PLEASE PLEASE HELP!! Chicks dying at day 20!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by kirra, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. kirra

    kirra New Egg

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    I've hatched about four batches of silkie eggs and everything dies at day 20! These are posted eggs from reknowned sources that I let set for a day before I put in incubator. I usually lose about 50% of them in the first 10
    days and then the rest die at day 20. I incubate at 60% and 37.5 degrees celcius. Then have humidity at about 70-75% at day 18 lockdown. I do not open the incubator until a few days after hatch date when I am sure nothing is happening. I clean and disinfect incubator before and after each use. Incubator has good ventilation. Eggs do not pip and die with yolk nearly fully absorbed. In my opinion, the eggs seem very liquidy upon eggtopsy with lots of amber coloured fluid. Other people have had good success rates with eggs from the same places.
     
  2. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

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    Hi Kirra. From what you've written, it sounds like your chicks are too wet and you are incubating with the humidity too high. Many people start much lower, and then change the humidity depending on the air cell.

    [​IMG]
    Have you double checked your temp and humidity with separate, calibrated instruments? What kind of incubator are you using?

    Hopefully you can figure it out and have a successful hatch!
     
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  3. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 No Rest For The WicKed Premium Member

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    I agree with FridayYet. It does sound like your chicks may be too wet. Depends where you are, many use around the 65% mark or so for the lockdown.

    Calibration is SUPER important...both temperature and humidity are may not be accurate. (Of all the thermometers and hygrometers I use, only one thermometer has been correct for temperature.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
  4. kirra

    kirra New Egg

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    @Wickedchicken6thank you so much, I have two seperate thermometers and a seperate hygrometer so temp and humidity should be accurate but I think humidity must just be too high [​IMG]
     
  5. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

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    You might want to try starting your next batch at 40-45% humidity or so, and lockdown at 65% as Wickedchicken said.

    Sorry about all the losses. [​IMG]
     
  6. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 No Rest For The WicKed Premium Member

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    To be honest...that's what I thought too when I first started hatching. I had three separate thermometers/hygrometers that were reading fairly close. They weren't close at all...lol. My hygrometers were 20 points out on the one! These were store bought thermometers/hygrometers for your home. I was really shocked when I found that all out. I'm just telling you this so have a heads up from someone who thought the same thing. I was a bit intimidated to calibrate them; even more for the humidity. I calibrate all of them now before I start to hatch.
     
  7. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 No Rest For The WicKed Premium Member

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    Actually FridayYet is giving you all the info. I'm just agreeing because it's what I know too. [​IMG]

    Those numbers are right on the money for most of us. There can be other complex reasons why the hatch may be failing such as deficiencies...but fixing the humidity is probably the place to start. I once had a batch get a bit too warm and they all died at the same age as yours. Temperature is critical too.
     
  8. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Kirra,
    I agree about the humidity. Try a Bonaire hygrometer. It is an air-sensing machine and more reliable.
    Now those chicks should be fed within 6 hours of hatch so they do not have to use their yolk sacs for energy. The sac nutrition is to be used for muscle development and to nourish the rapidly maturing G.I tract. Get the smallest bottle of Bovidr Labs Poultry Nutri-Drench. Put it in the water the chicks will be drinking after they hatch. http://www.nutridrench.com This will jump start their nutrition so they don't have to use the yolk sac for energy.
    Best,
    Karen in western PA, USA
     
  9. kirra

    kirra New Egg

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    Thank you everyone for all of your help, the general consensus is that humidity was too high which I will have a play around with on my next batch. But how do I know which hygrometer to listen to!
     
  10. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 No Rest For The WicKed Premium Member

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