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8. Troubleshooting

Problem  Possible Causes
Chicks hatch late
  • Large Eggs
  • Old Breeding Stock
  • Eggs have been stored for too long
  • Weak embryos
  • Inbreeding
  • Incubator Humidity too high
Slow (drawn-out) hatch
  • Mix of eggs (different sizes, different aged breeding stock, different storage times)
  • Poor egg handling
  • Hot or cold spots in the incubator
  • Incubator or Hatcher temperature too high or low
Sticky Chicks, smeared with Albumen (Egg white)
  • Low incubation temperature
  • High incubation humidity
  • Poor egg turning
  • Old eggs
  • Very large eggs
Chicks stuck in shell, dry, shell fragment stuck to feathers
  • Low humidity in storage
  • Poor egg turning
  • Cracked shell or poor shell quality
Premature hatching, bloody navels
  • Temperature too high
Small chicks
  • Small eggs
  • Low humidity
  • High temperature
  • High altitude
  • Thin, porous shells
Unhealed naval, dry, rough down feathers
  • High incubator temperature or temperature fluctuations
  • Humidity too high when hatching
  • Inadequate nutrition
Weak Chicks
  • High hatching temperature
  • Poor hatcher ventilation
  • Contamination
Chicks malpositioned
  • Eggs sat small end up position
  • Inadequate turning
  • Excessive turning at late stages
  • Too high or too low temperature
  • High humidity
  • Old breeders
  • Round shaped eggs
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Retarded development
  • Poor egg handling or storage conditions
  • Poor storage conditions
  • Jarring of eggs
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Inadequate turning
  • High or low temperature
  • Inadequate ventilation
Crooked toes, bent legs
  • High or low temperature
  • Poor nutrition (especially vitamin B)
Short down, wiry down
  • Nutritional deficiencies (especially riboflavin)
  • High incubation temperature
Eyes closed, down stuck to eyes
  • Temperature too high in hatcher
  • Chicks remain in hatcher too long after hatching
  • Excessive air movement in hatcher
Exploding eggs
  • Dirty eggs from nest
  • Eggs not washed properly
  • Water condensation on eggs
  • Water sprayed on eggs
  • Contamination from earlier exploders
  • Contaminations from handling with dirty hands
Dwarf embryos, runts in growing chicks
  • Egg contaminations
  • Breeder diseases
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Incubator or hatcher temperature too high
  • Rough handling at transfer
  • Nutritional deficiencies (vitamin K or E)
  • Contamination
Swollen head and back of neck
  • Nutritional deficiencies
Small air cell, egg weight loss under 10%
  • High humidity
  • Very thick shells
  • Low temperature
Exposed brain
  • High incubation temperature
  • Low oxygen levels
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