What am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Chick-0-holic, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. Chick-0-holic

    Chick-0-holic Hatching

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    Jan 21, 2009
    I've been hatching chicks for quite a while now. I've been doing really well hatching standard sized mixed chicks, then I decided to try hatching some bantam sized eggs, and now I'm having problems. I also want to add that I calibrate my hygrometers and thermometers before every batch. No problems there, my hatcher hygometer is always off by 1 % lower, and the incubator hygometer is off by 1% higher.

    I had a dozen Silver Spangled bantam eggs to hatch - my own, not shipped.
    I collected them for a few days, turned 3 times a day, kept between 50-60 degrees. Brought them up to room temp for about 12 hours, and then placed them in an incubator. I've been using the dry air incubation and getting great hatches. So I left it alone. A cabinet style incubator, forced air, at 99.5 degrees, and 30 % hum.
    Day 18 came, I candled, 3 were clear (I couldn't really see anything in them, but I can't with any eggs I hatch, probably my light) So I moved them to the hatcher (still air Hova. 101 degrees, 65% hum.), waited and waited and waited, day 25, nothing, no pips or anything. I never once opened the hatcher from the time I put them in. So I cracked them all open, some looked like they had started, I could see a few things in the yoke, but no formed chick, and they were hard. And some had feathers, and veins, but again no formed chick, they were also hardish. And about 3 of them had full formed chicks, with the yokes about half absorbed, and tons of fluid still and they had never piped the membrane. Drowned??

    So about a week later I set another dozen. Day 18, 1 clear, the rest into the hatcher, and the same thing happened. A few started to form, a few with feathersand veins, and some appeared to be almost ready but "drown", never piped the membrane.

    So I tried setting a mixed batch of standard mixes, japs, oeg bantams, phoenix bantams and cochin bantams. I got mixed results. All but one standard hatched fine, the other was not fully formed, and from the bantams, 1 cochin hatched, 1 jap hatched but died a few days later, and 1 oeg hatched. The rest of the eggs were firm feather vein blobs again, and a few were fluid filled and never piped the membranes.

    What I'm I doing wrong?? Why am I having such a hard time hatching bantams?
    Thanks everyone! (sorry for the novel)
     

  2. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Songster

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    [​IMG] Welcome to BYC!! [​IMG]

    I am sorry that I cannot help you - I have never incubated eggs! BUT there are lots of other folks on this site that know A LOT about hatching!!

    Good Luck!!

    Cindy
     
  3. Chick-0-holic

    Chick-0-holic Hatching

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    Jan 21, 2009
    Thanks Cindy! I'm a long time lurker, but never posted.

    Hoping the folks at BYC can help!
     
  4. campbellhatchery

    campbellhatchery In the Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2009
    Carrollton, Ga
    Quote:They need to be turned in storage and in incubation.

    Are you turning them? If the embryo is not turned every few hours it can stick to teh side of the egg and die. The embryo naturally "floats" to the top so you must constantly turn them. When turning them, turn them opposite directions - they have an umbilical cord (chalaza) which attaches to the top and bottom of the egg for air and nutrients and if you keep turning them the same direction the chalaza will become to twisted to transport these effectively and they will die. If you are keeping them in a plastic rack, the proper degree of rotation is 35 degrees (to preserve the air sac). If you are keeping them on their side then just turn them 180 degrees. In commercial operation eggs are turned every 2 hours. In practical farm operation eggs should be turned 3-4 times a day minimum.

    [​IMG]

    Storage - The survivability of embryos past 3 days drops off significantly. How long were the eggs stored before they were placed in the incubator? Eggs stored more than 5 days shouldn't be used, and be discarded.

    Fertility - you should see veins and the embryo around day 7 when candling. It could be that your rooster isn't doing his job.
    .
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Humidity - From my reading it should be 65% for the first 18 days and 80% the last 3 days for the humidity. Try increasing the surface area of your water tray with either 1. a larger pan or 2. sponges or wicks (don't reuse old ones). Some bantam breeds are technically "miniatures" a true bantam is naturally small. Miniatures are breed to be small, so heartiness, egg laying capacity etc can suffer. Keeping the eggs softer and the humidity higher will help smaller birds.

    Inbreeding - ?

    Sanitation - Make sure to clean all incubator equipment prior to use. If eggs are soiled - its best not to use them BUT there are egg cleaning supplies. Never submerge an egg to clean it, only rinse it off. It is better to use an unsoiled egg because there is a natural coating that is partially lost by cleaning the egg that protects the egg.

    Temperature - Have you tested the temperature with a different thermometer? perhaps the thermometer could be wrong (not likely, but let me know about the above mentioned.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009

  5. Chick-0-holic

    Chick-0-holic Hatching

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    Jan 21, 2009
    They are turned 3 times a day, in the incubator and storage. Every 8 hours. Auto turner in the cabinet (well sort of auto, I hav eto press the button every 8 hours) and then I tilt the cartons that are in storage.

    I tried uping the humidity during incubating with hatching standards, but I found that I got a much better hatch with the dry method.

    I know that all the pairs are unrelated except for the hamburgs, they were bought as a pair, so who knows.
     
  6. campbellhatchery

    campbellhatchery In the Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2009
    Carrollton, Ga
    Quote:The more papers I read on proper incubation humidity the more numbers i get... They are generally 65% or higher though I haven't read any as low as yours. I'm not familiar with the dry method, but with smaller eggs these breeds have less moisture to survive the incubation period. If your eggs are losing more than 12% of their relative weight then humidity is your problem.

    Here is a MSU paper (with photos) you should check out. Its a quick read.

    http://www.msstate.edu/dept/poultry/hatch.htm
     
  7. campbellhatchery

    campbellhatchery In the Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2009
    Carrollton, Ga
    Do you have air holes in your hatcher? You stop turning them the 18th day right?
     

  8. Chick-0-holic

    Chick-0-holic Hatching

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    Jan 21, 2009
    Quote:lol yes I stop turning them on day 18 (my original post say i move them to a hatcher). I'm not new to hatching just new to hatching bantams.

    Yes there are holes in the incubator and hatcher.

    I see your point about the humidity, but with the humidty at 65% form day 1 to 18 with my standard eggs, most drown, or pip and don't zip, but I have a great hatch rate using the dry method for these. So I'm worried about uping the humidity to save a dozen eggs as opposed to over 100 others.
    Could I just mist the bantam eggs?
    Maybe I'll have to get another incubator and do them seperate.
     
  9. Chick-0-holic

    Chick-0-holic Hatching

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    Jan 21, 2009

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