Unhatched Serama

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by mtlister, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. mtlister

    mtlister Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 6, 2011
    BC, Canada
    Just posted a new update on my blog about some of the unhatched serama from my last batch. I had 4 out of 5 develop, and 3 out of those 4 managed to pip internally but went no further. I am going to assume this is due to humidity level in the hatcher during the lockdown stage of incubation. I had the humidity hovering anywhere from 65-70%. These chicks must have drowned, so I am going to lower humidity on my next batch due this week. Any suggestion or "sweet spots" for humidity level during the last 3 days?

    BTW here is the full link to the post on my website that includes a few pictures I took while opening the unhatched eggs. I'll advise anyone with a weak stomach not to view these pictures.

    http://www.serama.ca/2011/10/10/unhatched-serama/
     
  2. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    When chicks drown during lockdown after internal pipping, it's not because your lockdown humidity is too high. It's because your humidity has been too high all the way through the incubation and your eggs haven't lost enough moisture. The chicks will still be alive at lockdown, because they aren't breathing air yet. When they pip internally into the air sac and start trying to breathe air, they inhale the excess fluid and drown. So even though they drown during lockdown, the cause of the drowning is not your lockdown conditions.

    Solution is to lower your humidity right from day 1. If you're not sure how to get your humidity spot on and figure out if your eggs are losing enough moisture, consider weighing them. Chicken eggs need to lose approximately 13% of their starting weight by the time they reach lockdown. If you weigh them before you stsrt incubation, and then periodically throughout the incubation, you can track their weight loss progress and decide whether you need to adjust your humidity mid-incubation. It's actually really easy, and it instantly puts an end to all the usual guessing about humidity.

    Yikes: Just read your blog and realised you've got another batch going into lockdown very soon. My advice obviously won't help them. If they've been over humidified, I'm not sure what you could do to increase their chances of survival now. I've read contrasting advice about hatching them on their sides or in egg cartons to reduce the risk of drowning once they've internally pipped, but I've never tried it so I'm not sure what is most likely to work. Chicks usually pip on the top of the egg, so away from any fluid, but then if the eggs get rolled around the chick could end up face down in the fluid and unable to breathe.

    If I was you I think I might place them in egg cartons, but at a slanting angle depending on the line of the air sac. That way the chick hopefully has a chance of pipping internally and breathing air, cause all the fluid will be at the bottom of the slant. I think I might watch for the pips then once I see them, make another hole on the top of the egg and carefully try to drain off the excess fluid. That's just a wild idea though and I have NO clue as to how likely it would be to work...
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  3. mtlister

    mtlister Out Of The Brooder

    38
    1
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    Sep 6, 2011
    BC, Canada
    I will begin to weigh my eggs during incubation. I have read of that method before, and it seems to be the best route to go as of now. I have been incubating the eggs at approx 30-35% during the first 18 days though, I'm worried that if I lower anymore it may not be enough?
     
  4. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    30-35% does sound quite low, especially for small eggs which tend to lose moisture quicker than bigger eggs (due to ratio of surface area of egg to volume of egg being greater, so allowing for quicker evaporation through the pores of the shell) but if 30-35% is still over humidifying them then it's obviously too high. Sometimes for whatever reason the standard figures don't work for some people, so if you find you need to drop your humidity to 20% to achieve that magic 13% weight loss, then 20% humidity is what's right for you.

    Do you know if your hygrometer is accurate? Have you calibrated it recently? Just wondering if it's maybe giving a false low reading...
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011

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