Low hatch rates, not sure what is going on.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Heather J, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. Heather J

    Heather J Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2008
    I've been hatching for over a month now and I can't figure out what is wrong. I put 3 dozen eggs into my bator three weeks ago. I tossed four that didn't develop at all after two weeks and left the others for a bit longer. On day 19 (yes, i lost track of dates, so it was later than it should have been) I candled the 32 left, twelve of which died sometime during the second week. Twenty looked reasonably well developed.

    5 hatched.

    I don't know if the other 15 died before I candled the last time, or after, but to have that many that developed to such a late stage and then die? I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. The temps and humidity have stayed pretty steadily in the right range with few exceptions (I have three bators, I start them in the LG since it has trouble with humidity).

    Can humidity fluctuations early in the incubation cause problems later? I'm trying to hatch them for sale, in the hopes that I'll make enough to pay for their feed, but I don't dare sell hatching eggs, or put much hopes on paying for feed if I can't get a decent hatch. My first two were much better numbers than the last two bunches.
     
  2. kentuckychickenmomma

    kentuckychickenmomma Out Of The Brooder

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    We have been having the same problem. I am unsure what the cause is . The last few hatches we have had bad hatches , and it all started when we started opening the vent in the back. We have a cabnit type now , and the person before us said he never opened and always had great hatches , we did not open them till we read that they needed to still be opened , started this and now a really really low hatch rate. Anyone help.. Please.
     
  3. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    I have had the same problem, actually worse. I have had a total of 12 chicks hatch from over 70 eggs. They either don't develop at all, start and quit early on, or just basically die off somewhere during incubation. The most depressing was when I had 10 'good' eggs go to the hatcher, and not one hatched. I don't know what the deal is, but I'm about to give up. I have had 34 quail chicks hatch so far, from 50 eggs, some shipped and some mine, I'm thinking I'll just stick with the quail!!

    Here's a site that lists hatchability problems. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/AA204
    It
    seems to me that the ones that hatch better are the ones that were not moved to a hatcher, and allowed to hatch in the same incubator. If you are having problems with your LG's humidity, try putting a bowl under the wire with a paper towel wicking out of it. Paper towels work much better to raise the humidity IMO.

    I wish I knew what to tell you, but I am having the same problem. I have spent close to $200 on eggs, and have hatched 12 chicks. Those are some pretty expensive chicks!
     
  4. twigg

    twigg Cooped up

    Mar 2, 2008
    Tulsa
    Quote:Let's take this a step at a time.

    Out of 36 eggs, 32 were viable, because they started to develop. This doesn't entirely rule out bad stock, but lessens the chances.

    The most critical time is the first seven days. Unfortunately, problems then might not manifest until right before hatching, when the chicks just don't have what it takes to get out of the shell.

    Opening some of them is a grizzly task, but does provide lots of info.

    It is crucial that temperature and humidity remain withing limits, and stable in the first week, and, to a lessor extent in the second.

    There are only three things that can go wrong. Bad eggs, poor temp control and poor humidity control. If you get the second two right, then the eggs WILL hatch if they are decent eggs. It's really simple, but not always simple to acheive.

    I would do a dry run on the incubator. I would set it up, in a stable environment and let it run for 4 weeks checking temp and humidity to a point where I was happy I could control it. I would then get 12 eggs from a reputable source, and incubate them ....

    take it from there.
     
  5. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

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    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    Quote:Let's take this a step at a time.

    Out of 36 eggs, 32 were viable, because they started to develop. This doesn't entirely rule out bad stock, but lessens the chances.

    The most critical time is the first seven days. Unfortunately, problems then might not manifest until right before hatching, when the chicks just don't have what it takes to get out of the shell.

    Opening some of them is a grizzly task, but does provide lots of info.

    It is crucial that temperature and humidity remain withing limits, and stable in the first week, and, to a lessor extent in the second.

    There are only three things that can go wrong. Bad eggs, poor temp control and poor humidity control. If you get the second two right, then the eggs WILL hatch if they are decent eggs. It's really simple, but not always simple to acheive.

    I would do a dry run on the incubator. I would set it up, in a stable environment and let it run for 4 weeks checking temp and humidity to a point where I was happy I could control it. I would then get 12 eggs from a reputable source, and incubate them ....

    take it from there.

    Dont forget the 4th. eggs need turned, in the case of improper turning, they would form, but die the last few days.
     
  6. twigg

    twigg Cooped up

    Mar 2, 2008
    Tulsa
    Quote:Let's take this a step at a time.

    Out of 36 eggs, 32 were viable, because they started to develop. This doesn't entirely rule out bad stock, but lessens the chances.

    The most critical time is the first seven days. Unfortunately, problems then might not manifest until right before hatching, when the chicks just don't have what it takes to get out of the shell.

    Opening some of them is a grizzly task, but does provide lots of info.

    It is crucial that temperature and humidity remain withing limits, and stable in the first week, and, to a lessor extent in the second.

    There are only three things that can go wrong. Bad eggs, poor temp control and poor humidity control. If you get the second two right, then the eggs WILL hatch if they are decent eggs. It's really simple, but not always simple to acheive.

    I would do a dry run on the incubator. I would set it up, in a stable environment and let it run for 4 weeks checking temp and humidity to a point where I was happy I could control it. I would then get 12 eggs from a reputable source, and incubate them ....

    take it from there.

    Dont forget the 4th. eggs need turned, in the case of improper turning, they would form, but die the last few days.

    Good point [​IMG]

    Turning correctly is an issue. Generally, however, about 50% of the eggs should hatch even if they are never turned at all, so she has other problems too.
     
  7. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

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    Southern Ohio
    #1 good eggs
    #2 proper temp.
    #3 proper humidity
    #4 proper egg turning


    IN order of the most importants
    Also the high temp. over 103 does the most harm.
    If you get the first 2 right you will hatch a few.
    getting 3 and 4 under control will start getting those high % hatch rate.
    Like twigg said the first 7 day, any big change will do alot of harm.

    Now just guessing here, but would say you had a temp, spike.
     
  8. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

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    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    Quote:The vents are there to close to raise the humidity, opening them will lower the humidity, right when you are needing a higher humidity for the hatch.

    What I do is run mine all the way open(more fresh air) and control humidity with water surface area. adding a 2nd water pan for hatching days.
     
  9. chilling in muscadine

    chilling in muscadine { I love being disfunctual }

    Jun 8, 2008
    muscadine, al.
    Sorry you are having this trouble Heather. It's also scaring me. I haven't hatched any since Nov. and I'm collecting some nice breeds now to start in a day or two. [​IMG] Man I hope all goes well, I don't want to get bummed out like you guys for the first hatch of the season.
     
  10. Heather J

    Heather J Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2008
    Thanks everyone. My temps seem to be staying really stable since they are in a room with no heat ducts and the only window faces north and I have turners, but I'll try tweaking the process some and see what I can do. My accurite thermometers don't appear to be too accurate, but whenever the temp shows that it's gone too high in there, I add one of my other ones and they show the temps are still within safe limits. I'll have to watch the humidity more closely, I guess.

    My big issue has been that my quail and chickens seem to be ready to hatch at all different times (though I considered giving up on the quail because out of well over a hundred eggs I've only managed to hatch 16 healthy babies. I guess my chicken numbers aren't much better. *sigh*
     

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