Little Giant Incubator Woes

sparton

In the Brooder
Mar 12, 2015
74
11
46
Vancouver, Wa
I am not certain what we are doing wrong of if a witch just hexxed us with bad fertility.

First round we got our eggs from a local breeder- she included 6 extras to make certain we would be well off.

We are using a still air incubator and at this time with no turner.

We kept the temp between 99 - 101 degrees (it fluctuated depending on time of day). Humidity I think was high (35-40%)

We candled at 7 days and of the 18 eggs only 4 lacked signs of development. We removed them and continued.

Next candling (14 days) we lost 5 eggs at no development. The rest were so full of chick you could only see the air sack.

3 days before hatch we brought humidity up to 55% - 60%; of the remaining eggs only one pipped but was unable to hatch on its own. The rest died in their shells.


So we tried again. Cleaned out the incubator and got another dozen hatching eggs. This time we got an automatic egg turner. My husband looked up dry incubation techniques.

He was in charge of this one and had the still air temp set to 100 degrees. Again we candled and showed development at the stages but between days 7-14 we lost about half the dozen we purchased. Come hatch day not even a peep or a pip despite raising humidity up again to make hatching easier.

What are we doing wrong?
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
32,950
27,446
1,077
St. Louis, MO
All thermometers should be suspect, even those that come with incubators.
A guaranteed accurate thermometer is indispensable. Preferably 3.
A brinsea spot check and a thermoworks are what I use.
http://thermoworks.com/products/low_cost/rt301wa.html
Measuring at the top of eggs in a still air should be about 100.5. The concept being that with thermal stratification, the middle of the eggs will be 99.5.
Other issues can be related to breeder nutrition.
 
Last edited:

AmyLynn2374

Humidity Queen
5 Years
Oct 11, 2014
15,028
2,680
456
Gouverneur, NY
I am not certain what we are doing wrong of if a witch just hexxed us with bad fertility.

First round we got our eggs from a local breeder- she included 6 extras to make certain we would be well off.

We are using a still air incubator and at this time with no turner.

We kept the temp between 99 - 101 degrees (it fluctuated depending on time of day). Humidity I think was high (35-40%)

We candled at 7 days and of the 18 eggs only 4 lacked signs of development. We removed them and continued.

Next candling (14 days) we lost 5 eggs at no development. The rest were so full of chick you could only see the air sack.

3 days before hatch we brought humidity up to 55% - 60%; of the remaining eggs only one pipped but was unable to hatch on its own. The rest died in their shells.


So we tried again. Cleaned out the incubator and got another dozen hatching eggs. This time we got an automatic egg turner. My husband looked up dry incubation techniques.

He was in charge of this one and had the still air temp set to 100 degrees. Again we candled and showed development at the stages but between days 7-14 we lost about half the dozen we purchased. Come hatch day not even a peep or a pip despite raising humidity up again to make hatching easier.

What are we doing wrong?
First off, never trust any thermometers/hygrometers that come with the incubators (or any -for that matter) unless you check them for accuracy.
If you haven't, I recommend reading:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hatching-eggs-101 (Overall hatching)
http://letsraisechickens.weebly.com...anuals-understanding-and-controlling-humidity (for Humidity) (I swear by this method especially for the styro bators if you have an accurate thermometer/hygrometer and a fairly steady bator.)
Most sources will state 101-102F for still air. A lot of people short cut this by saying 101.5 taken at the top of the egg.
I personally prefer 70-75% for hatch humidity.
 

AHenNamedPepper

In the Brooder
Apr 15, 2015
37
7
26
Sharon sc
That is why i asked... i always calibrate my thermometers and ALWAYS use two to check against eachother... i do what i believe is called a wet temp to get my humidity.
 

sparton

In the Brooder
Mar 12, 2015
74
11
46
Vancouver, Wa
So I cleaned out my incubator and let our silkies lay some eggs versus purchasing. Hopefully my rooster has been doing more than just mussing feathers out there. I did buy a thermometer /hydrometer (one for reptiles but it should work right?). I cross checked them and initially my new reader was reading about 10 degrees higher than what the built in one was reading. Giving it until tomorrow morning to get everything settled but wish me luck with the dual reading.
 

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