My first time incubating and don't know how to proceed...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ALD4223, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. ALD4223

    ALD4223 New Egg

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    Oct 19, 2014
    This is my first time incubating and I've read all I could find about incubation and lockdown and what to do if 24 hours after day 21 you don't see anything. Everybody except one of my 6 eggs was moving when I put them into lockdown. I had raised my humidity to 70 percent, but over night it somehow spiked to 80 percent. (I must have spilled some water on the floor of the incubator when i got it ready for lockdown.) I fixed it first thing the next morning and it's been about 70-73 percent the whole time since then. My temp has been between 100-102 the whole time too. (I'm using a still air incubator) I actually waited until day 23 to candle again and then did a float test. The one egg I didn't see movement in before lockdown sank, but the others all were low floaters. (One was pretty low, about halfway below the air cell I had marked on the outside.) the rest were all floating at their air cell line.

    So I guess my question is what now?

    I didn't see any movement or hear and chirping, and I did not see any internal pips when candling and tapping, they floated, but did not rock and roll in the water. I did see some liquid moving inside a couple of the "viable" eggs air cell areas when I candled them. Did they drown from the high overnight humidity? Would they still float if they drowned? How long do I wait to give up on them? I really don't know what went wrong if the hatch failed.

    Please help!

    Thank you!
     
  2. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Nov 30, 2013
    Pottstown, PA
    Eggs can't drown from even 100% humidity, rather if the humidity is too high for too long, they will not evaporate enough moisture and the chick will die or not be able to hatch. I use the weight method and aim to have the eggs lose about 13% of their weight over the 12 days. This is a cumulative thing and too high humidity early on (not losing enough weight) can be balanced by low humidity later, and vise versa.

    I keep the humidity low until lockdown to make sure they lose enough moisture, then increase it during lockdown as high as possible, usually it is well into the 80's, sometimes hitting 99%, and I get great hatches with that.

    Unless your temps were really low during other parts of the cycle, 23 days means none are going to hatch. My suspicion is that the thermometer and/or thermostat is off and should be replaced or calibrated. I sometimes use an old-fashioned baby thermometer to double check the temps until I know my digital thermometers are accurate.
     
  3. ALD4223

    ALD4223 New Egg

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    Oct 19, 2014
    Thanks so much for your reply. I will get a new lo-tech thermometer to compare with my digital one. I did eggtopsies and I'm thinking my humidity was too high. So I'm going to try your method. Again, thank you for the advice.
     

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