What can I do to help my hatching chicks?!?! Help please

stirkrazy

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 24, 2013
31
1
24
North east ohio
Well I'm on my second egg hatching experience and I don't feel that it is going well. I have had a few chicks hatch on their own so far (out of 40). But have had several that needed help. I've been noticing they will pip and then that is all. When I check on them later, and the ones ive helped, I can see that the membranes are dry and are almost suffocating the chicks. I've noticed that the humidity is a little lower than it was last time, around 70%, so I'm not sure what is going on. Am I just paranoined or do I need to do something different?
 

SIMZ

Crowing
9 Years
Apr 29, 2011
2,168
229
271
Northwest Indiana
Can you add water somehow without opening the incubator? What kind of incubator are you using? Have you opened the lid/door? Also, it can take them HOURS to go from a pip to hatching. I've been noticing it can often be 12+ hours that they sit there with that pip and nothing happens.
 

mbpalmtree

In the Brooder
7 Years
Feb 20, 2012
30
0
29
Castle Hayne, NC
I had the same thing happen. My first incubation, I got 4 out of 18 eggs that hatched. All w/ my help. Sooooo stressful. It was a long night for sure. They piped & then NOTHING. 24 hours later I had to help. Then came my 2nd time trying w/ eggs I thought were hopeless. Started w/ 10 day old fertile eggs from EBAY . By day 7 I knew only 3 (out of 6) were good. The whole incubation fluctuated in humidity but by day 21 the first baby came out like a champion. I had to assist the remaining two. Only one chick had a spraddle leg.IDK???? I can't seem to figure this all out. I research constantly & am learning as I go. I suppose it just a trial & error kind of thing. I have 12 more to experiment w/ at the post office tomorrow. Good luck & keep trying until you get it right!!!!
 

loveourbirds

Songster
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
2,857
323
198
waverly ohio
if we are talking about chicken eggs, 70% humidity is drowning them. the outside of the membrane does dry out, this is natural.

never ever help a chick out, you do it more harm than good. if a chick cannot hatch on its own, its inability to hatch can be passed to its offspring (often lack of egg tooth).

*exception to rule - if your hatching eggs from a nearly extinct bird and your last male died, then you can help them hatch.
 

loveourbirds

Songster
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
2,857
323
198
waverly ohio
mbpalmtree,
your problem was probably low humidity. one way to fix this is to lightly mist the eggs with water if you open your incubator. another method is to put a cloth or sponge wicking the water away from its little pools.
 
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stirkrazy

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 24, 2013
31
1
24
North east ohio
So far 17 of the 40 have hatched. It is a hovabator with auto turner. The 70% is just from filling the two trays that are provided with the incubator. What would be a good % to keep it at for the last couple days?
 

loveourbirds

Songster
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
2,857
323
198
waverly ohio
I run mine at 45% for 18 days and increase to 55-60% from day 19 on (with chicken eggs)

I used little giant incubators, I know they are similar.

first 18 days:
if you have humidity plugs, and more than one is out; put half back in. only fill one of the water holders. and see what this does for you. if its a touch low, when you open it mist a little water on the eggs. you don't want the humidity to exceed 50% for any length of time.

day 19 on:
fill both trays, pull the humidity plugs. shoot for 60% humidity. if its a little low you should still be fine.

someone else may have better advice, this is just what I would try.
 

loveourbirds

Songster
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
2,857
323
198
waverly ohio
something else I didn't mention. if your incubator has hatched several chicks, you might have a bacterial buildup. I was assuming since you said this was your second hatch, that it was the second hatch in that incubator.

if you have hatched several out of it, sometimes its better to build a wood box and move the electrical across.

if I were doing this I would build the box the same size as the original, except 2 inches taller. I would discard the original thermostat and replace with a wafer. its not as accurate but I have great success with them. also if you have an old computer fan laying around, you can use it in your incubator.
 

stirkrazy

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 24, 2013
31
1
24
North east ohio
I guess I should have mentioned that, yes these are bantam chicken eggs lol. And yes it's the second hatch from this incubator but, I washed everything real good with bleach water and let sit for a few days befor I put the next set of eggs in. Through this hatch I've noticed a relative humidity of about 55% and then I upped it to what it currently is, 67%.
 

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