What the Heck Went WRONG ? New Incubator ?


9 Years
Aug 11, 2010
OK, I have a little business with quail and other game birds. I have been hatching small batches of Coturnix quail for awhile now, with about a 50-60% hatch rate in a little Hova Bator. Recently I swallowed hard and spent the $650.00 on a digital GQF SPortsman 1502. On the last batches of 9 eggs my hatch rate leaped to 100%. The Sportsman is fantastic. The issue is that the chicks are not healthy. Out of the last 9, it soon became apparent that they were sickly, with curled toes, splayed legs, and they began dying at the rate of one per day. Stretched out on the brooder floor, dead. Two of the chicks from Friday have flourished, gaining weight and acting like the other 1000 chicks I have hatched over the years, and I cull any deformed chicks quickly, so it is not a change in my brood stock. These are my eggs. Another batch 4 of the 9 died within days after hatching. I was wondering if anyone had a similar issue when they stepped up to a Sportsman? It also may be too cold for the chicks in the barn, its been down in the mid 30s here and we had frost one night. I used to brood them in my garage, but moved everything to the little barn out back. Same feed, same layers, same everything except the incubator. Getting frustrated, and I about to unpack the Hova Bator and try a hatch to see if it is the Sportsman.
Could you just need some new blood? Is that a possibility? Sounds like the hatch rate is good, but the healthy rate is poor. I dunno. Sorry I can't help. I'm still trying to figure out why my last 4 hatches have turned out crap
Maybe it's the weather change...I've never had such poor hatches. One 0% from shipped eggs that I REALLY REALLY WANTED!!!!!! It is SOOOO frustrating! I almost cried!
emvickrey might discuss this with you she described your problem to me in her hatch, maybe with enough people experiencing the same thing and comparing notes you can figure out whats wrong.
I don't know what the hatching tray looks like, but the flooring would probably be an issue if it isn't the 1/8 * 1/8 flooring.

Also, high temps and improper humidity can cause weird deformations, maybe double and triple check? If all else fails, put one batch in the hova and one in the 1502 and see if it is truly the blood, which could be the culprit.
Sounds Like New Bator Syndrome....

With Every New Fangled Gadget There's Always A Learning Curve. You Have Gotten So Used To The Hova That It Is Second Nature, But That Bright Shiney New Sportsman Is Not Your Trusty Old Hova... There Will Be A Learning Curve To Each And Every Incubator You Ever Use. The Deformities You Mention Do Sounds Most Likely To Be Humidity Related. Especially If Everything(breeder Stock, Feed, Etc) Is The Same And The Results Are Different--- This Would Certainly Be The Learning Curve With The New Bator. Also Here's A Lil Something I Noticed When I Started With Cabinet Vs Cooler-bator Last Yr--- Often Times The Cabinet Is So Efficient And Good That It Will Actually Allow Weaker Chicks To Hatch... Chicks That Would Not Have Hatched In Your Old Cooler-bator. So Your Hatch Rate Increases, But So Does Your Chick Mortality Rate!this Is Because They Were Weak Or Faulty In Some Way And Would Not Have Hatched In The Hova, But Since Your Sportsmanis A Better Incubatoin Environment For Whatever Reasons The Weaklings Actually Make It Out Of The Egg But Eventually Succumb To Their Design Flaws And Die. Also Personally I Snatch The Lil Boogerz Out Of The Hatcher As Soon As They Are Dry... Cabinets Make It Awful Easy To Say "i'll Get Them Out Later..."
I love my cabinet incubator. I also love my hovabator. SO I use both
And then there is the Tophatch
Great hatches, if shipping wasn't the cause...great hatches with my own eggs at least

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