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Understanding where I went wrong

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by juniperj, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. juniperj

    juniperj Hatching

    Mar 4, 2017
    This is my second time incubating quail eggs and my first failure. First time round I incubated 36 eggs I purchased and most of them hatched this time last year. Now I have hens from that hatching and I decided to do another round, so I saved up 28 of their eggs over about 5 days and put them in the incubator.

    I did everything the same this time except one crucial difference. The first time I used the little plastic thermometer that was in the hovabator kit. Afterwards everyone tells me how inaccurate those are, so I blame the few loses I had on the thermometer and buy a more expensive digital one. I use the digital thermometer the second time and try to keep the eggs at 99.5, give or take a little, for the whole incubation. I turned the eggs the same number of times as before, stopped at day 14 - did everything else the same.

    We're at day 23 now. Two chicks pipped, but failed to hatch after a few days, the rest is silent. I float the eggs and none appears to be alive. I opened up a few of the 'dead' eggs to find fully formed but not alive chicks. What could cause this?

    The only difference I could see was the thermometer. When I put the two together, the kit thermometer reads 106 when the digital reads 99.5.

    Should I have trusted the old thermometer? Would a higher incubation temp cause the sort of result I had? What else could account for chicks forming and then not hatching?


  2. indigo flats

    indigo flats Chirping

    Jan 29, 2017
    Elgin South Carolina
    My opinion if it isn't broke do not try to fix it. You was successful the first time I would have stuck with the way I did it and use the same equipment. I would check both thermometers against a medical thermometer and go with the one that is accurate. I am on my second round of eggs I am using the same equipment that I used before, I worked all my mistakes out in the first round by watching the air spot in the egg for as humidity goes. I was constantly checking accuracy of my thermometers until I was satisfied with one and stuck with it during incubation and lock down. So my second round hopefully will tell me if I did right.
  3. MerleMice

    MerleMice Chirping

    Jul 12, 2014
    Central Wisconsin
    If you're worried about the accuracy of your cheap plastic one, you can try testing it using the ice bath method. It's what I did with mine, and found it reads two degrees higher then it should.
  4. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    I agree, if it ain't broke, don't "fix" it. I wouldn't expect eggs that were at 106 to develop to full term. I'd expect them to cook and quit much earlier. The most common reason for chicks getting to hatch time and not hatching is humidity. You are sure your humidity levels ran about the same?
  5. gpop1

    gpop1 Songster

    May 2, 2015
    104 internal egg temp is guaranteed sterile and that would happens with in a hour at 106 so its more likely that the digital is closer than the original which means that your last success was at a lower temperature like 95. The last hatch would have been successful at this temp it would just have been a couple of days late.

    I have to agree with amylynn when it comes to a bunch of late quitters its normally humidity.

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