My first hatch in an incubator left me with one living chick, 6 dead

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Fox, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. Fox

    Fox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 4, 2008
    South Carolina
    It was my first time hatching with a Little Giant Still Air incubator. My other hatch was in a box with a desk lamp. I hatched 4 out of 5 eggs then, so I felt like I should do just as well or even better with a "real" incubator. We had probably two dozen eggs in there, and only 7 were fertile. We removed the other eggs once we were sure they were not fertile. We turned three times a day. We kept the humidity in the 35%-45% range the first 17 days and on the 18th increased to 65%-70%. While the temps did jump at times, there was nothing drastic and not for long periods. On day 21, two eggs pipped. The shell fell off one egg leaving the sealed membrane exposed. Nothing happened. I used a long Q-tip that was damp to swab the membrane. Still... no progress. We decided we should try to open a tiny hole in the membrane to give the chick air... when I went to do it, I saw some odd colored liquid... nothing much, but I knew it wasn't right. I also saw the beak not moving at all. I knew it was dead. I decided to poke a tiny hole in the other pipped egg, thinking the first one had died from lack of air. I wondered if they didn't have enough humidity and it was too hard to hatch. It peeped so nicely and I just left it to incubate and about 5 hours later it was out and hopping around. The other eggs never ended up pipping. We left them for another week.

    After a full week had passed we turned off the incubator and examined the embryos. The chick that pipped, but died never got into the air cell. It looked like it's tail was at the air cell and it's head not up near it. I don't know if they move around to get there or if it was just in backward. It had not yet absorbed all of the yolk yet either. It looked nicely formed though.

    Another egg had the air pocket on the side, not the end. Why does that happen? Of the 6 chicks that died in the shell before ever hatching, 2 had absorbed all the yolk, but their tummies were still very rounded with it. The other two looked like they had a small bit of yolk yet to absorb, but all of those looked pretty much fully formed, feathers all over, nice size filled up the eggs. Only one chick was under developed and appeared to have not absorbed much of the yolk, so I know it quit earlier. I have pictures if it would help bring me answers. I just didn't know if anyone wanted to look at them.

    I have more eggs soon to be delivered. While the eggs in the incubator were from my chickens, a cross-breed experiment of Silkies and Comets, the next batch are purchased eggs. I don't want to lose them! Please... any help you can give me would be so appreciated!

    Also... the one surviving chicks is real cute. We decided to name it Uno. We are hoping it's a pullet so we can see how a Silkie-Comet cross will look and lay!

    Here is Uno!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. selinagil

    selinagil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well it's adorable! [​IMG] I'm kinda new to incubating so I don't really know why the air cells would be in the wrong place and it seems like everything else should've been fine--maybe someone else will weigh in on this.
     
  3. Fox

    Fox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 4, 2008
    South Carolina
    Quote:I don't know why either... that's why I thought I better ask in case there is a better way to incubate! Thanks for the comment on Uno. [​IMG]
     

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