Only 1 chick hatched three incubations in a row

Florida Bullfrog

Chirping
May 14, 2019
124
177
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North Florida
My mind is open to all the possibilities being suggested to me.

Just note that batch 1 of the chicken eggs was a dry incubation. I immediately tried the dry method because it worked so well for the quail. When the first batch failed, I thought the problem was the dry method not working for me with the chicken eggs.
 

FortCluck

Squatch Watchin'
Premium member
Sep 9, 2019
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Central Virginia
I'm honestly thinking it's the incubator itself. Everything you've described seems like you were doing everything perfectly. I'm hoping adding ventilation works.

Did you set the eggs yet?
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
29,080
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St. Louis, MO
I understand. It can be a mystery. One thing that stands out to me is that the successful hatch came from shipped eggs. The poor hatches came from your birds' eggs.

I feed them 16% laying crumbles, occasionally Purina game bird chow, oyster shell, leftovers from my garden, and whatever they get free ranging. They free range my 40 acre blueberry farm from daylight to dark. I’m in north Florida, so we don’t have cool weather until right now in mid November. Abundant insects and browse.

One of my Florida Cracker game hens just had a nice hatch. She is my first hen in this flock to set. I also sent a couple of dozen eggs to the University of Florida for one of their agg programs to hatch. I’m awaiting to hear how those did.

I’m reasonably sure its a ventilation problem. I’ve spent a lot of time since my initial post studying incubators on Youtube and it seems like most have quadruple or more times ventilation holes and larger size than this incubator has. To the point that my incubator seems ridiculously sealed in comparison.
Given that 2 chicken egg hatches were on time, I'm guessing that temperature wasn't the problem.
I highly recommend that you revisit the nutrition of the breeding flock.
Layer feed is sufficient to produce eating eggs but some of the vitamins and amino acids are too low to produce eggs with good hatchability.
Some feeds could contain methionine as low as .4% or less. For viable hatching eggs, it should be .5 to .6.
Lysine should be at least 1% and Cystine should be at least .75%.
Vitamin A should be at least 5,000 IU per pound. Many feeds are about 3,000.
Vitamin D should be 2,000 to 2,500 while most regular feeds contain about 1,000.
Vitamin E breeder feeds levels need to be over 50 i.u. per pound while non-breeder feeds are often at a level of 20 IU per pound.
These enhanced levels of nutrition should be made to the flock's diet about 3 weeks prior to collecting eggs for hatching.
Layer feed is for laying eating eggs. Breeder feed is for producing hatching eggs.
 
Last edited:

ShannonR

Crowing
Sep 17, 2015
1,564
3,324
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You haven't looked at all the possible causes of failure.
I wouldn't start modifying a new incubator without eliminating other causes.
After all, it hatched quail just fine, why wouldn't it hatch chickens without modifications?
A fan should circulate the air inside the incubator not pull air in or push it out. That would be excessive ventilation.
With what you describe, the first place I would look is at your breeder nutrition.
What do you feed your birds?
This. My first thought was something to do with your birds or their eggs. Just for fun, why not run another run through that bator using someone else's eggs? Not shipped eggs, if possible.
 

FortCluck

Squatch Watchin'
Premium member
Sep 9, 2019
8,499
34,708
867
Central Virginia
I understand. It can be a mystery. One thing that stands out to me is that the successful hatch came from shipped eggs. The poor hatches came from your birds' eggs.


Given that 2 chicken egg hatches were on time, I'm guessing that temperature wasn't the problem.
I highly recommend that you revisit the nutrition of the breeding flock.
Layer feed is sufficient to produce eating eggs but some of the vitamins and amino acids are too low to produce eggs with good hatchability.
Some feeds could contain methionine as low as .4% or less. For viable hatching eggs, it should be .5 to .6.
Lysine should be at least 1% and Cystine should be at least .75%.
Vitamin A should be at least 5,000 IU per pound. Many feeds are about 3,000.
Vitamin D should be 2,000 to 2,500 while most regular feeds contain about 1,000.
Vitamin E breeder feeds levels need to be over 50 i.u. per pound while non-breeder feeds are often at a level of 20 IU per pound.
These enhanced levels of nutrition should be made to the flock's diet about 3 weeks prior to collecting eggs for hatching.
Layer feed is for laying eating eggs. Breeder feed is for producing hatching eggs.
What do you recommend for breeder feed?

My flock eats the all flock by nutrena. It seems to be working well since every chick I've hatched from my flock has been in excellent health.
 

Skippersnh

Songster
Oct 14, 2019
472
924
161
i hatched my neighbors eggs and had a great hatch all they feed there poor chickens is corn
i doubt its the feed i feed my chickens cheap pellets from walmart and had a 90% hatch
 

FortCluck

Squatch Watchin'
Premium member
Sep 9, 2019
8,499
34,708
867
Central Virginia
i hatched my neighbors eggs and had a great hatch all they feed there poor chickens is corn
i doubt its the feed i feed my chickens cheap pellets from walmart and had a 90% hatch
Is it called Eggmaker? I went from all flock to eggmaker and my chickens started looking sickly. I switched back because it was making me nervous!
 

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