Why are no eggs developing?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by glassparman, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. glassparman

    glassparman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2008
    Mojave, CA
    OK, I bought my first little giant incubator with an auto turner and I'm trying to incubate Turkey eggs. I have one hen and one tom. He always seems to be "doing his duty" but I never seem to have any fertile eggs. At least after 12 days with no signs of development during candling, I crack them open and they have never started.

    The incubator runs around 99 but might go down a degree or two at night. Not sure about the humidity level. I'm in the desert and it is VERY dry here so I make sure the little water tracks in the incubator are full.

    Is my boy shooting blanks or do you think I'm doing something wrong?

    I have been through three batches of twelve eggs and none of them ever develop.

    I threw in some chicken eggs on the first of September to see if they develop but it is REALLY hard to candle brown eggs . . . I just can't tell.

  2. farmin'chick

    farmin'chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    Rocky Mount VA
    If you check out the thread on "fertile vs. infertile eggs" at the top of this topic, you can see pictures of how to crack open your fresh eggs and tell if you're getting fertilized eggs. It will take a few eggs to check it out, but it's easier than waiting on an incubator full of blanks. First, troubleshoot the eggs. Then troubleshoot the incubator.
  3. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 17, 2009
    My Coop
    Walmart sells a thermo/humidity for around 8.00. I would get one of those.

    Humidity may be too high or too low.

    You can always crack one open and see if it is fertile or not. If it is fertile it will have a bulls eye if not it will just have a little white dot.

    Maybe someone else can help you out more than I can.
  4. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    An incubator falling two degrees below 99 is not conducive to incubation.

    I agree troubleshoot the eggs - crack to check for fertility.

    Then get a thermometer and a hygrometer and calibrate them. So you know what your actual temp and humidity are.

    Then if yours is with a fan you want temps between 99.5 and 100.5 not lower for any real period of time.

    And if NO fan, still air, then it should be 102 degrees measured at the top of the eggs, always.

    Even if you had fertile eggs an air temperature falling into the 97 range all night long would not work out.

    That dog won't hunt...
  5. Ooopsy_daisy

    Ooopsy_daisy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2009
    Dryden, Michigan
    Quote:If you only have 1 hen and 1 tom How long are you holding onto the eggs before putting them in the bator? As anything after 6 days lessens the viability and that could be why they dont develop.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
  6. glassparman

    glassparman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2008
    Mojave, CA
    Thank you everyone for the good information as this is my first time trying to hatch.

    I did crack open the turkey eggs that had been in for 14 days and there was no sign of fertility. I cracked open a couple of fresh turkey eggs and same thing. Then the third one I opened had that little white circle so it must have been fertile. I think maybe I will just try again next spring.

    I was also dreaming up a cool idea. How do you regulate the incubator temp while you are sleeping and the house temp drops? Why not get one of those $40 digital readout swamp-cooler thermostats and rig it up to have its sensor in the incubator and the control is turning on and off the power to the incubator? If this would work it could regulate itself according to a digital readout and not just a variable resistor. The variable resistor in the Little Giant just seems too touchy. I get it set to hold at 99 during the day but then in the morning the thermometer shows that the temp is at 97.

    Maybe this low-cost digital idea might work?

    Just a thought.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
  7. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    When we build homemade incubators - a topic you might want to look up.

    We often use the lower single pole water heater thermostats.

    If your LG is not keeping temps at 102 at the top of the eggs for still air - then it doesn't matter if the egg is fertile or not - that's a no-go. If it won't work to get that high - the element is broken.

    If you're trying to set it at 99 for still air and getting a temp drop to 97 that's a few degrees too low.

    You need to calibrate whatever you are using for a thermometer.

    You need to get or make a fake egg and thermometer probe so you can gauge actual in the egg temps and ignore air temperature swings. Calibrate that thermometer too.

    Or you need to add heat sinks and get and hold your air temps between 99.5 and 100.5 for a circulated incubator and 101.5 and 102.5 in a still.

    Heat sinks can be sealed jars of water, those ice packs with gel in them, even thick slabs of stone on one side of the bator.

    I have used the water heater thermostats in my homemades with good success. I have used wafer thermostats like the LG has to good success. I have used an LG to good success. But it takes real patience. If you dink with it at every temp shift it gets cranky.

    The LG is a set it - in a stable room environment - get your median temp in the right range and let er rip kind of incubator.

    I wanted both a bigger and more well insulated incubator so first I built a MissPrissy's model cooler incubator, then another of those, then a Mini-fridge incubator - it's under speckledhen's name here, and that sucker rocks. I also then built one out of an 8 bottle wine cooler, that I love.

    I also have an antique redwood cabinet bator that I found on craigslist that I rewired, repaired and am running now.

    I say find an unworking, mini-fridge and build your own - it's not expensive, you learn a lot, they're REALLY well insulated so they hold temps AWESOMELY well. They open easy, if you put a window in the door - the visibility rocks.

    If you have the URGE to tinker - start with a better CASE. Either one of those HUGE super thick foam ice chests, or one of those really heavy duty, steak-shipping boxes, or a mini-frige or wine-cooler.

    Half your trouble is that the insulative value of an LG's foam sucks.

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