most common cause of loss @ around 20-21 days

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by maddmatt02, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. maddmatt02

    maddmatt02 Hatching

    Aug 17, 2016
    ok, I built an incubator and used a 200 watt incandescant on a dimmer with a water heater thermostat, played with thermostat placing and dimmer settings for a while. I had 2 accurite digital thermometers that show humidity as well as temp and a high and low for both. I had it to where the lower reading one would be between 99/100 and the higher one would be 100/102 for the hi/lo (I usually read 99.5 but some places have called for 99-102).
    a couple times the highs did show 102/104 and once the low numbers were 93/95. no idea how long it stayed at those temps those days though, I actually kept them in a closed bathroom downstairs with a dehumidifer set @ 65 (usually showed about 50-55, our downstairs has no problem staying humid, usually have the dehu set lower) so the whole bathroom was a warm humid environment. also had 4 tupperware bottoms full of water, one quite large with a bunch of sponges sitting lengthwise out of the water wicking it up.

    I got 10 eggs from a friends farm, 3 of them I ended up tossing somewhere in the middle of the hatch because development stopped real early (evident when I cracked them that they had began, but none got bigger then a pencil eraser). one was brown and I couldnt see in it with my brightest led flashlight so I let it go (ended up being a dud)

    around day 19 I put a humidifer in the bathroom on high and had the dehumidifer still on 65, would kick on and off so the whole bathroom was basically a tropic zone, hot and humid and miserable to be in for me anyways.

    day 21 I come home around 9pm, one eggs pipped, I hear nothing, check around 10:30 before bed, no sound/nothing new.
    day 22 I wake up at 5am, another chick has pipped and I hear chirping. around 8am wife texts me a pic of a chick (the 2nd to pip). this chick is now in the brooder still doing well. I get home around 6pm, still nothing new with the pipped egg, candling showed no movement, so I took a tiny chunk from the pip mark to look in, still no movement so I busted it open manually since Ive read of membranes sticking, etc... chick is dead.
    day 23(today) I see one egg is internally pipped but no movement, do some googling, try tapping on the egg to get some movement, nothing. I crack it open and theres a dead chick, yolk basically gone/absorbed. now I have 4 more eggs, one was the brown one I couldnt see through that was a dud, other 3 were dead chicks, one the yolk was gone, other 2 still had sacks. all 3 still lifeless in the membrane with their beak pointing at it(but not really at the air sack I don't think) membranes still very slimy and easily removed.

    so out of 10 eggs I only had one successfully hatch, and FIVE make it all the way to being a chick and not making it out of the egg... how depressing... the one that lived is a turkin, are they "heartier" than other chickens?

    I want to go get a dozen off him and try again but would like some insight on where I could've went wrong, I know this was alot to read but I wanted to explain my situation as best I could.

    thanks in advance.
  2. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck

    Nov 30, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    Looks and sounds like too high of humidity throughout incubation... I run mine a lot lower like 30% at least all the way til day 18 or 19...

    Also, temp swings like that are not good for optimal development...
  3. maddmatt02

    maddmatt02 Hatching

    Aug 17, 2016
    I'm not sure why the temps would occasionally swing like that. They were usually steadier, then again I didn't know which thermometer to trust more...

    Also the hygrometers usually showed 40/45 inside the incubator. Still much higher than what I guess is optimal. Again which do I trust? I was hoping the gauge on my 200 dollar dehumidifier was more accurate than a $10 digital hygro/temp combo but maybe not. After I clean it I'm going to run it empty for a while and see if I can figure the temp swings and go again with 30%... Probably going to go buy a chick or two tomorrow, poor little dude sounds so lonely down there. That or chicks are just real friggin vocal.
  4. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    xs 2

    I use 30% as well and incubate dry whenever I can until lockdown. The best thing you can do is monitor your air cells, then you know how to adjust for your eggs and even if the hygrometer is wrong, you know what your eggs need. I use this method, very successfully. I only higher my humidity at lockdown unless my air cells are growing too quickly or I am doing bantam eggs that loose moisture quickly. I find that most people that have hatches that make it to lockdown and then results in DIS chicks is high humidity during the first 17 days. One big thing that points to this is if when you do the eggtopsies there's extra fluid in the egg and sticky wet chicks. Often they will be large chicks and you also see more malpositioned chicks.

    Here is a humidity guide for you if you want to check it out:

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