Removing fertile eggs and incubating for last few days

EJPedrazzi

Chirping
7 Years
Jul 24, 2012
134
1
81
Salinas, CA
Hello

Quick backstory: I currently have 6 duck eggs sitting in an incubator at 99.5 degrees, 55% humidity. This is my first ever hatch. I also have 2 of my hens (chicken hens, not ducks), sitting on some eggs out in their coop. By my rough judgement they're about 22 days along, so due to hatch any day. I've been candling them and throwing out the bad ones and separating the younger ones because all my hens have gone mental and won't ever get off eggs if I don't keep it to just one hatch - they keep laying on top of one another.

Today I moved one of my hens to see if there was any excitement - pipping or anything - going on in there. One of the eggs shell was broken, but the membrane was still intact. I don't know if she crushed it or what. I went back about an hour later and the shell was off but there was a dead - what seemed perfectly formed - chick dead under her. I don't know if she crushed it, or it got shrink wrapped in the membrane or what, but it made me sad as it seemed 'normal' otherwise. I brought the rest of the eggs in and candled. 2 of them have a lot of movement and one even seems to be making its way toward the air sac. I've now brought these two inside and put them in my incubator with the duck eggs - albeit in a glass bowl in there so they don't contaminate my duck eggs.

Few questions:
* How, and should I clean the chicken eggs in the bator?
*Do you think they will hatch ok in there - it seems to be right temp? I also sprayed them lightly to bring up the humidity (I live in California where it's 80 degrees and really dry)
* Do hens crush eggs / chicks either accidentally / on purpose?

As I said, this is all new to me, I've read up lots on hatching and done my research, but never been in this position and any help would be appreciated. Just trying to do what's best for the chicks, going by my gut feeling.

Thanks,

Emily
 

Sally Sunshine

cattywampus
Premium Feather Member
Aug 23, 2012
57,645
10,948
967
PA
Hi Emily, both my broodies recently killed embryos and live chicks with sitting on them and such. I ended up taking the chicks from her.
Humidity is to be used as a tool, its not a set number, you use it to get the correct weight/water loss of each egg.

I don't wash eggs...
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hatching-eggs-101

Choose eggs that are of good size, not abnormally big or small. Do NOT set dirty, cracked, or porous eggs.
Clinical studies at the University of Arkansas have shown that if your going to set a dirty egg, set the dirty egg, DO NOT SAND, WASH OR WIPE dirty eggs as hatchability decreases with these practices!
The washing and rubbing action also serves to force disease organisms through the pores of the shell. Place the eggs upright in an egg carton with the FAT, air cell end of the egg UP! Allow eggs to sit in a moderately cool, somewhat humid place for storage. Basements are great. Moderately cool means 55-65 degrees. Rotate your eggs a 3 times a day to keep the embryo from sticking. An easy way to turn all of the eggs at once is to place a thick book under one end of the carton, and later remove the book and put it under the other end of the carton, 3 times a day. Before adding eggs to the incubator always WARM eggs UP slowly to room temperature. IF THE EGGS ARE COLD Condensation can cause bacterial growth on the eggs! You can collect eggs up until 10 days or so, but after the 7th day lower hatch rates may result.
Stored eggs take longer to hatch (about one hour per day of storage).


It is important to ALWAYS wash your hands before handling your hatching eggs!

Omphalitis, yolk sack infection is caused by a bacterium that enters through the porous egg shell and easily kills embryo's and newly hatched chicks. Unfortunately, incubation conditions are ideal for breeding bacteria as well as incubating eggs. For more information on storing eggs refer to Recommendations for hatching egg handling and storage
 

EJPedrazzi

Chirping
7 Years
Jul 24, 2012
134
1
81
Salinas, CA
Thank you Sally! I did read your entire article before I set my duck eggs - very helpful!

In other exciting news - I just got home, checked underneath my other hen outside and heard cheeping!!!!! Two eggs are pipping and cheeping ready to get out. I've put them in the bator to finish hatching out (hopefully!!) without getting squashed by hens. Candled the rest, 3 are working their way through the air sac and the other 3 aren't too far behind.

Oh my gosh, I've never hatched before, this is premature (my ducks aren't due till the 10th May) and super exciting!! Can't stop looking at the bator! But now time to prepare their brooder!

wee.gif
caf.gif
 

Sally Sunshine

cattywampus
Premium Feather Member
Aug 23, 2012
57,645
10,948
967
PA
awwwww CONGRATS! but you do know they don't exist unless we see a pic! LOL

your welcome to come hang with us on the diary thread anytime ya know! I would love to see the ducks hatch too! My ancona ducks go into lockdown Friday!! 17 look viable!! HOLY CROW!!

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/704328/diary-notes-air-cell-detatched-shipped-eggs/7130
Just pop in and say hello and what your plans are in the bator!
Experienced Hatchers also needed to help out with the growing demand for help with incubating!
Its not just for shipped eggs! Its awesome, most check daily and are there to help and support!​
 

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