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only 11 of 26 fertile eggs hatched in 'bator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Deb Edwards, May 11, 2007.

  1. Deb Edwards

    Deb Edwards Out Of The Brooder

    May 11, 2007
    [​IMG] There's nothing I can do about it now, but I had 26 fertile chicken eggs doing nicely (candled at 7 and 14 days) and only 11 hatched. Three needed help. We followed the incubator directions and added more water on day 18 and kept the reservoirs full but the membranes were drying out and would stick to the chick and not allow it to progress. The ones we "saved" are doing fine. By the time we noticed the membrane issue, we added more moisture in the form of wet paper towels, and dabbed moisture onto the exposed membranes to help. Nothing went "wrong" that I know of - i.e. no temperature issues, etc. Is this normal to have such a low success rate? Usually I let mamma hen do the job, but this was a 4H project. Any thoughts on how I could have done things differently? On day 24 I cracked open the remaining eggs to find fully developed but dead chicks. The membranes seemed dry on the outside (i.e. side facing shell).

    What to do in the future?

    Thanks - Deb
  2. nenenick

    nenenick Out Of The Brooder

    May 6, 2007
    Hello Deb, What is your incubator manufacturer?
    When you candled, was the air cell growth in the range that is recommended for the time period?
    Are you using a hydrometer to read moisture? I would highly recommend one if not. For me I weigh the eggs every few days. If you weigh each egg before incubation and document the weigh loss during the 21 days you should reach a 15% weight loss. So for a 100 gram egg by day 20 it should weigh close to 85 grams. You would plot a line from day one to day 20, and each time you weigh, it should be close to the plot line, if not adjust the humidity to either slow the weight of evaporation or quicken it.

    Best regards
  3. Napalongtail

    Napalongtail Longtail Longtimer

    Jan 31, 2007
    NE Washington
    Unfortunately I am inclined to agree. It was definately a humidty issue. All you can do is learn from experience. Location (ie: in the south or far north) has a lot to do with your natural humidty or dryness. It takes trial and error for most to perfect it. Good luck and don't give up [​IMG]
  4. jf carker

    jf carker Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 5, 2007
    Alvin Texas
    Iv'e alway's heard that 50% is a good number to hatch from incubating. sounds like you are pretty close to those odds. I just incubated 36 and now have only 19 baby chicks. I took 2 out at day 14 after candeling. 11 didn't hatch. 3 that did hatch did not make it past the fourth day. I did crack the ones open that did not hatch, and they all had what looked like fully developed chicks in them. I plan to about a dozen more in the next week or two and start again.....

  5. Deb Edwards

    Deb Edwards Out Of The Brooder

    May 11, 2007
    The incubator is a Hova-Bator 1583. I did not have a hydrometer. The person I borrowed the incubator from did not mention needing/having one so I didn't think much of it. I just assumed if I followed the directions, the humidity would be enough.

    Lesson learned.

    Thanks for your help. I won't "give up", but I think I'll let my swee mamma birds handle these issues from now on!

    Thanks - Deb
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Sometimes it depends on the eggs too. I accidentally hatched out a dozen peepers out of 15 fertile eggs checked on day 14. Let's just say temps were 1 degree too high for the entire duration of incubation, the turner was never shut off, and humidity was at like 40 for the whole process. Silly yet when I took care of a set of eggs for hatching, followed directions and turned as directed, I've gotten lower hatches than that! Good luck next time!

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