Hatching problems

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Hatching problems

Postby Kevandmum » Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:15 pm


I have a Brinsea stillair incubator which I used for the first time in Aug with 14 eggs from our own chickens. 100% hatch. Did the same the next time and success again. My son is also involved so he was keeping a close eye on temp etc but I think it was maybe a little high. For the 3rd batch I had bought fertile eggs to add to our own and fill up the incubator. We had trouble keeping the temp correct and had a poor result 6/35 which look to be roosters and from none of the bought eggs. All problems were heat related: not pipping, not hatching, deformed toes, egg sack not absorbed, and wry neck. Quite sad.
Tried again but this time 12 bought eggs under a good broody hen, 10 bought eggs and 13 own eggs in the incubator in a draft free room under strict temp control. Top of the egg 39.2o using alcohol thermometer from incubator and middle of egg 37.5o using digital temp probe. Humidity about 50% until lockdown then about 70% +

Result was confusing. Pipping started on day 18 with healthy chick hatching next day. By day 20 there were 10 of our own, 3 bought ones (1 healthy, other 2 with yolk sack and intestines out) in the incubator. There are 2 more hatching now (day 21) but taking ages and the remaining eggs not doing anything. The hen had a dead chick on day 18 then another 3 which seemed to all have the unabsorbed yolk problem. She has 3 live ones and the remaining eggs aren’t doing anything. I thought by using a hen she would be the perfect incubator.
Could the bought eggs be having inbreeding issues? They didn’t go through the post.
I’m still not convinced that the incubator temp is correct. How to manage this?
At what point should I intervene with the remaining chicks which are trying to hatch? I thinks it’s been about 24 hrs. Kind of reluctant in case the yolk is not absorbed.
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Re: Hatching problems

Postby Marina » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:39 am

How are the hens who laid your bought eggs kept? What are they fed?

There are far too many variables including the age of the eggs when you got them. Fact is that most bought eggs aren't as good as your own.

I run my incubator at a slightly lower than recommended temperature - 37.4 instead of 37.5 in a forced air incubator. Unabsorbed yolk sac points to temperature too high, so do crooked toes.

During the incubation period there are bound to be temperature variations and I find that if the temperature is too high, even if it is only for a short time, the hatching success is compromised. By keeping the temperature just that little bit lower there is a bit of wriggle room on a hot day.

Also as the season wears on hens will deplete their stores of whatever needs to go into an egg to produce a healthy chick.

Brinsea is a good incubator brand so there shouldn't be any issues with inconsistent temperatures within the incubator. The cheap Chinese incubators have hot spots and cool spots.
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