What Happened to My HATCH?! Advice Please


9 Years
Mar 6, 2011
Titusville, Fl.
This is my 3rd hatch so I am still pretty new but my first two hatches were very successful and this one went WAY SOUTH.

My incubator was a 1620n, still air with an egg turner.

I started with 41 shipped eggs (13 EE and 28 Millie Fleur d'Uccles). When they arrived they were all individually wrapped in bubble wrap and then packed in pine shavings. All were in tact.

The temps and humidity were very standard and stable. 99.5-100.5 degrees and humidity 25-40%. At day 9 I DID add 20 eggs to the incubator from another breeder but I had removed several of the first batch already due to lack of development.

On day 18, I candled and locked down only 22 eggs (9 EE and 13 d'Uccles). I laid them in the incubator on their side out of the turner. The additional eggs were placed to the side. I cracked the bator once on day 18 and twice on day 19 and rolled the extra eggs to "turn" them. There were no pips etc at that time. Humidity was around 65%

Very early on day 21 (1245 am) I heard some peeping from the eggs.

Day 22- 4 d'uccles hatched, 1 EE hatched
Day 23- 2 more d'uccles

Today (day 23) I candled the remaining eggs, determined none to be viable and opened them. Most had fully formed babies without absorbed yolk sacs. 2 had internal pips. Only 1 looked like it had quit earlier than the others.

SOOOOO.. the big question.. What happened to these babies?? The air cells were irregular shaped and "loose". Is this just from shipping? I do NOT want a repeat of this and would like to find a solution and be SURE it isn't something I did wrong.

Thank you!
irregular and loose air sacs occur during shipping. There's really no way around it. I have had better luck keeping the eggs upright (pointy end down) in an egg carton for hatching, vs. laying them on their sides.

With your delayed hatch and unabsorbed yolks, I'm going to say your temperatures were too low.

***Still air incubators need to run hotter, around 101 - 102 degrees F.

Another thing I like to do is not turn the turner on until about the fourth day of incubation to allow the delicate veins time to develop.

Also, you mentioned you opened the incubator on day 19 to turn your other eggs. They would have been fine for a few days of not being turned to allow the other eggs to hatch first.
I forgot to add that I KNOW my thermometer went out the 20th day for a bit. I went to Wal-Mart and got a new digital one, put it in and it quickly went up to the 99 degrees. These are 99 at the center of the egg so I am sure the top of the egg is slightly warmer. I am following the directions with my bator that I have used for the other hatches successfully.

https://www.gqfmfg.com/pdf/Thermal Hova-Bator instructions.pdf

If the temps were just slightly too low would it cause so many to die? OR.. if it were the air cells alone would they have stopped developing as soon as I laid them down on their side for lock down or should they not have gotten so far?

I am a science teacher so to me the "reason" for this is very important for me
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I agree with Cuban! I have a forced air and keep the temps at 99.5. I believe in still air they are supposed to be higher than that. And, in addition, I just had a really bad hatch with shipped eggs that had very bad air cells and/or were not fertile. I guess chock it up to you win some, you lose some? I know it stinks, but hang in there. If you have had two good hatches, I'm sure this was just a fluke. I know how disappointing it can be though. Is there anyway you can do a local pick up of eggs from someone? I found someone here on BYC who was close enough for me to meet (Thanks Mjchickens) and I just picked them up. I am hoping to have a much better hatch rate. Good luck on your next hatching though. I might also have an additional thermometer so you could check the accuracy? The only other thing I can think of, but of course with you being a science teacher is probably not the case, but did you calibrate the hygrometer?
With shipped eggs, I normally expect 50% as the highest hatch rate I will get. So, if you set 41 eggs, I would expect only about 20 to hatch at the MOST.

Using the still air, the air is not the same temperature throughout the incubator during incubator. If you install a fan, your hatch will improve.
All of my hatches so far have been in this still air incubator
My first hatch was with local eggs and I got 25/30 hatch rate with only 28 making it to lock-down.

Second hatch was shipped eggs and I got about a 60% hatch between my two shipments. (80% on one batch of the two I hatched here) Most of the others were clear or quit very early which is what I figured was the shipping. 2 died in the egg and didn't hatch.

This is just REALLY odd and disappointing to me to have so many die so close to hatch date. It seems like the must have died just a few days BEFORE they were due. Could it be lack of oxygen or something or only temperature? I'm not sure when the yolk sac gets absorbed but most of the ones that died didn't have the yolk sac absorbed but were fully formed otherwise.
It sounds to me like a shipped egg issue more than anything you've done.

The thing about shipping is, it can cause damage on the cellular level that may not show until the chick is further developed, ie day 18 or so. I've had plenty that make it to 18 and 19 then quit.

My home growns get a 95% or better every time with out fail. My shipped eggs I get more like 25-50%. I incubate the same regardless.

I'll also say (please don't send me any hate pms) that of the people I know who have been trying to hatch d'uccles from shipped eggs, the rates are pretty poor.
LOL... it's funny to me that my d'uccles did better than my EE's.
I REALLY REALLY wanted those EE's to hatch. They were SO big and pretty.




I am hopeful that is JUST a shipped egg issue and I had poor luck... I will keep doing things as I am doing and hope these SQ Americana eggs make it
Again, if it's what makes your local eggs hatch well, it's not you. it's the shipping!

And thanks for the info......I was beginning to wonder about the d'uccles and shipping!
Yeah I wouldn't call 6 d'uccles out of 28 a "good hatch"...
I really want to complain about the hatch to the person I got the eggs from but I guess I shouldn't since they developed but didn't hatch. MUST be a PO issue..

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