only 3 chicks of 36 eggs


5 Years
Apr 25, 2014
Bonduel, WI
I and my family have had chickens for more than 5 years. Each year we would order chicks from McMurray. After a while, we decided to try hatching our own. We would always collect some eggs and put them under a hen. Most of them would hatch out. We've done this most years, but last year decided to use the incubator. This was originally because none of our hens wanted to cluck. This year there were no clucking hens again so we used an incubator. Last year we put in 24 eggs and 21 hatched. This year we put 36 eggs in the incubator. 1 chick hatched on the 19th day with the yolk sac still attached. We clipped this off since it started leaking. Its intestines were coming out the navel so my dad cauterized the sac. The chick was fine but died this morning on the 23rd day. It lived about 4 days but I don't understand why it died. Another chick hatched on the 20th day. This chick was healthy and is now very lively. On the 21st day of incubating, when I came home from school, I expected to see a lot of chicks hatched. Only two had hatched. This kind of disappointed me. Today as I said before, is the 23rd day of incubating. No more chicks have hatched. I am starting to think that 3 chicks is all we will get. Thankfully we preordered 25 chicks from McMurray also. 15 Cuckoo Marans and 10 Silver Laced Wyandottes. I'm still really sad about all the other chicks. I know that some of the unhatched eggs are fertile because before the first chick hatched they were cheeping and shaking in there eggs. Now they are silent. I don't know what to think of this. Anyone have any insight?
For #1 you never cut the sac off, that was your first issue. They are still eating from that. Why would anyone do that??? That is just so wrong. This is why your chick died.

Did you put the eggs pip side up??? When they start to pip you need to turn them so that they are pip side up, not down. Also some babies do give up. Could be temp, or even humidity.
I saw another post on this website that said i should clip the yoke sac if it breaks or leaks. It did. Besides that it was on for more than a few days and wouldn't absorb.
Sometimes you just have a bad hatch, unfortunately. Had you candled them before to know for sure they were fertile and developing?

I don't agree that pipped sides must be turned up. When I hatched in my incubator, many of them pipped on the bottom side of the egg and every one that pipped ended up hatching.
No I didn't candle them. When the few chicks did start hatching we took one plug out and then the other to help them dry. Maybe this let to much warm air and moisture out. Thanks for the input.
I took the plugs out during hatching to make sure the chicks had plenty of fresh air, but I monitored the humidity and temp to make sure they didn't get too low as well. Maybe your humidity was too low, or maybe your eggs didn't develop. Without candling them, it's hard to say. My guess is that it was a little of both.
Thank you for the input but we finally gave up on the eggs. On the 24th day of incubating my dad cracked open the eggs to see what was going on. 19 of the eggs were rotten, so only 17 of them were fertile. The fertile eggs that didn't hatch were only half developed, so something must have gone wrong in the middle of incubation. I'm still not sure what happened. Thankfully, the 25 chicks we ordered from Murray McMurray arrived on Saturday, all alive and well. I hope we do better next year.

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