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My Room STIINKS! But, my eggs are "LOW FLOATERS!" What is going on here?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by DarkWater1929, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. DarkWater1929

    DarkWater1929 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Something in my room stinks. It seems to be coming, not surprisingly, from my incubator.

    I say "not surprisingly," because many of my potential flock-additions were placed in there on March 2. Today is March 28, and although several (10, to be precise) have hatched, many have not, including 6 duck eggs, which are not due for two more days.

    So, prior to chucking out those that chose, for one reason or another, not to participate in this whole "life" thing, I decided to try the float test. I went to the wonderful step-by-step instructions, to be found on this site, and did as directed. The photos show my results.

    My questions are twofold. With regard to the duck eggs, they all sank. But, they still have two more days before they would have been expected to hatch... was it too soon for the water torture test to be accurate? Shall I assume that they are the "ripe" ones, and discard them? I would hate to think that they were ALL duds!

    The second question is, of those that are doing the "low float" in the photos, how long will it be before they will reveal themselves (by bobbing, 45%+ above the surface) as dead, rotten things, if they are not going to hatch?

    So, then I took the flashlight, and attempted to candle all the low-floaters, and also the duck eggs. I have never been any good at this, and last night was no exception. The only marginally-useful photos are below. The rest just showed a partial ring of light, where my hand contacts the egg, and in some instances, a small bright elipse, where the air sac is. Not enough light permeated to show vessels, beaks, or anything else. Sigh.

    I do not think that my husband will actually leave me over the reek. However, his usual saintly tolerance and good-nature are being tested, I believe, more than even he is likely to be able to bear for long. It stinks. It really does. I have sniffed each egg, and I cannot identify those that are nasty versus those that are not. As a group, they are awful. One by one, they smell like... well, like eggs.

    I cannot simply put the incubator outside, because experience has taught me that mice, rats and other chickens will pick the Styrofoam incubator until it is useless. However, I cannot bring myself to dispose of new life, if it exists in that wretched, throat-clutching, nostril-searing, box of stench. Ick.

    Any comments, advice or observations? I will be grateful! So will he!

    Thanks!

    Patience

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    In this one, I lightened the portions of the eggs that are above the water, to make it easier to see their level.

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  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Why are your eggs all sitting in water? How can they breathe?
    All the float test does - if required - is determine if there is movement in the egg.
    When an egg is fresh it will sink, when it has lost enough moisture it will float.

    Use the sniff test and you should be able to find the rotten egg/s.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    If you float test at all, you should only do one egg at a time. Candling is best done shining the light down through the air cell.
     
  4. JetCat

    JetCat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    +1,

    if you can smell it in the room you can dang sure smell the egg that's causing it, the sniff test works 100% and with as few of eggs as you have it will only take a few min to do, i just did 1488 quail eggs this morning to find some stinkers, took about 25 min to go though them all [​IMG] now it's fresh air all the way.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
  5. DarkWater1929

    DarkWater1929 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all for responding. I honestly appreciate your time and input.

    I do not know why I had such trouble with the sniff test; you all seem so confident that it is simple and foolproof, yet I did not have that experience.

    I did them all at once, figuring that the 100 degree water was more apt to keep them constant while I worked, than opening and closing the incubator for each egg would have been.

    Rats. I suppose that, had there been viable eggs, I have put a stop to that. This is the second time that I have happily and naively followed directions given in a "how to" thread on this site, only to have members react with apparent astonishment that I would do such a thing. All those little babies. I feel awful. I wish I had a wise local friend to watch and emulate. This is very discouraging, and I do not want to keep trying to learn, at the expense of other creatures' lives.

    Well, ok. The feed store sells lovely chicks. I guess incubation is not for everyone.
     
  6. yellowherb

    yellowherb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm going to guess all the chicken eggs are non viable. it's been at least 26 days and they should have hatched between 20-22 days. The few candled I see look dead to me. The first picture of a candled egg looks to have died early. The dark eggs with just the air cell would have been late deaths. Eggs that have a good "glow" were probably clears. If a egg is good around 14 days you can definitely make out great veins and the chick moving around in there. It's very interesting to see it. When the egg is sort of cloudy looking and halo'ed around what should be the chick, it's dead. Veins will disappear when a chick dies. They will go pale and turn grey or black, no longer be bright red. It is harder to tell at the end of incubation since the chick should be taking up most of the room in the egg other than air cell.

    The float test is great if you have late eggs. Let the water with egg settle and see if the egg is bobbing. Believe me you will know the difference in bobs from water ripples and a live one. The live one is like a fish bobber getting a good bite while the dead or non viables just bob little teeny nibbles or water currents.

    Water testing isn't necessarily bad. If your humidity was too low and you had shrink wrapped eggs it could, in theory help them out. Chances are at 26-27 days incubation any shrink wrapped chick would have already died from lack of oxygen. It looks if is most of your eggs died early, maybe a incubator malfunction or too much humidity. A few of your eggs look like late deaths though or they could be the real stinkers.
     
    2 people like this.
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Don't beat yourself up. I try to emulate nature. What would a hen do? A hen gets off the eggs for a stretch every day so they can cool slightly without much concern.
    You could have put them in cartons and taken a dozen at a time to another room and soon it would be obvious which dozen contained the stinker.
    Then narrow it down from there, keeping in mind you could have multiple stinkers.
     
    2 people like this.
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
    1 person likes this.

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