low hatch rate and one slightly deformed chick - what have we done wrong? :(

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by LittleMoss, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. LittleMoss

    LittleMoss Out Of The Brooder

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    We've just used an incubator (hatching hens eggs) for the first time. We're on day 23 and only one egg has hatched. We (including our children) were delighted with our one precious little chick, but have realised its legs aren't quite right - one seems a little longer and is dragging, so that she's struggling a little. We used a digital fan-heated incubator, but it doesn't have anyway of checking the humidity. I know this isn't the natural time of year for hatching, but we wanted the chicks to be big enough to integrate with our other two hens by the summer, if possible. Could anyone tell me what we might have done wrong? We would like to try again. Thanks.
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    :welcome and sorry for your bad hatch.

    From the sounds of it your temp is off - have you checked it with a different calibrated thermometer other than the one in the incubator? The built in ones are often off. Temperature being too low can cause problems with development and deformations of the embryo.

    Also, you always need to know the humidity, it is critical to incubation. You need a hygrometer. Without one you could be drowning the chicks in their shells or causing them to lose too much moisture.
     
  3. LittleMoss

    LittleMoss Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you, I will get a hygrometer with a thermometer.
    I have told the children we will see how the chick that has hatched copes, but we may have to part with it. Is it best to do this sooner, or see how it grows? Thanks for your help.
     
  4. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    If it is able to get around and eat and drink and doesn't seem to be in pain, I'd say you can give it some time and see how it does :)

    I can recommend this thermometer and this hygrometer, they both work very well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  5. LittleMoss

    LittleMoss Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you, that's really helpful. Glad we can hold on to the chick for now :)
     
  6. dannyelle123

    dannyelle123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  7. LittleMoss

    LittleMoss Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, I don't think that's it though. I've had another look at the chick and it seems as if one leg is joined to the body higher than the other. If it was the temperature, I wonder if our house got too cold at night, and it affected the incubator? Does anybody know if the problem is likely to become more or less pronounced as the chick grows? Thanks for your help.
     
  8. LittleMoss

    LittleMoss Out Of The Brooder

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    Please can you tell me if a chick can have a splay leg just at one side?
     
  9. LittleMoss

    LittleMoss Out Of The Brooder

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    I've had another look - the legs are joined at the same height! But the one stays straight rather than being tucked up, so it ends up sticking out. I'd be really glad if there was a way I could help the chick, she's less than 48 hours old. Thanks again.
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    There are a lot of things that could possibly go wrong and cause either deformity or them not hatching. These two articles list many.

    Mississippi State Incubation Troubleshooting
    http://extension.msstate.edu/content/trouble-shooting-failures-egg-incubation

    Illinois Incubation troubleshooting
    http://urbanext.illinois.edu/eggs/res24-00.html

    It helps if you open the unhatched eggs to see if you can tell at least when they died if they even stated to develop. If you don’t have something to go by, you are just guessing blind.

    I cannot help with that deformed chick, I don’t have any experience with that. Sorry.

    I agree to calibrate your thermometer. The last one I got, an adjustable, was off by two full degrees Fahrenheit. I’ll include some links for calibration.

    Rebel’s Thermometer Calibration
    http://cmfarm.us/ThermometerCalibration.html

    Rebel’s Hygrometer Calibration
    http://cmfarm.us/HygrometerCalibration.html
     

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