What did I do wrong?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Jungleexplorer, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 19, 2012
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    I just spent $100 on twenty special gamefowl chicken eggs and only one hatched. I need to know what I did wrong before I try again. Here is a detail description of what did.

    Equipment: Brand new 1588 Genesis Pre-set Thermostat with automatic egg turner. \

    My incubator was in the house in my kitchen and I have central A/C and heat with the thermostat set to 70 degrees. I monitored the internal temperature and humidity of the incubator with my Ambient Weather radio controlled outdoor sensor. The average temperature of the incubator for the first 18 days stayed between 99.5 and 99.9 degrees and the humidity stay between 40% and 55%. It did drop down to 10% for maybe an hour when it ran out of water before I discovered it.

    1. I stabilized the temperature (preset) and humidity to 45% (average) for 24 hours prior to putting the eggs in.
    2. I put all the eggs in with the pointy or small end down.
    3. I left the eggs alone for the next 18 days and only opened the incubator to add water (about 5 times).
    4. On day 18 I took the egg turner out and increased the humidity to between 70 and 80% and placed a layer of newspaper over the wire mesh. For some reason the internal temperature dropped to 98.5 to 98.9 degrees after the change on day 18.



    On day 21 one chick hatched, but I did not open the incubator and left the incubator closed for another 36 hours before opening it to do a light test to see what was going on. The light test revealed 9 eggs that never started to develop. 1 egg had developed about 25%, 1 egg had developed about 50%, 2 eggs were about 80% developed and 6 eggs were fully developed but did not hatch and were all dead.

    What went wrong? I read and read and read and followed everything read to a T. It just can't be this hard to incubate eggs! After spending $300 on eggs and incubation equipment, I have one chick to show for it (it had better lay golden eggs).

    I want to try again, but until I know what killed my chick I am too afraid to try. Please help!
     
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Colmesneil,TX
    I can't see one thing that you did wrong. BUT - it's possible that your humidity sensor was wrong. There's a really easy way to test them. Put some salt in a bowl, not critical how much, around 1/2 to 1 inch of it. Wet it just enough so that it's like wet sand. Again, not critical but you don't want to dissolve the salt, you just want it wet.

    Put the meter and the bowl in a ziplock bag. Leave it for at least 8 hours. You can leave it there for 2 weeks if you want, the only thing is, be sure it's been at least 8 hours, then check the humidity. If it doesn't say 75%, then it's off. But that's no real problem. If it says, say 65% then just add 10 whenever you read it. Or if it says 70% then add 5 when you read it. There you are, calibrated.

    If the eggs were mailed to you, that's kind of the way it goes with shipped eggs. If the hygrometer was way off, then there's your answer. Sounds most likely since you did have some develop and only die close to hatching.
     
  3. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 19, 2012
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    Thanks for the advice. The sensor has always been pretty close to the local weather report, but I will definitely test it as you have recomended.
     
  4. Patchesnposies

    Patchesnposies Chickens.....are my ONE weakness!

    Mar 5, 2008
    Southern New Mexico
    Oh dear, my heart hurts for you! I take things really personally, too, when I have a bad hatch. I don't rest until I figure out where I went wrong.

    When I started incubating I really wanted Serama's. I figured if a hen can hatch eggs (and heck they don't even have enough sense not to poop on them!) surely I could do it. I spent gobs of money and bought hatching eggs from all over the US.....and most of my hatches were dismal. Then, I started figuring out what quirks were particular to my incubator and my area of the country (very dry here) and started being able to tweak my incubating and started having better hatches.

    There is always the added possibility of eggs being manhandled en route (unless you buy them locally) or x-rayed.....or exposed to temps that are too high or too low. Buying shipped eggs is always a risk. I have had excellent hatches of shipped eggs as well.

    My suggestion would be to try incubating several batches of eggs until you understand your set up perfectly and try to use eggs that aren't shipped to see if you have better luck with local eggs. Then try (maybe) less expensive eggs and once you feel you ready you can try the more expensive eggs.

    Good Luck!
     
  5. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did the test and after 15 hours my sensor said 74% humidity. So, it almost dead on. Now I know I can trust it, but I still have no idea what went wrong, and if I don't know what went wrong, I can't correct or learn from my mistake.

    What I do know is this; 11 out of 20 eggs did start to develop. This tells me that at least 11 of the eggs were fertile and capable of being hatched out. The one chick that only developed 25% and the one that developed only 50% I will say they were just early quiters. But that leaves me with explaining why 7 eggs that were almost fully developed died just days before hatching. It seems to me that the error must have been what I did on day 18. Either my humidity was too high or I should have left the turner in longer or maybe even putting the newspaper over the wire mesh floor might have done something. I have never done this before, so these are just my guesses.

    The little chick that could.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  6. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 19, 2012
    Abilene, Texas
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