Temperature spike on day 22 of incubating chicken eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Ashley Collier, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. Ashley Collier

    Ashley Collier New Egg

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    Hello all! I'm a first time hen. I collected fertile chicken eggs from a friend's farm and yesterday (Sun, Feb. 9) was the expected hatch date. I've had problems keeping my temperature up though, so I'm expecting they may hatch a bit later. I've seen in previous threads that some clutches hatch as late as day 25. I haven't seen a thread with my particular problem, so I decided to post my own.

    Now, I have a homemade incubator (for now) and it's worked well so far, aside from the occasional temperature drop (not too much of a drop though and not for too long). I candled my eggs a bit late, day 10, and removed the infertile/non-developed eggs. I candled them on day 17 and saw they were still growing and almost entirely filled the shell. On day 18, they went into lockdown.

    On day 21, I checked on my eggs fairly often. I noticed one of the eggs had turned over about a quarter turn, and I got really excited! No pipping yet though.

    I went to bed last night (day 21) before my husband. Before coming to bed, and unbeknownst to me, he turned the light back on in my incubator (he meant well--he thought I forgot to turn it on before bed; he forgot I had a timer for it).

    --(I have my light set on a timer, which I've manipulated and tested enough until it turns off and on at just the right times to keep the incubator at a steady 100.5 degres Fahrenheit. I have the temperature higher because I have a still-air incubator and read it can/should be a couple degrees higher.)--

    Somehow, my timer got all messed up and the light ended up staying on for about 8 hours. I'm not sure how long it took to climb in temperature, but by the time I got to it, the temperature was 114 degrees Fahrenheit!!!

    I have mostly resigned myself to the fact that they did not survive this temperature spike, but I wonder if anyone else has a differing opinion or perhaps personal experience with a temperature spike this high and for what I can only assume was less than 8 hours, since the temperature needed time to climb that high.

    Someone's comment on a previous thread was, "if hatching eggs was easy, everyone would do it." That makes me feel better... But the fear that I fried my chicks makes me feel worse again.
     
  2. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Only time will tell... I wish I could give you a solid answer.

    104F is supposed to be the temperature that kills an embryo, when the internal egg temperature reaches 104. If your incubator temperature changes, it will take many hours for the internal temperature of the egg to raise too. However, since you are on day 22, I am not sure if the impact could/would be greater.

    You said none have pipped? I would open the incubator and candle them, personally.
    Lockdown needs to be enforced once you have pip. The pip opens the membrane up to air, and that is why the humidity is so important. When you open it, you let all the humidity out, but without any pips there is no danger.

    I like to candle to look for an internal pip on day 19 and 20. Once I see an internal pip, I raise humidity and enforce lockdown. So in my experience, this method is tried and does not harm chicks. You can also put the egg up to your ear and listen for a clicking sound. Sometimes you can also feel them move inside the egg in your hand (kicking? idk), sometimes there will be movement and sometimes not.

    when you candle to look for the internal pip, make sure the room is completely dark. this is easier with ligher colored eggs. here is a photo of an internal pip, this is from a white egg:
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Ashley Collier

    Ashley Collier New Egg

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    I suppose you are right--only time will tell. I was thinking that, like you said, since it is day 22, the chicks' blood vessels will not be as small and as likely to burst with a high temperature spike.

    That is correct, none have pipped externally. Thanks for the information on when exactly lockdown begins--that really helps a lot. Makes a lot of sense as well.

    I checked for internal pips on my eggs via candling in a completely darkened room and I don't believe any have pipped. I also didn't see any movement. I haven't seen movement in the past though. I do have brown eggs, and on one of the eggs it was impossible to find the air sac. Could that mean it was internally pipped? I listened to the eggs as well and heard nothing. I did not feel them moving either. I have, however, not heard noise or felt movement previously when candling. So I'm not sure if my not feeling/hearing anything now means anything. That is certainly a good tip for future reference though.

    I said in my original post that I noticed one of the eggs had moved---I did not see it rocking, like I've seen in videos. But the mere fact that it moved should be positive news. This was before the temperature spike though.

    I did play a video of a newly hatched chick chirping in hopes of getting a response from the eggs in the incubator---but to no avail.

    While candling, I did notice one of the eggs smelled like scrambled eggs, which means it is rotten--correct? It was also oozing slightly on the bottom. I removed it from the incubator.

    When exactly would you recommend throwing the eggs out? Should I wait it out for a few more days just in case? I'd hate to throw the eggs out if the chicks are alive and well. I just wish there was a surefire way to tell whether or not they are alive.

    Thank you so much for your suggestions!
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  4. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would remove that egg too, and maybe detonate it in a sealed ziplock baggie. I always want to know what was inside personally, I can learn so much better from seeing it than guessing. Stinkers will STINK and you will know it for sure. If it is rotten, do it outside your house!

    The last thing that happens before hatch is that the yolk (which is full of a network of blood vessels) begins to suck into it's abdomen. Part of that physical change is still taking place when the internal and external pip happens! When did you notice it moved again? day 21, hmm... so it was alive at that time

    Not seeing movement right before hatch can be normal, they don't always move. Especially with brown eggs it's very hard to notice because they are in there tight! The lack of air cell is curious to me, could the chick be growing large enough to be inside the air cell? There has to be one.

    I just don't know.. I think the best thing for you to do is to wait longer. Definitely keep using your nose for the first sign of smell.

    I would give it until day 23 at the soonest, or day 25 if you want to be cautious. It sounds like your temperature was steady the whole time, if it ran low the entire time, then you should expect a late hatch - but that is not the case here.

    You could also do the float test on day 23 if you like. The float test has to be done in 99.5-100.5 degree water! And you need to wait until the water is completely still in order to check for movement. The float test will only tell you if the egg has enough air to float the mass of the chick. If the chick is developed fully, the air cell will be big enough and the egg will float. This just means it is viable, it does not mean it is alive. If you see it move, then it's alive.
    If the egg sinks to the bottom, then it probably quit growing before full term. It's full of egg-liquid and the air cell can't hold it on the surface of the water, it sinks to the bottom.

    here is the link on float testing: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ng-egg-viability-for-late-or-overdue-hatching
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  5. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sorry, I am tired... I just re-read your OP and I noticed you said it did run lower and you expect a later hatch, followed by the incubator was steady at 100.5 - so maybe waiting til day 25 would be best. Only you know your eggs, so you have to do what you think is best :) I will just try to give you the options I can think of!
     
  6. johnderosa1

    johnderosa1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a temp spike on day 21 to around 115 and lost all my chicks. Two hatched out but died from the extreme heat. I dont think they would survive 114 for too long. After my problem i decided to build my own incubator (i had been using a hooverbator still air). For about $100 in parts i built an 84 egg incubator, not including the auto turners and havent looked back since.
     
  7. Ashley Collier

    Ashley Collier New Egg

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    Farmer Viola: I'll wait until day 25 then and see if any hatch. I'll take note of the smell and smell them each night to see if any have gone bad. I think on day 26, I'll try the float test for any that haven't hatched. I agree about wanting to find out exactly what went on inside the egg. I think the best way to learn is by opening the egg and taking a look, even if it is gross. I'll check again for an air cell before I 'detonate' it though--just to be on the safe side! Thank you so much for your suggestions and input! You've been so very helpful. :)

    johnderosa1: Hmm, that doesn't sound like good news for me. Did your two chicks hatch while the heat was still around 115, or did they hatch after you'd settled the temperature problem? I've got my own makeshift incubator right now that I had all the parts for (except for having to purchase a hygrometer), and I wish I could say it's served me well. But then again, I didn't use any plans from the internet---I just researched what components were needed and set it up the way I thought would be best. Your incubator is probably much better than mine, from the sound of it! I'm babysitting the temperature every 30-45 minutes since today is my day off, but only time will tell if the chicks are still alive. Thanks for your input! :)


    Day 25 is Thursday, Feb. 13. I'll keep y'all updated. *fingers crossed*
     
  8. johnderosa1

    johnderosa1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Ashley,

    I'm not sure since it happened overnight... I'm thinking that they hatched as the temp was going up. I really feel bad for you. I know how heartbreaking it was for me when it happened to me. I would seriously think about upgrading your setup before trying again. It seems a bit too unpredictable to me.
     
  9. Ashley Collier

    Ashley Collier New Egg

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    I couldn't agree more. I don't plan on incubating any additional eggs until I update my current setup. It sure is heartbreaking. :/ I wasn't incubating very many eggs, but a life is a life!

    I went through my eggs and took out two tonight that smelled like scrambled eggs. I have one in the incubator that looks as if it stopped growing early on. But veining is still visible.. I doubt the egg is actually alive though. But if it were dead, I would think the veins would no longer be there/visible. Is that a correct assumption? I left it in the incubator since it has no odor, just to see. I suppose I could always do the float test with it to see if it sinks or not. It'd be very encouraging if my other eggs were to move during the float test! I won't do that test until Thursday or Friday though. Until then, my mind will likely continue playing tricks on my ears. I woke up at 6 this morning thinking I was hearing chirping. All evening, I've been hearing what I thought was chirping. It's always been the kitchen faucet dripping into the metal sink or the fridge/freezer making odd squeaking noises though. [​IMG] Wishful thinking.
     
  10. Ashley Collier

    Ashley Collier New Egg

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    Update: After the temperature spiked on day 22, for some reason my temperature was completely off the last 3-4 days. I finally called it quits on day 26 and removed the remainder of my eggs. I do believe opening the eggs to determine what went wrong would yield valuable insight, but seeing as I'm mostly positive it was the temperature, I don't think I could bear to open the eggs and see the poor little deceased chicks. I guess I'll just have to chalk this up to a lesson learned and experience gained.
    I appreciate everyone's advice/suggestions and I will keep those all in mind the next time I incubate eggs, which will be once I've updated my equipment. Good luck in all your endeavors!
     

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