Thought we lost 3 dozen eggs due to temperature Day 27

suzanneaccashia

Hatching
6 Years
Feb 25, 2013
4
0
7
McConnells, SC
I want to share our experience. I am a science teacher and our class decided to so an experiment of mass weight on eggs throughout the incubation process. Our 1st try with 2 dozen eggs none hatched. We came up with the variables of what might have effected the process.

One of the variables was that a child who brought in the eggs brought them in dirty. We knew they could not be washed, so we went on with the process with eggs after having had saw research that bacteria from dirty eggs can have a negative outcome. By the end of 3 weeks the stench was disgusting. The eggs all lost weight over the 21 days which gave the students data on the mass question.

For the 2nd attempt I went and purchased 2 dozen lavender Orpington Eggs and the lovely breeder gave me a 3rd dozen to help with the project. I immediately the following day on a Sunday went into the school and placed them into the incubator and got them started. My husband suggested that maybe the thermometer might have been wrong due to what comes with the incubator is very cheep. He gave me a digital thermometer to use.

On Monday morning I placed the digital thermometer in to get a 2nd reading to check the thermometer and while the manual one read 99.5 the digital read 106.6. I panicked and turned down the incubator immediately and got it to 99.5 digitally. We had the hydrometer in as well and the humidity is set right.

On day 18 I caught the stomach flu all the students had and had to go home sick. I brought the eggs home with me (12 minute ride) because they were due to hatch that Sunday and being sick I felt like I needed to err on the side of caution.

On Sunday nothing, not a sign. On Monday nothing, not a sign, On Tuesday afternoon nothing, not a sign. My husband went out to the shed and found 3 more thermometers and when I arrived home from school I saw all these Thermometers. He said he wanted to check the accuracy of the digital one and it is 7 degrees higher then all the rest, it is the digital one that is wrong. My stomach sunk. I had to tell the students that the second batch was not going to work. I was so disappointed. They were all disappointed as well.

I remember having had read that sometimes if the temperature is a "little" low that it may take an extra couple of days. I said to my husband lets just leave it and see. He had his doubts and so did I but I wanted to try. There is no smell this time so it can't hurt.

As of last night Friday day 26, nothing, not a thing. In the morning I will have to dispose of the eggs. Here it is Saturday morning, Day 27. We hear peeping. We look into the incubator and there is one egg piping. I am so excited. I don't know how many out of the three dozen will hatch but we have one that is pipping. The hole is maybe 3 cm in diameter. We can see the little baby moving.

Today I was going to clean up the incubator journal the possible variables that led to the failure. Maybe it was patience, Maybe it was prayer but we have at least one baby chick.

Now we have a new experimental question. The temperature variable and hatchability. Now to keep the patience and leave them alone while the process continues.
 
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Bill 101

Songster
6 Years
Feb 1, 2013
385
21
113
Oregon
I really want to commend you on your School Project. Can I give you a bit of advice, without you feeling that I'm being to critical?

The First thing you should do is make sure the incubator & equipment you are using is accurate. Do NOT trust them to work the way they are supposed to. The main thing seems to be the Thermometers. Their is a way of checking them to make sure they are accurate. It would be a good "experiment" for the kids too. The Ice water check is a good way to find out how & which ones are accurate & safe to use.
The fact that they are hatching (& I will caution you, there may be problems) on day 27 is positively a sign that your temperature has been to low. Under ideal conditions of proper temperature & humidity chicks hatch in 21 days + or -.


I can assure you that in 30 years of hatching chicks I have never hat a chick hatch in more than 22 days. Everything has hatched at 20 -21 days & very rarely maybe one in a hundred, on day 22 (My hatch rate consistently runs at 98% PLUS.) Anyone that tell you that 23-27 is normal isn't being factual. Not that they CAN"T hatch, but normally those that do end up having any one of a number of problems
 

suzanneaccashia

Hatching
6 Years
Feb 25, 2013
4
0
7
McConnells, SC
I am certianly leanrning. I appreciate any words of wisdom. We are aware that the one may not even survive, but what a surprise. I have tried very hard to keep the failures positive by telling my students, " there are no failures in science, just lessons". I really would like to get mor lavender orpington eggs and try again.
 

ANGEL702

Chirping
8 Years
Mar 22, 2012
47
4
77
The same exact thing just happened to my sons kindergarten class..the thermometer was wrong! So we set 14 more eggs yesterday with two different thermometers do not want a repeat! And there is nothing worse than a room full of sad 5 and 6 year olds. You should name your new baby lucky or uno!
 

loveourbirds

Songster
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
2,857
323
198
waverly ohio
im glad you got at least one to hatch. i never trust digital thermometers in an incubator, unless they have a probe and the electronic part sits outside. ive seen to many of them stick. also just because they are digital, does not make them accurate. most claim .5 to 1 degree f variance.

if i had to guess, your first eggs got to cold during shipping/handling, some dirt on them usually wont hurt them.

i find it best to put in 3 or 4 thermometers take the average, and use one that is right/closest.

a couple other hatch tips:
open the incubator for 15 minutes a day.
keep it out of direct sunlight/drafts.
for your purpose, a local source is better than shipped eggs.

best of luck,
brian
 

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