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 Post subject: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:35 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 502
Hi all,

just wanted to check what other BYP people do with their settings for the RCOM 20. For my first hatch I just selected chicken and hit start. This means a pre-set 21 day hatching cycle, with the first 18 days set at 37.5C and the last 3 days at 37C. Humidity is pre set at 45% for first 18 days and last 3 days at 60%. Egg turning happens automatically every 60 mins until the last three days when turning stops.

Of the 8 eggs that developed only 2 managed to pip. The rest were perfectly formed but couldn't get out. The two that pipped came out at 20.5 days. The vet had a look at the ones that didn't hatch and said they all looked perfect and suggested we try a 20 day cycle instead so they stopped turning a day earlier.

The next hatch I set with the same temperature and humidity and hourly turning except I set it for 20 days so the humidity and temperature changed at 17 days and turning stopped at 17 days.

14 eggs developed and only 4 managed to pip and they all took between 12 hours and 24 hours to hatch.

the two that hatched from the first hatch and the 4 from the second hatch have all been very healthy and incredibly active babies. So I can't understand what is going wrong!

Are people with RCOM 20 using different manual settings? are you doing less they 60 minute automatic turns. Something different with temperature and humidity? I know there are other things which can cause low hatch rates but thought I should check what people are doing with their RCOM 20 settings as a first step.

In terms of other causes of poor hatch rates, the hens and rooster all healthy, fed with showbird mp pellets with limited treats. They free range at least a couple of hours a day and get grass and insects as well as their pellets.

Would love to know if there are other options I should be trying. At this stage I think it is mostly roosters who are managing to get out- the first two were boys and I am pretty sure at least 2 of the current 4 are roosters as well. So I am reluctant to put another batch in until I can think of some alternatives for a better hatch rate.

Any advice gratefully received :hiya:


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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:29 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:54 am
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Location: Canberra
It’s very frustrating and a really major bummer to get a result that’s below what you’d hoped for.... I know the feeling!

So what I want to know at this point is: What were the size of your air cells at hatch time?

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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:21 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

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Thanks for getting back to me Rach. The short answer is I don’t know- the longer answer is I could see the air sacs but because I wasn’t sure of what I was looking at and was anxious to get the eggs in and out of the incubator as quickly as I could when I candled at 7 and 14 days I didn’t really get an accurate sense of size other than I could see the air sacs were there. I was basically looking to see that I could see veins developing at 7 days and the eggs were pretty full and the air sacs visible at 14 days


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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:44 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Location: Canberra
If the air cell is too small then what you see are fully formed chicks that die in the shell. I’d say that the problem has been that the air cells have not developed to be big enough, meaning your humidity is too high for these eggs. Some eggs are less porous than others (they have thicker shells and/or fewer pores) and need a lower humidity level to achieve a big enough air cell. The size of the air cell is really important - it’s the chick’s breathing chamber when it internally pips. You need enough unencumbered shell to allow air flow through the pores while the chick is breathing in the air cell. Also, too much moisture left in the shell means the chick can’t turn properly and, on top of that, too much moisture impedes absorption of the blood vessels and yolk. So, it’s critical. By Day 18 the air cell should be looking like it occupies close to one third of the volume of the egg.

It will not hurt the the eggs at all if you take a bit of extra time to candle them every few days (after Day 7) to monitor air cell development. Just handle them gently. Get to know what your eggs do during incubating - candling and observation are the only ways to do that. Look up a diagram on the internet that shows you what to expect for air cell development over time for chicken eggs.

On the assumption that the air cells are too small I’d try not adding any water at all to the incubator for the first 17 days, then stop the turning and add water for 60% humidity. Give that a try.

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Blue Swedish Ducks


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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:48 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:14 pm
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Thanks rach that’s really helpful- will let you know how it goes. Would you leave the turning at once every 60mins?


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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:47 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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That should be fine for chook eggs. I’d leave it at 60 mins :)

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Cheerio, Rach
Blue Swedish Ducks


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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:50 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 502
Thanks so much :hiya:


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 Post subject: Re: RCOM 20 settings
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:00 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:54 am
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Location: Canberra
No worries. Hope you have a great result next time :)

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