Really discouraged!!!!!!!!!


10 Years
Feb 27, 2009
Byrdstown, TN
I have hatched before and done OK, not excellent, but the last 3 hatches have been disastrous. In fact this one is the worst, not one hatched egg out of 30. This is day 22 and not even a pip or a sound or a rocking egg. Most had developed and thought they were good when I went on lockdown. My temps and humidity have been fine with my instruments and yes I have calibrated. I am at a complete confused state. So much money has been wasted in these 3 hatches. What I could have done with that money! Will still leave them for 3 more days and take a couple weeks break and try some of my eggs to see if I can figure what the problem sees to be. I have got to get this hatching thing down so I can continue my breeding next year. Thanks for letting me vent.

Back to the grind building coops for breeding pens. Got 3 going at this time.
Sorry about your hatches. My latest one, that ended today, didn't go as well as it should have. I am so done with instruments made for household use and not the job for which I was using them. I think they can be good, then from exposure to wet air in a bator, not be so accurate the next time. I just ordered the Egg-Temp from Cutler Supply today, hoping that the hatch will go better next time. My birds are fed a fabulous diet and supplements, so the health of the parent stock is excellent, but I had four not make it. They never positioned to pip and I think the temps were too low at one point and maybe too high at another. It's very frustrating when you know every one ought to have hatched. The link at Cutler is below. I'll do a review of it after I use it. They're mailing it tomorrow. Has a pinpoint accuracy rating (+/- .18 degree).
When I first started hatching I did okay, then my hatch rate tanked and I read miss prissy's thread about thoroughly disassembling your bator between hatches and completely disinfecting every single thing, individual screws scrubbed with a toothbrush, let to air dry a few days... like magic, the eggs started hatching again. That plus putting them up on little wire racks to improve air circulation, and sheltering them from drafts.
Not badly priced either. I bookmarked that page

Have you been candling them every few days? I candle at least every 4-5 days so I can pull out the infertile ones or dead ones. WHEN they died is very helpful in figuring out what went wrong. Are these fresh eggs from your farm, or shipped eggs? How old before put into the incubator? How old are your hens? How many roosters/hen do you have? Do you see your rooster doing his duty? Do you wash eggs prior to incubation? Only clean eggs going in?
Clear eggs after the first week is infertile eggs, or eggs damaged in shipping. Early death- blood ring ect, can be lots of things from bacterial/fungal contamination, temp spike, poor nutritional state of hen, ect. Opening up the unhatched eggs is useful- a fully formed chick that is too big for the egg- suggests too high temps, a fully formed chick that piped the air sac but drowned suggests too high humidity. If the chick & air sac looks fine, yolk absorbed ect- it may be that the hens do not have the extra nutritious diet they need to make strong chicks. Bad smell and squishy dead chick at any age is bacterial contamination- if only one or two- it may be the hen or a soiled egg sneaking in. If lots of them- it may be the incubator itself contaminating them. Candling the air sac every week has been lots more useful to me to check my humidity than the humidity gage I have.

Yes, Speckled Hen, thanks. I will order one of those also. Isn't anywhere near what I have lost in eggs.

So you are saying that if there is a bad egg and it oozes or whatever could ruin the batch or bacteria not gotten from the cleaning of previous hatchings could ruin the next batch, etc.? So I will give it an extra good cleaning and check out the post on how to do it..

I will do whatever it takes to get some good hatches going before spring hatching. I love to watch the little fellows hatch and want to do my own but have to do better than I have in the last few months.

Thanks. God bless.
before you crack them open do this. take a large bowl of very warm water. (100 degrees) measure temp with candy thermometer. Then put one egg in at a time. let the water settle. then watch for movement. if the egg floats with the big end up, the air sac is in the right position. the slightest ripple in the water will tell you there is live chick inside so dry it quickly and get it back in the bator and turn your bator heat up just a wee bit. try to get the temp in the bator at 100 degrees at this point.

those eggs that sink....toss out they are dead, no good.

those that float but you do not see movement of the water, go ahead and put back in the bator also and wait another 24 hours. then float those again. if still no movement, then try cracking one open to see what is going on inside.

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