Repeated Hatching issues, uncertain how to correct

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Fyremelody, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. Fyremelody

    Fyremelody In the Brooder

    May 22, 2014
    Hi guys and gals. I just posted about my open navel chickie in the other topic. Now I have a branching-off question.

    I've had trouble with the last two hatches, and from what I'm reading, it's coming down to humidity...only...I'm unconvinced.

    I have to preface that I know this last batch had some crazy temp flux's. The only room the cats can't bug the incubator in can get drafty depending on the wind, and we had a cold northern blow in that flubbed everything up about seven days prior to hatch. Five of my six eggs died, I'm convinced of that.

    But that aside... I know that problem, and there aren't many ways to control it if I'm hatching in winter. Meanwhile, the more disconcerting issue:

    In the last two hatches I've had navel issues. Is that temp related, or is that humidity related? If it's temp related, then that pretty much answers the delimma. If it's humidity... help me understand? I've been dry incubating, and following the hatching guidelines in the documents here--boosting the humidity to 70% during lockdown. My air sacs have been excellent going in to day 18. I've had life inside the shell going in to day 18.

    But with my gauges saying 70%, and air sacs that are ideal per diagrams available, I've had chicks fail to turn, fail to pip externally, and overall die off from day 18 to hatch. However, with this last one who also came out with a navel issue, the humidity was only at 45% -- I added some water this morning knowing we were going into lockdown tonight. So by all theories, this chick *should* have shrink-wrapped with a dry incubation and only 45% humidity for a handful of hours.

    If I'm having issues because of high humidity, are the *eggs* subjected to in-house humidity *on top* of in-incubator humidity? So could it be possible that my "dry" humidity in the teens range, with no added water in the incubator, is actually more along the lines of 30-40% humidity, and then come hatch day I'm well into 90%? That would make sense if my issues are related to humidity. At least in theory, it makes sense.

    I don't know. But I'm extremely frustrated. I've had excellent progress on the eggs from day one, but it seems lately that coming into day 18, I'm getting losses or issues with the hatched chicks. I'd really like to have a better understanding of what the underlying problem is. So,do I compensate? Or, again, is this all related to fluctuating temps? Because if it is, the long-and-short answer is until I have a cabinet incubator, I will have to deal with cold snaps and the effects on the incubator.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I'm sorry to hear you are having so much problems! It is certainly disheartening when you get a chick to nearly full-term only to lose it. I have not used the "dry hatch" incubation method as I've had much success incubating at 45% humidity, upping to 65% for lockdown. The chicks not turning into the correct position in the egg may be a result of incorrect humidity, but it may also be due to incorrect positioning of the egg. The open navel tells me the chick hatched too quick, which could be due to too high temperature in the incubator. Here are some articles that breaks down incubation issues and causes of hatch failures, this may help shed some light:
    1 person likes this.
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Are you turnning the eggs? Late stage failure besides temp seems more related to egg turnning. I agree your temp is abit high if unabsorbed yolk and dry incubating.

    What's your turning method? And how early are chicks hatcing?
  4. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    I do the dry incubation as well, I only run completely dry, however, if my bator will hold 25% humidity dry. In the fall my bator stayed well above that so I ran totally dry the first 17 days monitoring the air cells. This hatch (eggs set yesterday) I had to add a bit of water to hold it above 25%. I also up my humidity 70-75% (I prefer 75%) at lockdown/hatch. Your numbers for humidity, if accurate, sound good, especially if your air cells look good as that is the importance of humidity. I'd lean toward what the others have stated that it sounds as though slightly higher than average temps may be affecting it.

    Ambient humidity does affect the humidity in the bator, but to my understanding only in a way that either makes it dryer/more moist (either you have to add more water or less to get your desired humidity levels.) If the hygrometer in your bator is accurate and reading 45% humidity than that is the percentage that your eggs are incubating in.

    I hope that you can pinpoint your problem and have better hatches.
    1 person likes this.

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