Upside down embryos- cause? (R-com incubator)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Kev, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    What would cause embryos to be positioned upside down- butt in the airspace, shoulders in the pointy end?

    Have peafowl eggs in Rcom-20. First set had one like the above last week. Now this set has another one exact same way(currently pipped at pointy end and candling shows butt/legs in airspace, exactly same as the previous case).

    Thing is the peafowl breeders are not related, in fact first set belongs to someone else, this set is from my own birds.

    Also got a batch of ringneck pheasant eggs. Candling at day 5 showed one embryo that was upside down- head was oriented towards pointy end. That one eventually died, so won't get to see if it would have ended up yet another upside downer. This batch is due to hatch by Monday..

    That seems pretty extraordinary to be mere chance.. but what would cause it?

    p.s. the 2 rcoms are on loan. Setting 37.5 C and 45% humidity through incubation(raised to 60% for hatching). Temp has been extraordinarily stable throughout according to rcom readings.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  2. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    California
    I'm no expert here, but... When the eggs were collected, were they turned an odd # of times until incubation started? Were the stored at all times with the pointy side down?

    While incubating, were they kept pointy side down? Turned every day? How were temps and humidity during incubation?

    Just a few thoughts...
     
  3. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    Rcom holds the eggs horizontal. Just like if you lay eggs on a counter.. they sit on a tray with holes with non-attached tray below that moves side to side to roll the eggs. It's set to turn every hour. Here's a page with some info on rcoms: http://www.lyonelectric.com/RcommenuRCOM20.html

    First
    set were stored upright(egg cartons).. mine were stored horizontally in a plastic container, turned at least once a day. Most were set same day or day after they were laid.. the oldest were stored 2-3 days before setting.

    Edited the opening post to add temps have been incredibly stable according to the readout.. stayed at 37.5C throughout.. in one it dropped down to 37.4C or went up to 37.7C sometimes. Humidity mostly stable.. they use up the water very fast, so if I don't pay attention and add water by the second day, it may drop to 41%.. water always added immediately at seeing that.
     
  4. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    California
    I know absolutely nothing about the horizontal thing, just havent come across that yet. Have you successfully incubating anything else using this method? I mean, are these a one time issue, or have you been having this kind of trouble for awhile? More than once or twice? Seems like the laying sideways is a common thread with your upside down embryos.

    But then again, chickens sit on their eggs sideways themselves, so [​IMG] . I also think the pressure of the hens body on the eggs helps the chicks to hatch and that is why people have alot of success hatching eggs in egg cartons- the cartons provide a certain amount of outside counter-pressure. IDK- grasping at straws here...


    ETA- I'm pretty sure the eggs are supposed to be turned a minimum of 3 times per day, even while storing in prep for incubation. Were they stored pointy side down? When the roller in the incubator turns the eggs, do they end up in the same position by the end of the day that they started the day in? I guess embryos can stick to the inside of an egg if it is not turned right and the chick cannot grow right or turn in the shell.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  5. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    For years I've just set eggs under hens. Those 2 rcoms are on loan for me to test out.. got them about a month ago- the set of peafowl eggs that hatched last week was the first artificial incubating for me in many years. I don't recall any upside down chicks in eggs under hens..

    I don't really have many ideas either.. just a bit upsetting because the first chick didn't survive and am worried this one will die too or come out deformed.
     
  6. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    Update.. upside down chick was stuck, needed to be helped out. Had to be put down due to both legs and feet severely deformed.. no chance at all for recovery. [​IMG]

    Other chick had one crooked toe(fixed very fast, is fine now), third chick has a deformed foot- all toes bent/twisted sideways.. currently in shoe. Hope it is fix-able.

    So, looks like there is some kind of issue.. but what?? Temp? turned too much(once every hour)?

    The weird thing, all peachicks are "very healthy" otherwise, including the upside down chick. Normal size, vigorous, alert and everything good, except for the leg/foot issues & malpositions. It feels 'so close yet so far'?
     
  7. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    California
    Hmmmm, going strickly by what I've read, often times foot and leg deformities are caused by either a huge temp spike during a crucial development period, or by a humidity issue at same time frame.

    Have you calabrated your hygrometer and thermometer? There are a few threads on here that detail how to do it. Alot of epole who hatch alot will say to buy a new walmart hygrometer every other hatch since they go off so quickly and are just not dependable. I would be inclined to believe it since they are fairly cheap, and are exposed to high levels of heat and humidity for extended periods of time.

    I wish I could be of more help, but I'm kinda in the same boat as you- having a sad hatch rate twice in a row, 2 deformed quail chicks, and mortality with pipped eggs. Just keep tryin and tweaking till we get it right!
     
  8. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use an R-com incubator and have not had problems with hatching related to it. I always store any fertile eggs fertile eggs for incubation pointy end down for 24 hours prior to incubation.

    What sort of R-com do you have? Mine is the 20 and you set the temp. humidity and turning and essentially all you have to do then is to turn off the turning when you want to and increase the humidity when you want to.

    Sandie
     
  9. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    Sandie- what kind of eggs have you used? One is 20 and other is rcom pro. Pro is set at their default settings for peafowl.. rcom 20 has it set at 37.5C and 45% humidity for incubation.

    Pro has yet to hatch any eggs(got it couple weeks after the rcom 20), it has 2 peafowl and 7 ringneck pheasant eggs right now. D-Day countdown is 7 days for the peafowl eggs.

    Rcom 20 is the one with all the hatch problems so far.. will see how the pro clutch turns out starting early next week for ringneck eggs. Unfortunately no more peafowl eggs to test it out. Would have liked to see if it gives the same problems or not.

    As for storing eggs beforehand, the first set with the one upside down was stored pointy end down. Mine were not(horizontal). Seems to make no/not much difference here, since got one out of both storage methods?

    Suzette, the thermometer and hygrometer are inside the rcom.. not sure if there's a way for me to calibrate them, not that I would anyways- they're not mine.. on loan. I did put in a Brinsea Spot Check(supposed to be good?), it agreed both rcoms held temp very stable, but it gave a slight difference in reading from the rcom's. About half degree on average.. not that big difference. Did not see any temp. spikes, well, according to their readouts.. always gave a perfect 37.5C They bring the temps back up very fast after lid is lifted.. even the brinsea spot check agrees. No separate hygrometer though.

    Morality at hatch? have you opened the eggs? Sometimes that's a great way to tell.. like if the membrane is like dry paper maiche- not enough humidity.. if there seems too much water and it oozes out.. too much humidity during incubation(have experience with sportsman 1202 ages ago with chicken/guinea/pheasant eggs. Did one set of coturnix) If the chicks seem ok, then possible oxygen issue or try the egg carton method- leave eggs upright in cartons or egg racks(turner off) through whole hatch. Sometimes it seemed like the yet unhatched eggs would get killed by other chicks banging them around.. have left eggs on egg racks many times, did not affect hatch at all.
     

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