Eggs in an incubator can sometimes have fully formed chicks inside which do not hatch out. Possible reasons for this may include;
- Improper storage of eggs whereby the eggs become too cold.
- Eggs not turned correctly.
- Temperature incorrect – too low or too high.
- Humidity incorrect – too low throughout incubation.
- Improper ventilation.
- Infection or disease.
- Poor diet or poorly conditioned breeding stock.
Here are some handy tips to help achieve successful hatching;
- If keeping eggs prior to incubation then store in the correct conditions.
- Turn eggs regularly prior to and during incubation (turn eggs at least 3-4 times a day and remember no egg turning in the final three days of incubation).
- Make sure eggs are stored and placed in the incubator with the small end facing down.
- Regularly check the temperature in the incubator.
- Try to maintain the correct temperature in the incubator at all times.
- Regularly check the humidity in the incubator.
- Try to maintain the correct humidity levels in the incubator at all time.
- Note that the required temperature and humidity levels are not the same throughout the whole of the incubation period.
- A wet bulb thermometer maybe a good purchase to help accurately measure the humidity and temperature levels in the incubator.
- Check that the incubator is working correctly and has a constant temperature throughout the whole of the incubator.
- Make sure that there is ventilation in the incubator and incubation room, but avoiding drafts.
- Check breeding stock are healthy and free of infection and disease.
- Feed poultry on a healthy and balanced diet – commercial pellets usually provide the poultry with their dietary requirements and grass/green vegetables provide added vitamins and minerals.
- Ensure that the incubator is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to use.