Hi Everyone. I have just hatched out my last batch for the year and I use a Rcom20. Half of my chicks seemed to have died prior hatching. I opened up a couple of eggs and a lot of fluid came out and very little yolk was left so this tells me they died day 20 or 21. I kept my humidity at 45 for 18 days then put it up to 55 for the last 3 days. Why are these chicks drowning. I spoke to Bellsouth and they told me that the humidity has to stay the same in these machines for 21 days. My Rcom 20 is about 4 years old. Has anyone got any answers as to why this is happening or how they run their Rcom. I am feeling frustrated and sad these guys are drowning. Last time i had the humidity at 60 so i thought I would try it a bit less
Hiya Linda I used to have the same problem, Increasing the humidity too early is the problem, extra humidity as far as I can tell is only to stop the chicks getting glued up in the shell as they hatch. I now only increase it as the chicks start to hatch once the eggs are all pipped, also an absolute must is avoid opening the incubator as they are hatching as the humidity is lost and they get glued. Avoid the temptation of adding a few eggs a few days later as these too will drown when the humidity is upped for the early birds. I up my incubator to 65 as they hatch.
ikbokchook asked me to see if I could help. Hi Linda, I have an R-com 20 pro. I have only ever used it on the automatic setting for chickens. I think but would have to check somehow , that it sets itself at 45% for day 1-18 and 49% humidity for hatching. I rarely have chicks die in the shell. Maybe 1 per hatch. I have read but not noticed it myself that the auto Rcoms will drop the temp to 37 degrees & up the humidity (not sure to what) This is to compensate for the heat the chicks are making themselves. I take it you have owned & hatched from this incubator for the last 4 years? It might pay to recalibrate the temp & humidity. Also is this the first time this has happened? I've always wondered if the outside humidity could affect incubators. I have heard of incubators in regions of high humidity being run dry to compensate.
Did the chicks that did make it out hatch early or have unusual problems?
HI everyone I have hatched out of my incubator 3 times and this is the second time this has happened. Frizzle how do I recalibrate the rcom 20? My little 6 healthy chicks out of 12 hatched one day early. I have a clear lid and only open the lid after 24 hours after the hatch and put the littlies in the brooder. Its pretty smelly after 24 hrs. Thanks Linda
I have read where the Rcoms have been run dry or at low humidity for the first 18 days & the humidity ahs been upped for the hatch. What works where I am right down South of WA may be quite different to where you are. So you may have to play around with your humidity setting after calibration to get it just right. You might want to try the weighing the eggs during the first 18 days to check humidity. There are plenty of explanations for for how to do this. Here is one. www.eggincubator.biz/set-humidity.html
chick embryos develop to the pipping stage, or at first shell cracking at hatching, they are normally healthy enough to hatch unless some incubator adjustment prevents it from happening. The problem is usually caused by either 1) poor ventilation or 2) improper humidity.
The air exchange requirement within an incubator is greatest during the last day of incubation. The chick embryo's oxygen requirement continually increases during development and especially when breathing using the respiratory system just before hatching. The vent openings are frequently restricted at this time in an attempt to boost incubator humidity. Instead of helping the chick hatch, the chick is suffocated from lack of ventilation. Never decrease ventilation openings at hatching in an attempt to increase humidity. Increase humidity by other methods. If any vent adjustments are made, they should be opened more.
Another reason for mortality during hatching is improper humidity adjustment. The deaths can be produced from too much humidity during the entire incubation period or from too little humidity during the hatching period.
The desired egg weight loss during incubation caused by water evaporation is about 12 percent. If humidity during incubation is kept too high, adequate water evaporation from the egg is prevented. The chick can drown in the water remaining in the shell at hatching. A dried coating around the chick's nostrils and beak indicates that drowning was likely. Attention to maintaining proper incubation humidity during incubation will reduce the potential for this problem at hatching time.
If the humidity is allowed to decrease after the chick pips the shell, the membranes within the shell can dry-out and stick to the chick. This prevents the chick from turning inside the shell and stops the hatching process. The chick eventually dies. If the membranes around the shell opening appear dried and shrunken, the cause is probably low humidity during hatching. This condition can occur quickly (within 1 or 2 minutes) when the incubator is opened to remove or assist other chicks that are hatching. When hatching begins and proper incubator conditions are attained, the incubator should never be opened until after all chicks are hatched and ready for placement in the brooder.
Hi also consider the outside humidity as well when hatching. I read an article a lady said she never had a good hatch when it rained on the day the chicks were hatching. If the moisture content outside is high I take the water away from my incubator during hatching. regards liz
I used a hydrometer in my incubators to check the suro was way out in its humidity like 15% out it should have instuctions on how to adjust it.I have read that its best to run them at 40% right thru as well.
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