocking the eggs back and forth like other egg turners.

    I sterilize the IncuView with a mild bleach solution before incubation and let it dry thoroughly before using it . I don't normally wash my eggs before incubation because they are usually pretty clean when I collect them. This time I did a quick rinse thinking that maybe that was part of the problem too.

    My my results were the worst I've ever had. 2 chicks hatched out of 79 eggs. After 21 days I gave up and moved the 2 chicks to a brooder.

    I dissected the unhatched eggs. 43 appeared to be fully developed or close to it, 10 looked partially developed and 23 were totally undeveloped.

    If the 43 developed eggs hatched the hatch rate would have been 57%. Still not that great, but to have 43 almost fully developed chicks not hatch is frustrating to say the least. I am really getting tired of throwing away so many eggs after each hatch.

    Any ideas of where to start troubleshooting here? Thanks for any ideas.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
  2. homestead 101

    homestead 101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2016
    The only thing I can think of is that the eggs were not turned enough. I had the same problem with my little incubator. It held the humidity well and temp. But I could not turn the eggs enough.
  3. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2011
    Where in the incubator were the 2 that hatched? And does your thermometer have a high & low memory feature?
  4. asudavew

    asudavew Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 28, 2015
    Try a dry incubation, until the last couple days. Then add humidity. It's possible that the chicks are drowning.
    If that doesn't solve the problem, at least you can eliminate it as one of the possible reasons.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Not turning the eggs will cause early deaths and bad hatches. The growing embryo needs new food every few hours as they use up what is nearby. So by turning the eggs, new food becomes available and also helps keep the baby centered in the yolk. Also, make sure to open all vents wide at lockdown and partially open during incubation. Developing embryos need oxygen and especially at lockdown and hatching, they need all the oxygen they can get.
  6. bahamabanty

    bahamabanty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2013
    I had the same idea and it failed too. I came to the conclusion that there was no access to air while the egg was in the plastic quail carton. If you check the eggturners they all have ventilation openings, they are not solid plastic "egg holders". So maybe cut some holes in the plastic quail containers for air flow?
  7. pkhunter

    pkhunter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2014
    My guess would be lack of oxygen. After looking at the incuView (maybe I missed them) but I don't see any ventilation vents in the top. If your getting chicks that are fully developed and not hatching then they need more air. If there are no vents then drill a couple 1/2" holes around the top and try that. I think that would solve your problem.
  8. gpop1

    gpop1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2015
    it would be interesting to know how large the air cell was on the late quitters. I know quail eggs are a pain to candle but you should be able to get a idea of the air cell size.
    If possible you could weigh a single or group of eggs when set then check the weight before lock down to calculate the air cell or you could throw in a eating egg during your next run and use that as a air cell guide. im thinking humidity is a problem due to higher elevation. I don't really understand it myself but at higher elevation your hygrometers may not be giving the same readings that we would be seeing at sea level. I normally incubate at lower humidity around 30-35% and hatch at 70-75%.
  9. BobDBirdDog

    BobDBirdDog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 8, 2014
    I am no scientist, but doesn't the 9000 feet suggest above sea level? I have read that most thermometers are calibrated at sea level. How that effects a digital thermometer I don't know, but if it is glass thermometers that might be something to consider as the barometric pressures or whatever could be causing the wrong readings.You might want to research that and reach your own conclusions or further the test. Also, I read that at 18,000 feet the O2 was around 50% of sea level O2, so I was thinking that at 9000 feet it would be around 75%? If so, maybe open up the vent holes a little more??????

    How all of that plays into locally laid eggs I don't know as it seems they would be adapted to the higher elevations..but just some things you might want to consider or read in your quest.

    X2 PKhunter and gpop1
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
  10. gilpinguy

    gilpinguy Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 4, 2015
    Gilpin County, Colorado
    Thank you for the responses.

    The question about too little oxygen is a valid one. I have been closing the vent hole a little during lockdown to keep the humidity up during lockdown. Looks like I shouldn't do this! In fact, I may drill another hole or two since the factory vent hole in the IncuView is maybe 3/8" wide and I am at elevation. It never dawned on me that they were getting too little oxygen. [​IMG]

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