Killing my guinea eggs?!

AMoritz

Chirping
Jul 12, 2018
102
68
96
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Warning: graphic images

This is my 2nd batch of guineas in the same incubator, and I know I'm doing something wrong. 15 eggs all moving when candled and totally viable. Out of those 15 in this batch only 6 hatched. The ones that hatched also hatched early. The first one started hatching in the turner 4 hours before lock down. The rest were hatched by the time there was 1 day left in the Incubator.
Incubator is set to 100.5, humidity was between 35% -37%, there were a few times it dipped down to 29/30% while they were incubating but nothing drastic changed during the entire incubation period. I opened them up and 7 out of the 9 that didn't make it had pipped internally and did nothing else. :/. What am I doing wrong?!?!
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R2elk

Magical, perfect creature
Premium member
7 Years
Feb 24, 2013
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Warning: graphic images

This is my 2nd batch of guineas in the same incubator, and I know I'm doing something wrong. 15 eggs all moving when candled and totally viable. Out of those 15 in this batch only 6 hatched. The ones that hatched also hatched early. The first one started hatching in the turner 4 hours before lock down. The rest were hatched by the time there was 1 day left in the Incubator.
Incubator is set to 100.5, humidity was between 35% -37%, there were a few times it dipped down to 29/30% while they were incubating but nothing drastic changed during the entire incubation period. I opened them up and 7 out of the 9 that didn't make it had pipped internally and did nothing else. :/. What am I doing wrong?!?!View attachment 1557365 View attachment 1557364
Sorry about your luck. Number one is to check your temperature with a calibrated thermometer. Number two is to check your humidity with a calibrated hygrometer.

For the incubation period in a forced air incubator the recommended temperature is 99.5°F. If your incubator is a forced air unit, your set temperature is one degree high which will cause an early hatch. For the incubation period, days 0 through 24 or 25, a humidity in the range of 30% to 45% is acceptable. For guineas some people lock down on day 24 and others on day 25. Even if everything is running perfect, it is not uncommon for guinea eggs to start hatching on day 26 and run through day 28.

During lockdown, you need to have a higher humidity to prevent shrink wrapping. I try for 65% to 70% humidity for lockdown.
 

red horse ranch

Crowing
6 Years
Jan 24, 2014
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It looks to me like some of the keets have been shrink wrapped. This is caused by low humidity. The keet may be able to pip but be unable to turn in the egg to unzip. I keep the humidity in my incubator at 65 to 70% during the hatch. I can't tell if your incubator is forced air or still air but I think your temperature was a little high also.
Poor nutrition of the breeders can also cause death before hatching. So many things can go wrong that it's hard to say for sure why you had a poor hatch. I've had way too many poor hatches myself and it's sad to see fully formed babies dead in the shell. :(
 

AMoritz

Chirping
Jul 12, 2018
102
68
96
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
It's a still air incubator, during my research on here and other palces across the web I was under the impression that still air should be 100.5. during lockdown humidity was 57-68%. Do those numbers seem right in a still air? It's very hard to see them fully formed and knowing they didn't make it . My guineas appear to be done for the season now so I won't be doing any more batches until next year but I want to be prepared as the last couple batches were hard on me :/.
 

R2elk

Magical, perfect creature
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Feb 24, 2013
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Natrona County, Wyoming
It's a still air incubator, during my research on here and other places across the web I was under the impression that still air should be 100.5. during lockdown humidity was 57-68%. Do those numbers seem right in a still air? It's very hard to see them fully formed and knowing they didn't make it . My guineas appear to be done for the season now so I won't be doing any more batches until next year but I want to be prepared as the last couple batches were hard on me :/.
That temperature is correct for a still air incubator if the temperature is being measured at the top of the eggs. Fifty-seven percent humidity for lockdown is probably low which can lead to issues with shrink wrapping. I try for 65% to 70% humidity during lockdown.

Whatever temperature and humidity that you use, it is important to know that the measuring instruments (thermometer and hygrometer) are accurate. It is never a good idea to just rely on the instruments of an incubator especially if the incubator has been used multiple times as a hatcher. The dander from the hatchlings gets into everything and can interfere with the temperature and humidity being accurate even if the incubator started out accurate in the beginning.

Another issue with still air incubators is different temperatures in different areas of the incubator.

Good luck.
 

R2elk

Magical, perfect creature
Premium member
7 Years
Feb 24, 2013
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Natrona County, Wyoming
What kind of hygrometers do you recommend to make sure temp and humidity are correct?
I use a "weather station" with Indoor and Outdoor sensors. I put the Outdoor sensor inside the incubator. Check the instructions to see what the lowest humidity the hygrometer will read. Many of the cheaper models will not read below 20% humidity. I believe that @WVduckchick still has a link in her signature to her article on hygrometers and how to calibrate them.

For a thermometer, you can check it at freezing by using the ice water method.

"Method 1: Ice Water
  1. Fill a glass with ice cubes, then top off with cold water.
  2. Stir the water and let sit for 3 minutes.
  3. Stir again, then insert your thermometer into the glass, making sure not to touch the sides.
  4. The temperature should read 32°F (0°C). Record the difference and offset your thermometer as appropriate."
You can calibrate it at boiling if you know what the boiling point of water is for your elevation.

This is the thermometer that a friend calibrated for me. It is the thermometer the place that I used to work uses for taking temperatures that have to be accurate.
 

WVduckchick

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Did you finish opening the ones that internally pipped but failed to hatch? I’m curious if the yolk was absorbed or not, if the chicks were positioned correctly, and if they were maybe too large or too wet to hatch on their own.

Did you keep the humidity the same throughout the whole time? Or just increase for the final days?
 
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