Pipping in wrong place and then dying


10 Years
Feb 25, 2009
Morganton, NC
So I just finished my first incubator hatch and I had 4 chicks pip away from the air cell and then die. I gave each of them 24hrs because I read that the will often hatch fine on their own if you leave them be, but each time they were dead when I went to offer assistance. The were pipping on the side of the egg, almost dead center between the ends. The humidity was above 80% the whole time from day 18 on. They were turned with a home made, non automatic turner in egg cartons pointy end down more than 5 times a day days 1-18. The temp held between 99-100*F the whole time. I had three hatch out fine on their own. Should I have candled on day 18 when I took them out of the cartons to be sure the air cell was oriented a certain way? I was concerned I may have caused the first three to "shrink wrap" when I opened the incubator to take out two hatched chicks that had been in there a long time but the humidity was 99% from the hatched eggs so I thought a drop in humidity would be fine and it never dropped below 80% even after opening. Also the fourth pipped after I removed the hatchlings and I didn't open it again until greater than 24hrs after pip and it was dead. It had a 2cm pip hole and its beak was pointed away from air sac.

Any ideas??
No ideas? I just thought it was strange that I had 4/12 eggs pip and not zip. Seemed high to me like I did something wrong. I did open the bator, but the humidity stayed high. And the last one that pipped i DIDN'T open the bator after pipping. ::sigh:: just don't want the same thing to happen again, it's sad.
Here's my 0.02 :)
Your humidity is quite high. During lockdown I up mine to somewhere around 55-60%. You may have accidentally drown them. I've had chicks pip on the side/wrong end of the egg, and they usually hatch just fine. However, when your humidity is that high, water will collect in the egg between the membrane and shell. So, when the chick pips, its met with a gush of water (especially if they are breach).

Perhaps you should try dry hatching on your next try. My hatch rates have been so much better since I started dry hatching. Before, I had your same problem. Chicks would pip and then die, I'm supposing it was also due to high humidity. Better luck next time, sorry about your bum hatch :/
Thank you! That didn't occur to me. There was a LOT of condensation on the viewing window, so that well could have been it! Ugh, I feel like such a dolt, I was so worried about them drying out I didn't think of the opposite problem. How do you keep the humidity down after the first one hatches? It seems to go up so much after that.
I usually don't pull my vent plugs until lockdown/pip. My incubator has 2 larger plugs, I leave them both in days 1-18 and pull one at lockdown time. I pull the other when I see a pip.
Since I keep the humidity low anyway, I never have really worried if it spikes. It doesn't seem to make much of a difference :)
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