Poor Hatch rate, help?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Sachasmom, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. Sachasmom

    Sachasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2009
    Upstate NY
    So, I have a homemade bator out of a worm cooler.

    My first hatch I had about 50%, ran at about 99 degrees and low 30% humidity for the first 18 days, bumped up to 60% for the rest. I had a real problem keeping any humidity in it, in fact, I have to add water daily to it. I had to help a few chicks that got stuck, lots of them looked like they had problems getting out, one pipped and died. I opened a bunch, there were a lot that looked dried out, and a whole bunch that look like they got about halfway in development, then died.

    My next hatch was even worse! I did loose power last week for about six hours, so I am sure that did not help.

    I had a bunch of shipped eggs that 90% of them never developed, of the two I thought might hatch, neither did.

    It did seem easier for about the first 5 chicks to get out, but my hatch was pretty staggered, I had two hatch yesterday afternoon (Day 21) and three hatch today. One is still in there, not sure that it is going to make it out of the membrane or not. Two have already pipped and died, they looked dried out too.

    Do I need higher humidity? I ran it this time at 40% and tried to get it over 60% for the last few days, only I need to add water constantly to keep it over 60%. I have two containers of water in there, it seems like it dries out in there very fast, I put a wet coffee filter over that last poor egg, it keeps drying out really fast!

    Suggestions? It needs to work for at least one more hatch before I can afford a "real" incubator!

    On the plus side, I picked up some new hens and they said they had been trying to go broody. [​IMG] My sis in law says they have a ton of broody hens too, only she is three hours from me!
  2. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    I try to keep my humidity between 45%-50% then up it to 65% for hatch. Are you opening the bator a lot? That can make it hard for them to hatch when the humidity is lost to opening the bator. If you can get some tubing and run it into the bator and into the water pan. Then you can add water with a syringe and not have to keep opening the bator.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
  3. Sachasmom

    Sachasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2009
    Upstate NY
    I have the tubing to put the water in, I have to open it to turn the eggs though. I need to calibrate the hygrometer before this next batch just to check. Seems like the water just gets sucked out of there!

    I don't have a humidifier for the room though, maybe some jars of water in the room? [​IMG]

    The eggs that pipped and died look really dried out, I thought the humidity was pretty good the last two days, averaging 60-70%, maybe they were too dry already?
  4. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    They were too dry already. I agree with the other poster. Keep your humidity between 45-50% days 1-18, and bump it to 60-65% for the last three up to hatching. Does your bator have a fan?
  5. Sachasmom

    Sachasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2009
    Upstate NY
    It does have a fan. The one chick who pipped egg I "helped" is kinda laying there. I thought it was done (its now day 23) but two of them were still alive when I started cracking eggs to see where we went wrong, errr, oops! I wet the membrane and stuck them back in, not sure if I should "help" those too? The membrane keeps drying out, even though i have a wet coffee filter on top of them (which also dries out fast!)

    I think my humidity is just escaping too fast, anyone have a suggestion on how to stop this? Can I wrap the worm cooler with something? Or do I just need to add another bowl or something and just keep adding water since it dries out so darn fast!

    A lot more of the shipped eggs were fetile than I thought, two look like they quit halfway, and there were four at least that looked like they died in the last day or so (no pips) Plus the two that are not dead yet!

    How long do you guys leave the eggs in there anyways? I kinda thought Day 23 they'd be all done!
  6. Fox

    Fox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 4, 2008
    South Carolina
    Quote:If your temps are not accurate and run on the lower end, they could be even a week late. I know people who have hatched out on day 28. So I always feel like leaving them in an extra week can't ever hurt if you are unsure about them. I once cracked one at day 27 only to find it alive... it died shortly after. So I would rather give them a chance and wait.

    I'm sorry for the troubles you're having! I would put sponges in there and keep them wet, it provides a bigger wet surface and can hold more water than cloth. Maybe that will help some... just line the whole perimeter with sponges. And some people mist eggs. Maybe you could mist yours if you keep having this dryness. I've never tried that so I don't know how it works.

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