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Author Topic: Incubator possibly too dry and birds are stuck in egg  (Read 1122 times)

Offline wonder

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Incubator possibly too dry and birds are stuck in egg
« on: May 21, 2020, 08:49:28 AM »
Had some challenges the first time I attempted to raise chicks from eggs before our Rooster was eaten and I only had about a 40% success rate.  Second batch with a different Rooster about the same.  Just had my first turkey egg poult pop out with it's beak and it died in the egg too?  I have kept up with the humidity and tried to only look thru the view window and not let moisture out.  Followed the instructions on the machine to the tee but still losing birds stuck in the egg?  Any experts out there with some constructive advice?

Offline Machias

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Re: Incubator possibly too dry and birds are stuck in egg
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2020, 09:15:44 AM »
Not an expert at all, but I have read if you crack open the incubator at all even for a second or two it seals the chicks in the eggs and they cannot get out.
Fred Moyer


History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.

Offline calebw

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Re: Incubator possibly too dry and birds are stuck in egg
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2020, 11:19:45 AM »
Not an expert either but recently hatched some chickens without loosing any in the shell.
From what i understand day 1-19 45% relative humidity, day 19-first pip 65-70%. once they start to pip the incubator cant be opened up until there are no eggs with holes in them.When they start to hatch open the air vents all the way. If you open it up to take chicks out while the other eggs are pipped they can get stuck.
also make sure to calibrate the temp and rh meters before using every time.

Offline Birdguy

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Re: Incubator possibly too dry and birds are stuck in egg
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2020, 09:36:37 PM »
Had some challenges the first time I attempted to raise chicks from eggs before our Rooster was eaten and I only had about a 40% success rate.  Second batch with a different Rooster about the same.  Just had my first turkey egg poult pop out with it's beak and it died in the egg too?  I have kept up with the humidity and tried to only look thru the view window and not let moisture out.  Followed the instructions on the machine to the tee but still losing birds stuck in the egg?  Any experts out there with some constructive advice?

More info please, what kind of incubator are you using? What is the temp and humidity during incubation and hatch? Do you open during hatching or wait until all done? Do you candle or crack not hatched eggs to check for fertility? Fertility and hatching % ore two separate issues. Chicks are fine in the incubator for 48 hours no problem so try to not open it until hatching is complete. Happy to offer more when I know a bit more about your situation.

Offline wonder

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Re: Incubator possibly too dry and birds are stuck in egg
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2020, 11:57:13 AM »
I have a Little Giant #10300 incubator and Little Giant #6300 Egg Turner.  Left the temperature at Default range which is 99.5 F.  Tried to keep humidity between 70-80%.  Have attempted to candle eggs but not so good at that.  Left eggs alone once they've been laid and put into incubator.  I do have to open incubator to add more water to keep humidity levels stable so about every 3 or 4 days.  I do this quickly but notice in the instructions that they just barely pull the top off and squirt water into channels.

I am thinking this is all operator error but perhaps my egg turner is not moving enough?  Thanks

Offline Birdguy

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Re: Incubator possibly too dry and birds are stuck in egg
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2020, 07:12:05 PM »
Validate the temperature is correct. Turner should rotate about every 4 hours, hope you can see that as it happens or set the turner up out of the incubator and see how often it rotates. Eggs should be stored pointy end down and turned 30degrees or so twice a day while waiting to go into the incubator, keep them cool, less than 60degrees if possible (obviously do not freeze). See if you can put a small hole or if one already exists that you can run a straw into to fill the water channels without opening the incubator. For the bulk of the hatch you only want the humidity at 40 to 50% only raise it IF NEEDED the last few days. Generally as hatching starts the humidity will increase on its own, up to 75% is good. Most likely the chicks actually drowned in the egg after pipping with humidity that high. The air movement dries them out and you think you have a different issue.

Hope this helps and if you have any further questions do not hesitate to ask!

Offline Bango skank

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Re: Incubator possibly too dry and birds are stuck in egg
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2020, 09:50:06 PM »
Stupid question from a guy who has never raised chickens.  Couldnt you just let a broody hen sit them?

Offline wonder

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Re: Incubator possibly too dry and birds are stuck in egg
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2020, 10:16:20 PM »
Thanks for the advice.  Pretty sure it has been operator error.  Just feel bad that I get them all the way up to mature development and then lose them at the end.  Instructions just say sensor is most accurate between 60-80%.  It never specifies what you should keep them at for the duration.  Did a little more reading and sure enough the majority of experienced hatchers say humidity should be much lower than what I have been attempting.  It didn't make sense when I was doing this that a natural hatch could maintain that high of a humidity.  Hard lesson to learn.  Looking forward to trying a new batch with less humidity.  Just curious, would this same process also be valid for turkey eggs?

Much appreciated, thank you.

Offline Don_D

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Re: Incubator possibly too dry and birds are stuck in egg
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2020, 08:40:38 AM »
Stupid question from a guy who has never raised chickens.  Couldnt you just let a broody hen sit them?

That's the way I prefer to do it but some years I don't get broody hens at all or years like this year I get 3-4 of them at the same time. I made my own incubator and have a batch in it now that should be hatching over the next couple days.

Offline Machias

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Re: Incubator possibly too dry and birds are stuck in egg
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2020, 08:44:30 AM »
Sorry you lost some.  I'm hoping to do this as soon as I get power to the property.  Good luck with your future attempts.
Fred Moyer


History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.

Offline Machias

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Re: Incubator possibly too dry and birds are stuck in egg
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2020, 08:45:29 AM »
Stupid question from a guy who has never raised chickens.  Couldnt you just let a broody hen sit them?

That's the way I prefer to do it but some years I don't get broody hens at all or years like this year I get 3-4 of them at the same time. I made my own incubator and have a batch in it now that should be hatching over the next couple days.

Broody hens are worth their weight in gold.  :)
Fred Moyer


History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.

Offline Jonathan_S

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Re: Incubator possibly too dry and birds are stuck in egg
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2020, 02:09:41 PM »
I've probably hatched 5000 eggs in incubators over the last 20 years. It's very possible to have too high of humidity and that can be even more deadly than low humidity. Yes they can "shrink wrap" in a dry membrane if they aren't left in a humid environment while hatching. However, they can also drown in excess fluid once they pip the membrane prior to hatching. 40% is pretty bad for standard breed chickens. I'm not an expert on many things but I've been around a few chickens and hatched a few eggs.

Humidity should not be higher than 45-55% for the first 18 days. Around 18 days, bump it up to 55-65% until they hatch. If you're not confident in your sensor then use multiple and get an average. Humidity will begin to spike when they are hatching but don't worry because there isn't enough time for that to over-humidify the remaining unhatched eggs. As they're hatching leave them in there until they're all out or at least until there are none with exposed membranes via pip holes.

It's not rocket science but there are right and wrong ways to do it  :tup:

“Kindly do not attempt to cloud the issue with too many facts.”

Offline Birdguy

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Re: Incubator possibly too dry and birds are stuck in egg
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2020, 09:11:51 PM »
Got a few eggs going now, chicken, quail, chukar, pheasants.......

Offline Jonathan_S

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Re: Incubator possibly too dry and birds are stuck in egg
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2020, 10:08:20 PM »
Giving me PTSD thinking about hatching bobwhites. They way they all hatch out at once and need to be taught to eat/drink...then they are trying to kill each other within half a day.  Don't miss the pheasants and bobwhites  :chuckle:
“Kindly do not attempt to cloud the issue with too many facts.”

Offline Old Dog

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Re: Incubator possibly too dry and birds are stuck in egg
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2020, 11:05:12 PM »
Got a few eggs going now, chicken, quail, chukar, pheasants.......

I have the exact same set up except I only have the clear door on my hatcher.  The quail are hatched, I'm working on some chukar now.   ;)
Hunt hard and shoot straight!

 


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