What am I doing wrong??

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by New Hatcher, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. New Hatcher

    New Hatcher Out Of The Brooder

    72
    0
    39
    Jul 21, 2010
    Central Alberta Canada
    This is my second hatch and I'm a little disappointed. ( but happy with the nine I got) I locked down 31 eggs I kept the temp at 100deg from set to hatch but my chicks are always hatching 1-2 days early am I to high thats what it said to do in the instruction book ( if thats what you call the paper I got) with my incubator. I have a havo-bator table top model. My first hatch I didn't have a humidity meter and I shrink rapped most of them this one I had a Relative humidity meter and kept it at 60% to 75% during lock down It did spike a few times when the chicks where drying to about 90%. It stayed around 40%-60% during setting. I would like to find out what I'm doing wrong for my next hatch this is so addicting I told my hubby I could do this all winter now he's going to build me a brooder room:) but really please I need help with this. with my other chicks hatching early is there any chance that the others will still or is it a lost cause.
     
  2. Stellar

    Stellar The Quail Lady

    4,203
    39
    251
    Feb 6, 2010
    Tampa Bay
    Are you using the thermometer that came with the incubator.

    I have found that the ones that come with the incubators are always a couple degrees off so I always stick a second thermometer in just in case. A few degrees can change everything.
     
  3. LaurenM23

    LaurenM23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    439
    1
    111
    Jun 16, 2010
    King George, VA
    I absolutely recommend a second thermometer, just to be sure of the accuracy of what you've been working with. You might also go to the "How-To" section and look at some of the stuff on dry-hatching. Lots of people swear by that...essentially letting your humidity stay in a 25-30 range before adding water during the 1st 18 days. Even more precise is the weigh-loss method, which measures the change in mass of the egg and compares it to the desired rate of loss (via evaporation). Your humidity can then be adjusted to achieve the desired amount of loss.
     
  4. ChickLover98

    ChickLover98 The Chicken Princess

    Apr 24, 2010
    Pennsylvania
    The temp is supposed to be 99.5, but I guess .5 of a degree wont make much difference! [​IMG]
     
  5. New Hatcher

    New Hatcher Out Of The Brooder

    72
    0
    39
    Jul 21, 2010
    Central Alberta Canada
    Yes I am using the thermometer that came with it I will be going to get another and run the incubator empty for a bit just to see. I will also look into the dry hatching method and maybe try that next time. You wouldn't think that .5 of a degree would make a difference but I'm willing to try anything right now to get better hatches.

    So I would take it the ones left are not going to hatch now??? Or should I wait and give it one more day ( Day 23)??
     
  6. LaurenM23

    LaurenM23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    439
    1
    111
    Jun 16, 2010
    King George, VA
    I would certainly wait a few extra days. Did you candle them before lockdown? If you were able to confirm that you had good development, they might just be taking their time coming. After Day 23 you could open it up and candle them again to see what happened.
     
  7. New Hatcher

    New Hatcher Out Of The Brooder

    72
    0
    39
    Jul 21, 2010
    Central Alberta Canada
    I did candle before lockdown. I ended up tossing 8 of my Wheaten Marans eggs:( all 12 of my EE's made it but 3 I really didn't know so I left them in. I also had 10 BR X and 4 Ameraucana x I will candle and do egg topsies ( Spelling??) as well. I really don't see anything happening now though:(
     
  8. Stellar

    Stellar The Quail Lady

    4,203
    39
    251
    Feb 6, 2010
    Tampa Bay
    Were these eggs shipped? Shipping can jiggle the chalazae a bit causing separation of yolk so if the egg was fertile it would have a tough time developing as it was moving too much during shipment. Also if it was really hot, the eggs could have started developing while being shipped.

    I don't know if these were shipped eggs. Just trying to help [​IMG]
     
  9. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    7,738
    107
    321
    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    Hiya!

    I thought maybe my little incubation cheater might answer something for you- it may not, but it's worth a shot:


    ChooksChickÂ’s HenthusiastsÂ’ Styrofoam Incubator Cheat Sheet

    The rule is: get the temp right with an empty incubator, and make sure it's stable for 48 hours- without the plugs, without you touching it.

    Use 3 (yes, 3!) of the sealed-in-glass aquarium thermometers from Wally World ($1.70 each, I always have at least a dozen on hand for my 6 incubators). They have a little green suction cup- I leave it on and move it to the weighted end for one, the top end on another and the middle for the third. This makes them a slight bit different in elevation in the incubator as the turner moves, so you can average them for the true temp. Place them where it will be easy to read from the windows, and turn them in the suction cup so they're angled correctly to read the red line. They need to be on the turner, wedged between eggs so you can read what the center of the egg is, internally. This is the only reliable way, as the thermometers that come with the incubators on cardboard change as humidity changes, and they tell you the eggs' top temperature or the temp on the floor! Took forever to figure out my incubator wasn't really spiking as badly as the thermometer said, but that the temp spikes were due to the cardboard shrinking and swelling from humidity!

    When you put eggs in, it will take hours to get stable again- ignore it!!! The temp will drop when you first add eggs. Don't adjust it at all. After a day with eggs, you can put a plug in to go up a degree or two. You can add another plug if you need to. If you're over 101.5* 24 hours after you add eggs, you can turn the thing down A HAIR. That's all. Don't adjust again for a day- be patient. **Don't dismiss this recommendation. ** You can go up a degree or two per plug you add at this point, too. Try not to use the knob to adjust.

    If the temp isn't too hot- like 102* consistently, I don't turn it down. If it's not below 98* consistently, I don't turn it up. I add a plug and wait 24 hours. I haven't adjusted my thermostats in 6+ months. You can get it stable. My incubators are always full. **So are my brooders.**

    Ignore humidity until day 18. For lockdown, roll up paper towels and stuff them in the water channels, then fill the channels. Lay another paper towel across the wire. I use them because they're disposable, so they won't harbor bacteria, and they increase the surface area of the evaporative substrate. You'll then have BOTH sides of the paper towel exposed on the wire, plus the surface of the ones rolled up in the channels, which swell to rise over the channels themselves. You'll easily hit 80% if you follow my instructions. Put the eggs on the now wet paper towel which will have absorbed water from the paper towels poking up out of the water channels, and make sure the whole lot stay wet for 3 days while in lockdown. If you must add water (which is likely) use tubing through the holes on the top of the incubator or open a window to do it. Don't open the lid!!

    I've hatched hundreds or thousands of eggs this way- YOU MUST GET IT STABLE BEFORE YOU ADD EGGS.

    ACK!! One more thing. If you only have one machine, it's best to use cardboard cartons to hatch them. Otherwise, when you take out the turner the eggs are laying so much lower than they were in the turner that the temps are no longer appropriate and they're way too cold. This is important! Even a tiny bit of difference in height can mean a big difference in yolk-temp so you might wipe them out in the last 3 days if you don't use a carton or prop up the wire. You can mark the turner edge on the styrofoam and use that line to help you position the wire on shallow bowls or compote cups to get the middle of the eggs at the same height they were for the first 18 days. Put the wire back in and you're good to go.

    If you have had both plugs out the whole time, you might be able to get the right temp for them lying on the floor by just plugging both holes, but that's an unknown factor until you've tried it, and you don't want to find out with eggs that are about to hatch. I use a separate machine as the hatcher to avoid this conundrum.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  10. New Hatcher

    New Hatcher Out Of The Brooder

    72
    0
    39
    Jul 21, 2010
    Central Alberta Canada
    Wow ChooksChick that was all great advice I will follow all of the suggestions I got to the T next hatch but I think I shrink wrapped these guys too:( If I have the chicks hatch 2 days early again What do I do?? I know I'm not supposed to open the lid until everyone is hatched but had I left these early guys in they would have been past that 48 hour mark and would need food and water. I thought that everyone should hatch around ( at least the same day) the same time and it should be like pop corn?? Am I wrong. I really think that had I not opened the lid everyone would have been ok. I just hate to see the ones that get stuck and I had at least 4 of them that had been really sticky in the half zipped shell or glued right in there. but even when I opened the lid it was quick and my humidity didn't get down past 60% not even close. ??????

    I think I'm going to get my hubby to build me one that is sealed up tight with gloves and I can reach in. LOL:lol: Then I'll put a drawer in that seals and wont let moisture out if I need to get a chick out I'll just stick him in the drawer and get him out. Like you see on T.V from one space ship to another..... [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] Well here's for dreaming;)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by