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#115710 - 05/03/16 06:58 AM Re: Why not help chicks finish hatching? [Re: Robbie]
Robbie Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 01/19/15
Posts: 258
Loc: Ontario Canada
Just one more comment- It seems that whenever I have read a University extension publication they recommend much higher rates of humidity 60%+) than what others are recommending (I've read from 30-50% RH) .
Why the difference? Any thoughts?
I have a new-to- me (used) Sportsman incubator, I tried 50% RH but the air sac still seemed too small at lockdown. Next time I'm going with 40-45% RH.

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#115711 - 05/03/16 11:33 AM Re: Why not help chicks finish hatching? [Re: Robbie]
Redcap Online   content
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 08/14/06
Posts: 952
Loc: Germany
This is no definite answer to the initial question but somehow interesting
Løtvedt, P., & Jensen, P. (2014). Effects of Hatching Time on Behavior and Weight Development of Chickens. PLoS ONE, 9(7), e103040.
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0103040
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#115817 - 06/08/16 06:57 AM Re: Why not help chicks finish hatching? [Re: Redcap]
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
This is one of those endless debates, do I help? Don't I?

My own feelings are that I help. Here is why.

An INCUBATOR is an artificial contraption that we place eggs in and hope like crazy and cross our fingers that it mimics a hen. But it does not. A hen does NOT blow hot air on her eggs. She does not carry water to them in a little bucket and add humidity. Yet in an incubator we do both of those unnatural and perhaps ridiculous things to an egg. We place it in a completely artificial environment. And when OUR invention (the bator) fails to do it's job properly (and most of them do fail) we blame the chick for being weak and condemn him to death by not helping.

TO me this seems to be blaming the chick for our own failure. Oh, the chick didn't hatch because he's weak. Maybe not. Maybe the chick didn't hatch because your incubator is stupid and it's a miracle that anything hatched at all!

So I will help a chick hatch because the slow hatchers get stuck and it does NOT matter what the humidity is, the slow ones get stuck. Period. So it's not that they are 'weak' just that they get glued in, and that is a situation that they cannot control and cannot be blamed for. So I help.

If they are floppy and pitiful, as per the wise advise of CJR that she gave many years ago, I give them a little cod liver oil. With heat, water and some cod oil, if they do not perk up, I will cull them. But I think since I am the one who set those eggs in a bator, it is not right to blame the eggs for being 'weak' if they have a hard time hatching. So I help. I DO NOT help eggs under a hen, because everything about how she hatches is perfect and eggs that do not hatch there are not meant to - in my opinion.

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#115821 - 06/11/16 09:15 AM Re: Why not help chicks finish hatching? [Re: Uno]
Robbie Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 01/19/15
Posts: 258
Loc: Ontario Canada
Just like the perfect incubator, you need the perfect broody. I suspected my Cornish hens were too big to incubate well, and I was right! They have crushed eggs onto the others, so much for that hatch. I think chickens were not meant to be 8 pounds.
At least my Sportsman leaves the eggs whole ;-)

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