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Dead in shell :(


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#1
Cattbird

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I am trying to hatch miniature Silkies and my last 3 batches of eggs have all developed fine.. until day 20/21 then died. Yolk absorbed, in position, but not broken the air cell or pipped, they still have lots of veins in the membrane indicating that they weren't quite ready to hatch. It's been devestating performing egg-topsies on them all when I should of been putting them in the brooder  :cry:

I have one fluffy black and white baby out of the hatches at least.

Does anyone know why they die in the shell like this?

I have a theory that I'd like to share.. but remember i'm a total beginner with chickens and egg hatching so correct me please if you know different..

The eggs are from eBay. They are tiny anyway, due to their breed. I'm starting to think it's an air cell problem and either 1.) The air cell is getting damaged, detatched, or weakened in transit. The chick is able to grow bigger than it should due to the air cell being damaged. When it comes to the last days the chick absorbes the egg, gets all ready to hatch but finds herself stuck, unable to manover heself around to brake the air cell due to her size. Then perishes.
2.) Higher humidity. Higher humidity causes a smaller air cell as the liquid inside the egg cannot be evapourated as required and the air cell has no where to grow in to. So the chicks are water swamped and larger.. also sticky. Then die in shell or drown on pipping.

I am going to "Dry incubate" my next batch. But if all of the above is wrong, or dry incubating doesn't help my chicks stay smaller and be able to pip what should I do? I feel like opening all the eggs on day 20 before they die to at least give them some chance at life.. but I realise they may probably die this way to from being not ready to hatc or bleeding to death from haemorage.

Thanks for reading that essay!!

Catt.


#2
WILLOW

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Hi Catt and firstly a huge warm  :welcome:

There are many and varied reasons why chicks die in the shell at the last stage and whilst we can all hazard a guess I suppose nobody knows for sure although both your theories are possible.  I lost a duck on the very last day, it had pipped and I had to go out, when I came back it had died presumably not having the energy for that final thrust.  I have never had a brilliant hatch rate from E Bay, so of course the trauma of postage could also be a factor.  

I am sure that you'll enjoy UC and there are always folks that will try to answer your questions.  Happy posting/reading.

Bestest
Carol xxx
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#3
Fluffychooks

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Welcome to Urban Chickens Catt!

Very sorry to hear about your hatching problems.  I'm afraid I have absolutely no idea why things go wrong - I've only ever had 3 chicks which hatched under a silkie broody.  We're planning on getting an incubator so your post poses some interesting theories and hopefully someone will have more idea to set you and the rest of us on a more successful hatching rate.

:)
Nina

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#4
Dean

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My broody got off the eggs after 3 hatched, which ment four died in the shell :(


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#5
daniellesdogs

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iv got a auto incubator and a poly falsed air incubator. the 12 first hatch in poli all died in last days, then 2nd i got 3 but 1 died, my auto we got 12 healthy chicks out of 40 but my step dad didnt fill the water up half way through we think that why so low hach rate im trying again see what happens.

#6
cerniach

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Hi Catt - your inci is too wett - your humidity is too high. It needs to have water during the incubation period but you only top up every other day. That depends on the weather - I know it sounds mad but if it's dry outside - dont put too much water in. This last few days it's been really nice - so I only topped up on day of hatching - 29 out of 44 - not bad for this time of year. Please pm me if you would like more info - I have 10 inci's & hatch about 3,000 a year.Sarah :?:

#7
Cattbird

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Thanks Sarah,

What's an 'Inci'?

I'm going to bring the humidity right down for this hatch, so really hoping that was the problem and some hatch!

Thank you.


#8
haycroft

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hi
sorry about your chicks

i have a pekin who has gone broody three times this year...first clutch,survived 3 out of three(had my own cockeral at this time)

second clutch, bought eggs from ebay...put 6 under her..some werent fertile,after i had candled them some died at different stages of development..i had two surviving ones but had to help one hatch out...after a couple of days they died
myself and broody was upset

now my broody is raising three unrelated chicks, which i got locally

its just trial and error, sorry i cant give any advicelp

#9
Dean

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Cattbird said:

Thanks Sarah,

What's an 'Inci'?

Thank you.

Incubator  ;)


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#10
thecraftycockney

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More chicks die through too high humidity than too low.
Its such a science, it depends on where your inci is situated and the room temp the outside humidity etc.
When chicks start to hatch they are wet thus causing more moisture in the inci plus what you have added and bingo they drown in their egg.
Also if they pip at the wrong end they will die.

I keep mine at 35 % and hatch at 45% I also take the trays out for 15 mins a day to cool then put back in. on day 19 I fill up the water to get my 45% and my hatches are almost 90-100 % every time.
Every incubator is different and every hatch is different.
Once you find your best hatch make sure you keep a note of what you did the humidity etc so you can refer back.

#11
Dean

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thecraftycockney said:

More chicks die through too high humidity than too low.
Its such a science, it depends on where your inci is situated and the room temp the outside humidity etc.
When chicks start to hatch they are wet thus causing more moisture in the inci plus what you have added and bingo they drown in their egg.
Also if they pip at the wrong end they will die.

I keep mine at 35 % and hatch at 45% I also take the trays out for 15 mins a day to cool then put back in. on day 19 I fill up the water to get my 45% and my hatches are almost 90-100 % every time.
Every incubator is different and every hatch is different.
Once you find your best hatch make sure you keep a note of what you did the humidity etc so you can refer back.

That's a great hatch rate, when i hatch again i will try your method


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#12
Cattbird

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thecraftycockney said:

More chicks die through too high humidity than too low.
Its such a science, it depends on where your inci is situated and the room temp the outside humidity etc.
When chicks start to hatch they are wet thus causing more moisture in the inci plus what you have added and bingo they drown in their egg.
Also if they pip at the wrong end they will die.

I keep mine at 35 % and hatch at 45% I also take the trays out for 15 mins a day to cool then put back in. on day 19 I fill up the water to get my 45% and my hatches are almost 90-100 % every time.
Every incubator is different and every hatch is different.
Once you find your best hatch make sure you keep a note of what you did the humidity etc so you can refer back.


Thanks for that.
It's spot on as my last attempt I tried dry incubation, and kept the humidity around 30, no higher than 35. On lockdown It rose to 45-50. I had 100% hatch rate. All those poor chick babies that I murdered!! :P


#13
kelloggs

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after reading all these posts, incubators all seem so complicated :?: think I'll stick to my broody girls  ;) they always do a fantastic job :)

#14
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Hi and welcome from me. My first attempt at incubating with a homemade affair resulted in 2 hatching from 12! It was heartbreaking having seen the eggs rock and then not hatch. My current inci is a Brinsea mini eco which does not have any way of measuring the humidity so you just have to top up and trust it i guess. Its all trial and error. Good luck with any future hatches

Gill




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