Monday, May 21, 2012

Hatching Fail

Ok, yesterday was day twenty-three, and not a peep or slightest sign of pipping.  For those of you not familiar with egg hatching / incubating, chicken eggs take twenty-one days from the time they start the incubation process to the time they start hatching.

It didn't bode very well when I first
candled this batch, so I suppose it's not that big of a surprise that none of them hatched.  But what the heck was I doing wrong??

So I did what any other curious homesteading chicken raising weirdo does.  I cracked open what I
thought were the viable eggs on the evening of day twenty-three.  And of the seven "maybe good" eggs, four of them had half-developed chicks, the others had black blobs attached to the yolks.  So some of them developed more than others, but then just stopped.

I am still not sure what I did wrong.  I've successfully hatched out at least five batches of eggs in the past, three of which I used this exact incubator, the same themometer (with humidity level) and even had the incubator in the exact location as the other times.  There was a day that I noticed that the humidity was in the low 40's, but I corrected that within a 24 hour period.  

I started collecting eggs again and started the spare incubator up with another forty-seven eggs in it on the 13th of May.  I'm going to candle them in a few more days.  If the viable to dud egg ratio is as bad as it was this time I'm just going to toss them all so I don't have to keep watch over them for two more weeks for nothing.  

And since it seems that I'm a glutton for punishment, I have these questionable items in the incubator:

One of Paul's co-workers was brush hogging last week and came upon ran over a pile of turkey eggs so he put them in a box with towels an brought them to Paul.  I have no idea how long they were without warmth, and of course don't know how long they've been set on by the turkey hen, but I figured what the heck and put them in the incubator. I'll give them the full twenty-five days in the incubator not knowing how far along they are, and cross my fingers that some hatch.  I just hope that they don't explode!


  1. So Funny on the exploding! I would be thinking the same thing. Turkey eggs seem harder to do so I bet they work for you! Always seems like opposite things happen in my world and that would just go to reason they will work since you've had unusual luck with the chicken eggs. My incubator gives me fits on occasion too, but then again..maybe its the eggs. Never hurts to keep trying. Good Luck!

  2. For some reason, I thought turkeys laid their eggs in a nest a little bit above ground. Now I'm wondering if we ran over some while brush hogging the field.

  3. Sorry about the eggs not hatching, that has to be disappointing. I hope you have better luck with the turkey eggs and the new batch of chicken eggs!

  4. Hmmm... I am anxious to see what happens with those eggs! Hopefully they do better than your non-hatching eggs. I am totally unknowing about having chickens that lay eggs for chicks... Someday though...

  5. I'm eager to see the other commenters too, I know nothing about hatching them out but want to know for future! Good luck :)

  6. The turkey eggs are a great find - this will be exciting to see how they turn out!

  7. I don't know if it will make you feel better or not, but in the last couple of years we've noticed that our goose and chicken eggs (even when incubated by "the real thing") have had very low hatch rates.

    Also when hubby was teaching, he hatched out two incubators in his classroom each year, one of chickens and one of ducks. Those, too, the last few years had bad hatch rates. What does this mean?????