Help Hatching Eggs
Hoping you could help me as I am having trouble with hatching live
chicks from our eggs.
The incubator is an air movement type and we have checked the temperature several times with a good quality mercury thermometer and it seems perfect.
One has hatched and is healthy and strong, the others, some have gone to 21 days but didn't hatch, were fully formed, some only got as far as 6 days.
I have your trouble shooting guide; we have checked most of the things we can think of and as of yet we have no way of checking humidity and maybe need to get something to measure this hope you can help.
MEG: Hi Brenda
First, I would look at the quality of the eggs you are using. They must be less than 10 days old, and stored in a shady, cool (not cold) place, pointy end down, and tilted daily (e.g. in an egg carton with alternate ends elevated each day). Bought fertile eggs often have poor quality control so that might be your problem for the "quitters".
Check the hygiene of your incubator. All should be scrupulously cleaned between batches but foam ones are impossible to get really clean... so contamination
may be an issue.
Is the temp dropping at night? Check that. Also the humidity needs to be high for hatching (70%) and is the single biggest mistake people make...
opening the lid too often at hatching and letting the humidity out. Dried out eggs can't hatch, so the bubbies die fully formed in the shell. Ideally
for chickens you should shut the lid at day 18 and not open it again till the first chicks are 24 hours old ~ 4 days later. Make sure your humidity reservoir is deep enough not to dry out during this time. When you do, give all still in there a quick spray of warm water and replace the lid
for another 24 hours.
Hope that helps!
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