My Chicks are dying in the eggs

arbucklemurphy

Songster
9 Years
Mar 4, 2010
108
1
109
Arbuckle, CA
My son is hatching chicks for the first time in the incubator. He only put two eggs in for the first clutch they were due to hatch about 5 days ago so when they hadn't hatched today, my brother who has hatched a lot of eggs came over and told me that they definetly should have hatched by now. He carefully cracked them and the chicks were almost fully developed but dead they had not turned toward the air cell yet but were almost fully developed. My brother said he thought they had maybe died a day or two before the hatch date. What could have caused this?
 

Chicky Tocks

Songster
11 Years
Oct 20, 2008
3,213
13
206
Benton, Arkansas
There could be several factors here. One being you may have had a temp spike (beyond 103) that lasted for some amount of time and it wasn't caught. Were the eggs turned in the last three days of lockdown? Lockdown meaning you stop turning eggs and increase the humidity for the last three days. Were the eggs placed in the bator with the pointed end of the egg down and the large end up? There are so many factors. I'm sure others will come along and add theirs as well.
 

Chief

Songster
10 Years
Oct 17, 2009
335
2
121
Pennsylvania
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Many things can go wrong in an incubator. Temp too high or low, humidity too high or low. Not enough fresh air flowing through. My first couple of tries didn't go very well, and when I cracked them open mine were fully developed soaking wet & very much dead.
The last couple have gone pretty good.(about 85%) My thermometer was a little off, and I only turned them 1 time a day instead of three. also I didn't run the humidity as high as before. I seem to be having more success with the humidity a little lower than whats recommended.

There is a lot of great info on this site just keep reading and asking , you'll find what you need to know.
 

Chic Chick

Songster
11 Years
Dec 30, 2008
337
8
131
East Central Alberta
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I'm another one that had the chicks die instead of hatch. Some of them pipped but all of them were dead.
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I know the humidity was way too high, so this time I'm just going to keep it at 45 instead of boosting it. If need be I can boost it during the hatch if they're drying out. I'm trying out a new bator this year...
 

arbucklemurphy

Songster
9 Years
Mar 4, 2010
108
1
109
Arbuckle, CA
I'm pretty sure the temp is right but I have put two thermometers in this time to make sure. I'm home during the day so I check it frequently and he turns them 3 times a day. In the beginning we didn't have a humidity gage in there but we did towards the end and it kept about 45 all the time. He did turn them on the 19th day once in the morning by mistake he was just so use to turning them would that have killed them? Also we are using a little giant incubator he borrowed I have heard people say these are the worst incubators to use but others hatch with them constantly. Are they really that bad?

We have another batch in their now I just want to try and fix what we did wrong the first time so these ones live.
 

satay

oz-e-chick
12 Years
Sep 2, 2008
7,448
996
411
Esk Qld Australia
I would have the humidity more up around the 65% for the last 3 days. Whether this was the cause of not hatching I don't know. Make sure after day 18 that you stop turning them and leave the incubator closed. I have only had 4 hatches and not in that brand of incubator but thats what works for me. I have had on average 90% hatch rate or above for all my hatches so far.
 
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Chosen Chickens

Songster
9 Years
10 Years
Jan 24, 2010
251
3
119
Northern Utah
Quote:
Turning them on day 19 would not kill them. Out of everything that you put I would think the biggest concern is that the humidity at 45 could have been too low for the very end. Most people will advise that you get humidity up to the 65-70% range for the last three days or else they wont be able to get out... but even then you should have at least seen them wiggling and piping..... it probably wasn't humidity either

I hatched mine from a little giant, I had an automatic turner but I was hilding them almost every day candling them and also kept humidity around 30 until the end 3 days where it was at 60.

What kind of chickens were they and where di they come from?
 

lemurchaser

Songster
11 Years
Apr 11, 2008
938
12
151
Corvallis, OR
I've been having the same problem. I have a Brinsea ECO, so temps are really steady, humidity was 43% for the first 18 days and then 65% for the last 3. 16 went into lockdown, and 7 hatched, the rest were fully formed in the egg, never even internally pipped. I'll be watching to see what the verdict is on this thread.
 

arbucklemurphy

Songster
9 Years
Mar 4, 2010
108
1
109
Arbuckle, CA
Quote:
Turning them on day 19 would not kill them. Out of everything that you put I would think the biggest concern is that the humidity at 45 could have been too low for the very end. Most people will advise that you get humidity up to the 65-70% range for the last three days or else they wont be able to get out... but even then you should have at least seen them wiggling and piping..... it probably wasn't humidity either

I hatched mine from a little giant, I had an automatic turner but I was hilding them almost every day candling them and also kept humidity around 30 until the end 3 days where it was at 60.

What kind of chickens were they and where di they come from?

They are Modern Game Bantams my son has several hens that were not good mom's last year so there eggs were fertile but they wouldn't sit tight so we decided to try the incubator this year in hopes to get some chicks
 

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