Incubation Troubleshooting

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Maximum hatchability requires fresh eggs from well-bred and properly managed flocks. However, egg care and incubation is even more critical.

What follows is an analysis of common problems seen during this type of project. Check on the problem for a discussion of the possible causes and how they may be corrected.

Problem #1: Eggs clear - no blood rings, no embryonic development Causes:

  • Eggs infertile.
  • Eggs damaged by being either badly chilled or overheated.
  • Eggs held too long or held under improper conditions.

Correction:

o Keep eggs under proper temperature and humidity conditions and set within seven (7) days after date laid. o Get eggs from another source.

Problem #2: Eggs candling clear but showing blood ring or very small embryo when broken-out. . Causes:

  • Badly chilled eggs or eggs overheated or held at too high a temperature.
  • Improper incubator temperature at earliest stage of incubation.
  • Eggs held too long or held under improper conditions of temperature and humidity.

Correction:

o Protect eggs against freezing temperatures, gather eggs often, cool properly and quickly; hold eggs under conditions recommended by breeder. o Check accuracy of thermometer. Operate incubator at proper temperature. o Keep eggs under proper temperature and humidity conditions and set them within seven (7) days after date laid.

Problem #3: Early dead embryos during one to six days into incubation. Causes:

  • Temperature too high or too low in incubation.
  • Lack of ventilation.
  • Improper turning of eggs.

Correction:

o Check accuracy of thermometer. Operate incubator at proper temperature. o Provide adequate ventilation of the incubator room and proper openings of the incubator ventilators. Do not recirculate air. Supply 100 percent fresh, tempered air. o Turn eggs at regular intervals 3 times daily.


Problem #4: Any considerable number of embryos dead from the sixth through the sixteenth days of incubation (normally this is a period of relatively low embryonic death). Causes:

  • Incubator temperature too high.
  • Infected embryos either by infection from hens, or especially, by external microbial contamination through shell.
  • Lack of ventilation.

Correction:

  • Check accuracy of thermometer. Operate incubator at proper temperature.
  • Provide adequate ventilation of the incubator room and proper openings of the incubator ventilators.

Problem #5: Chicks fully formed, but dead without pipping. May have considerable quantities of unabsorbed yolk. Causes:

  • Low average humidity in incubator.
  • See probable causes in problem #3 above.
  • Chilled eggs.

Correction:

  • Maintain proper humidity throughout incubation cycle.
  • Gather eggs quickly, cool properly and hold under proper conditions.

Problem #6: Eggs pipped, but chicks dead in shell. Causes:

  • Low average humidity.
  • Inadequate ventilation.
  • Excessive high temperature for a short period.
  • Low average temperature.

Correction:

  • Maintain proper humidity levels throughout incubation cycle.
  • Provide adequate ventilation of the incubator room and proper openings of the incubator ventilators.
  • Guard against temperature surge.
  • Maintain proper temperature throughout incubation cycle.

Problem #7: Sticky chicks - chicks smeared with egg contents. Causes:

  • Low average temperature
  • Average humidity too high.
  • Inadequate ventilation.

Correction:

o Use proper operating temperature. o Maintain proper humidity levels throughout incubation cycle. o Provide adequate ventilation of the incubator room and proper openings of the incubator ventilators


Problem #8: Dry sticks - shell sticking to chicks. Causes:

  • Eggs dried down too much.
  • Low humidity at hatching time.
  • Improper egg turning.

Correction:

o Maintain proper humidity levels during egg-holding period and throughout incubation cycle. Do not over-ventilate. o Proper humidity levels throughout incubation cycle. o Turn eggs hourly or at least at regular intervals eight times daily.


Problem #9: Chicks hatching too early with bloody navels. Causes:

  • Temperature too high.

Correction:

o Maintain proper temperature levels throughout incubation cycle.


Problem #10: Large, soft-bodies, mushy chicks dead on trays with bad odor. Causes:

  • Low average temperature.
  • Poor ventilation in incubator.
  • Humidity too high during incubation.

Correction:

o Maintain proper temperature throughout incubation cycle. o Provide proper ventilation of the incubator room and proper opening of the incubator ventilators. o Maintain proper humidity levels throughout incubation cycle.


Problem #11: Short down on chicks or eyelids stuck closed with down. Causes: .

o High temperature. o Low humidity. o Excessive ventilation in the incubator at hatching time. o Holding chicks in incubator too long after they hatch.

Correction:

  • Maintain proper temperature levels throughout incubation cycle.
  • Maintain proper humidity levels throughout incubation cycle.
  • Reduce openings of incubator ventilators. Do not restrict so far as to permit animal heat to push temperature above safe level.
  • Remove chicks as soon as they are fluffed and ready.


Problem #12: Delayed hatch - eggs not starting to pip until 21st day or later. Causes:

  • Average temperature too low in the incubator.
  • Eggs held too long.

Correction:

  • Maintain correct temperature levels throughout incubation cycle.
  • Before placing them in the incubator, try not to hold eggs more than seven days and then only if holding conditions are ideal.


Problem #13: Malformed chicks in poor hatch, usually associated with an excessive number of chicks dead in shell, with a high incidence of malpositions. Causes:

  • Eggs held too long before setting, even under good conditions, or eggs held at length of time at improper levels of temperature and/or humidity.
  • Eggs chilled before setting.
  • Improper turning or setting
  • Inadequate ventilation
  • Abnormally high or abnormally low incubator temperature.
  • Insufficient moisture.
  • Damage to eggs in shipment caused by jarring or shipping them with large end down.
  • Eggs from poor quality stock.

Correction:

  • Try not to hold eggs more than seven days if at all possible and then only if holding conditions are ideal.
  • Gather eggs quickly, cool properly before casing, and hold under proper conditions.
  • Provide adequate ventilation of the incubator room and proper openings of the incubator ventilators. Do not recirculate air. Supply 100% fresh, tempered air.
  • Maintain proper temperature levels throughout the incubation cycle.
  • Maintain proper humidity levels throughout the incubation cycle.
  • Hatching eggs must be shipping good quality, well-protected egg cases or equivalent, with small end down. Avoid rough

rough handling.

Sources

Embryology.com

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