mix breed (bantam size)hatches not doing well- any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by HeatherInBama, May 15, 2008.

  1. HeatherInBama

    HeatherInBama Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2007
    North Alabama
    Hi everybody-- Nobody hears from me much - I tend to do more reading than posting- but I'm very new to incubating and wanted to see if anybody could give me any tips. We have 2 bators- 1 is forced air, electronic thermostat, with automatic turner. eggs are in there till day 18, then go to still air manual thermostat for hatching. right now I candle on fridays and add eggs every friday- so we get hatches once a week. my flock is mixed- about half ameracaunas (sorry spelled wrong) and a mix of rirs, orpingtons and australorps with a few white layers thrown in. Only have 2 roosters- both americaunas- for about 160 hens so I usually only have about 50% fertile. Hatch rate for the ones that are fertile is about 80%- so I think I'm doing pretty well for a newbie- but I'm Having terrible luck with the little eggs. I have a silkie rooster and fluffy polish? hens and a banty rooster and 2 banty hens of same breed- so far I have had 1 polish egg hatch with chick die at 2 days old and over a half dozen eggs that just stopped developing and died sometime between 12 and 18 days. should I not incubate the little eggs at all since they may be mix breed- or do I need a different setup for the little breeds? any comments are welcome![​IMG]
     
  2. ginasmarans

    ginasmarans Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    West Tn
    JMHO but I don't stagger hatches. I think it messes up the ones getting ready to hatch when you chunk more eggs in. It changes the temp and the humidity. Now someone will post that they do it and everything goes well. That is wonderful. Mixed chicken eggs should hatch just as well as pure. With 2 roos for 160 hens,you are doing really well. If possible,maybe you should pick out from 6-10 hens /roo and pen them together and just set those eggs. You could rotate hens. Happy Hatching.
     
  3. HeatherInBama

    HeatherInBama Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2007
    North Alabama
    actually tried that with my black americauna rooster and 6 of the biggest and best colored hens. I penned them for 1 week and got 1 egg. I think they are spoiled. my "big coop" is around 600 or 700 square feet and they free range during the day and only get locked in at nite. I need to build a good breeding coop I think so anybody who gets put in it won't sulk.
     
  4. HeatherInBama

    HeatherInBama Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2007
    North Alabama
    another question-- how often do you candle? - I started the staggered hatches when I realized I had to open up the bator once a week to candle anyway-- I figured I'd just add eggs to replace the unfertile ones I was tossing-- should I just fill up the whole thing and not touch it for the 18 days?
     
  5. CindyS

    CindyS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2008
    Geneseo, Illinois
    Sounds like you have a bacteria problem in your incubator. You will need to clean and disinfect it well before putting any more eggs. When the chick does hatch and then die, its because the chick got infected with bacteria through the fresh navel. When the chick dies mid incubation, the bacteria has invaded the shell.
     
  6. ginasmarans

    ginasmarans Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    West Tn
    I candle the first time at about 5 days. Then I try to only candle every other day,though if I have to open it to add water,I may check a few,lol. I usually don't discard any(unless they are weeping)until day 14. I candle one last time at day 18,then I leave them alone.
     
  7. HeatherInBama

    HeatherInBama Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2007
    North Alabama
    so you're actually candling more often than I do-- doesn't that cause more temp fluctuations too? It takes longer to candle the eggs than it does to add the new ones. and to Cindy- The bacterial infection is a possibility- the hatching incubator gets cleaned before every hatch but the other one just stays running all the time with eggs on the turners. I never thought about bacteria getting in through the shell.
     
  8. HeatherInBama

    HeatherInBama Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2007
    North Alabama
    gotta go clean the brooders- if anyone else has any Ideas let me know- I'll be back after everyone's clean and fed Thanks!
     

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