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Thoughts on my latest hatch

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

So, I just finished a batch of shipped eggs, and have some things to think about.  I ordered 24 eggs, shipped from Florida to Western Nebraska, and the USPS took 4 days. 

My initial candle showed 8 eggs with damaged air cells.  Some very loose, some saddle/ lopsided. (All but 2 of these ended up hatching. )

I left the eggs at room temp for 8-10 hours, then into the bator, (Brinsea Eco 20)  Temp on bator thermometer was stabilized at 99.5, right in the range that the manual recommends.  My other thermometers agreed.  I did not start the turner for about 60 hours after that.  Then turned the brinsea turn cradle on. 

Humidity day 1-18 goal is 30-35%

 

Day 0 is the evening of 2/13/16

 

Day 7 candle-  19 eggs show definite growth, a couple I'm not sure about, two are most definitely clears. 

 

Day 14-   tossed 3 clears, and 3 with blood rings.

 

Day 17- lock down one day early due to some saddle air cells.  Eggs water candled, 15 with definite movement.  Those that did not move were carefully candled with the light as well.  Tossed 3 more quitters.  15 eggs made it to lockdown.  I debated and read tons of threads, ultimately decided to do upright hatch in cut down egg cartons due to my saddle air cells in 3-4 eggs.  Humidity in 60-65% range. 

 

Day 20 1/2-  Hatch starts with first two eggs.  These two are moved to the brooder after they are good and dry, as there is not much room in the Brinsea.

 

Day 21-  7 /15 have hatched. Day 21 + 5 hours, I decided to pick up each egg for a quick check and candle.  I discovered several internal pips and TWO malpositions.  After a quick BYC post, I turned them over on the advice of @MeepBeep 

 

Day 22- One of the malpositioned eggs hatches by itself, as well as several others.  At the official Day 22 mark, there are 4 eggs still in the bator.  3 have life, including the malpositioned, and one seems to have pipped internally, then died. 

 

Day 22 1/2- (AM of 3/7/16)-  The malpositioned egg has made NO progress, but the chick is still alive.  I removed a little chip of shell and the membrane seemed dry.  No blood vessels encountered.  This pip was noticed Saturday evening, and this is now Monday morning.  36+ hours, as i have no idea how long it sat upside down pipped before I checked.  After a 1 1/2 hour rest, I removed a bit more shell, and this seems to be just enough to get him moving.  He proceeded to finish hatching on his own.   Monday morning 3 of the 4 remaining are hatched and the last egg is candled again, and tossed. 

 

Total hatch 14/24

Clears = 3 

 

My thoughts:

1.  I'm a messer, and it paid off in finding the two malpositioned.  May not have been an issue if I had laid the eggs down to hatch.  I lucked out, and they both hatched, only one requiring assistance. 

 

2.  Because I mess so much, I have to add water VERY frequently to maintain humidity. 

 

3.  I think my temp is too cool.  I plan to increase my temp for the next hatch, trying to get them hatching closer to day 20-21 instead of 21-23

Maybe 100- 100.2?

 

4.  I'm still torn as to whether I should hatch upright or on the side next round.  I left my egg cups attached in fours, and that worked, OK, but I think attached in twos would arrange in the brinsea better, leaving more floor space.

 

5.  I think I will weigh eggs next round.  I'm not that great at candling anyway, and I've got Welsummers coming.

 

6.  I need a standardized spreadsheet for note taking. 

 

 

What do you all think?  Thanks for your input! 

Amy

Amy
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post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by amynrichie View Post
 

So, I just finished a batch of shipped eggs, and have some things to think about.  I ordered 24 eggs, shipped from Florida to Western Nebraska, and the USPS took 4 days. 

My initial candle showed 8 eggs with damaged air cells.  Some very loose, some saddle/ lopsided. (All but 2 of these ended up hatching. )

I left the eggs at room temp for 8-10 hours, then into the bator, (Brinsea Eco 20)  Temp on bator thermometer was stabilized at 99.5, right in the range that the manual recommends.  My other thermometers agreed.  I did not start the turner for about 60 hours after that.  Then turned the brinsea turn cradle on. 

Humidity day 1-18 goal is 30-35%

 

Day 0 is the evening of 2/13/16

 

Day 7 candle-  19 eggs show definite growth, a couple I'm not sure about, two are most definitely clears. 

 

Day 14-   tossed 3 clears, and 3 with blood rings.

 

Day 17- lock down one day early due to some saddle air cells.  Eggs water candled, 15 with definite movement.  Those that did not move were carefully candled with the light as well.  Tossed 3 more quitters.  15 eggs made it to lockdown.  I debated and read tons of threads, ultimately decided to do upright hatch in cut down egg cartons due to my saddle air cells in 3-4 eggs.  Humidity in 60-65% range. 

 

Day 20 1/2-  Hatch starts with first two eggs.  These two are moved to the brooder after they are good and dry, as there is not much room in the Brinsea.

 

Day 21-  7 /15 have hatched. Day 21 + 5 hours, I decided to pick up each egg for a quick check and candle.  I discovered several internal pips and TWO malpositions.  After a quick BYC post, I turned them over on the advice of @MeepBeep 

 

Day 22- One of the malpositioned eggs hatches by itself, as well as several others.  At the official Day 22 mark, there are 4 eggs still in the bator.  3 have life, including the malpositioned, and one seems to have pipped internally, then died. 

 

Day 22 1/2- (AM of 3/7/16)-  The malpositioned egg has made NO progress, but the chick is still alive.  I removed a little chip of shell and the membrane seemed dry.  No blood vessels encountered.  This pip was noticed Saturday evening, and this is now Monday morning.  36+ hours, as i have no idea how long it sat upside down pipped before I checked.  After a 1 1/2 hour rest, I removed a bit more shell, and this seems to be just enough to get him moving.  He proceeded to finish hatching on his own.   Monday morning 3 of the 4 remaining are hatched and the last egg is candled again, and tossed. 

 

Total hatch 14/24

Clears = 3 

 

My thoughts:

1.  I'm a messer, and it paid off in finding the two malpositioned.  May not have been an issue if I had laid the eggs down to hatch.  I lucked out, and they both hatched, only one requiring assistance. 

 

2.  Because I mess so much, I have to add water VERY frequently to maintain humidity. 

 

3.  I think my temp is too cool.  I plan to increase my temp for the next hatch, trying to get them hatching closer to day 20-21 instead of 21-23

Maybe 100- 100.2?

 

4.  I'm still torn as to whether I should hatch upright or on the side next round.  I left my egg cups attached in fours, and that worked, OK, but I think attached in twos would arrange in the brinsea better, leaving more floor space.

 

5.  I think I will weigh eggs next round.  I'm not that great at candling anyway, and I've got Welsummers coming.

 

6.  I need a standardized spreadsheet for note taking. 

 

 

What do you all think?  Thanks for your input! 

Amy

Great record keeping and intuitive skills. I too am a meddler, and have no shame about it. lol  I have an LG and I usually get it to stabilize arount 100-100.7 for the average and my chicks hatch days 19/20 mostly. they are always very healthy, so I'm happy with running slightly warmer.  My broodies hatched day 20 too, so makes me wonder....

Need help incubating/hatching? Are you more a hands on hatcher? Come visit us: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081034/hands-on-hatching-and-help

A guide to hatching from the hands on perspective: http://hatching411.weebly.com/

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Need help incubating/hatching? Are you more a hands on hatcher? Come visit us: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081034/hands-on-hatching-and-help

A guide to hatching from the hands on perspective: http://hatching411.weebly.com/

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post #3 of 9
I’m not a messer. Part of it is my nature, part that I have trouble seeing inside my green eggs. Probably half the time I help a chick it dies anyway in a few days. Still if I see one in trouble I’ll help.

14 out of 24 shipped eggs isn’t bad. I’ve had 100% hatch with shipped eggs, 5 out of 5 turkey eggs. I’ve also had a 25% (1 of 4) on turkey eggs. Both were from the same person. I’ve had bad hatches and good hatches with my own eggs and eggs I got from people nearby that I picked up and brought home. Each hatch can be quite different but I’d be OK with 14 out of 24 shipped eggs.

I don’t have any strong feelings about laying them flat or having them upright. The commercial operations lay them flat but not because that is a preferred position as far as the chick when hatching. When they hatch the huge numbers of eggs they do, one big problem is getting rid of the excess heat the living chicks create. If they don’t remove the extra heat those eggs will cook themselves. Eggs laying flat expose more surface area to a breeze blowing over them so they cool better. We don’t have that problem with our small table tops though some of the bigger cabinet incubators might have some issues. I use an automatic turner with the pointy side down during incubation but lay them flat for hatching. The only reason I do it that way is that it is simpler for me.

The weighing of the eggs is what really caught my attention. I don’t weigh them myself but a couple of years back I followed a thread on here where someone kept a journal of weighing. If you decide to try it, some of the results might be interesting. I’m going by memory so I’ll try to be general.

He weighed each individual egg as he put them in the incubator and weighed each individual egg at regular intervals. He found that some eggs lost a lot of weight between weighings some hardly any. I’m not sure how accurate his scale actually was at those very tiny weight differences but there was a clear trend that some eggs lost a lot more moisture than others over the course of the incubation. That makes sense. Different eggs have different thickness of shell and different porosities. Some eggs have thicker whites than others. These can affect the rate that an individual egg loses moisture.

I can’t remember if the hatch rates were higher or lower for the eggs that lost more versus less, but a lot of that would just be where he kept his humidity if it made that much difference. I don’t remember him actually giving that information. My take-away from that is that while it would be very interesting to weight individual eggs and keep track of them if your scale is that accurate, but what you are shooting for is an average of all the eggs.

Something that was not considered, but how and how long were the eggs stored before incubation began? Eggs lose moisture while they are being stored for incubation. How much they lose depends on how and how long they are stored. Wouldn’t it be more accurate to weigh them soon after they are laid instead of when they go into the incubator? My real feel for that is that I’m splitting frog hairs, it really doesn’t matter that much unless you are storing them for a long time in pretty dry conditions. There is such a wide range of moisture loss that actually works that this is pretty insignificant. But for a messer that has a really accurate scale this might be fun to consider.

I’m assuming that you’ve had enough hatches that you have confirmed your incubator is normally late? One hatch doesn’t tell you that much. I’ve had eggs under a broody hen hatch a full two days early and I’ve had broodies hatch right on time. My incubator runs a tad warm so I never have a hatch run late (though a few are really spread out) but I’ve had the same spread in my incubator. My incubator is a pain to adjust the temperature and I get good hatches so I just live with it, though I did have to tweak it when I first got it. You are probably getting good hatches. If you tweak it I’d do a very small amount, no more than ½ degree at a time.

Thanks for posting. There is some interesting stuff there.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post

I’m not a messer. Part of it is my nature, part that I have trouble seeing inside my green eggs. Probably half the time I help a chick it dies anyway in a few days. Still if I see one in trouble I’ll help.

14 out of 24 shipped eggs isn’t bad. I’ve had 100% hatch with shipped eggs, 5 out of 5 turkey eggs. I’ve also had a 25% (1 of 4) on turkey eggs. Both were from the same person. I’ve had bad hatches and good hatches with my own eggs and eggs I got from people nearby that I picked up and brought home. Each hatch can be quite different but I’d be OK with 14 out of 24 shipped eggs.

I don’t have any strong feelings about laying them flat or having them upright. The commercial operations lay them flat but not because that is a preferred position as far as the chick when hatching. When they hatch the huge numbers of eggs they do, one big problem is getting rid of the excess heat the living chicks create. If they don’t remove the extra heat those eggs will cook themselves. Eggs laying flat expose more surface area to a breeze blowing over them so they cool better. We don’t have that problem with our small table tops though some of the bigger cabinet incubators might have some issues. I use an automatic turner with the pointy side down during incubation but lay them flat for hatching. The only reason I do it that way is that it is simpler for me.

The weighing of the eggs is what really caught my attention. I don’t weigh them myself but a couple of years back I followed a thread on here where someone kept a journal of weighing. If you decide to try it, some of the results might be interesting. I’m going by memory so I’ll try to be general.

He weighed each individual egg as he put them in the incubator and weighed each individual egg at regular intervals. He found that some eggs lost a lot of weight between weighings some hardly any. I’m not sure how accurate his scale actually was at those very tiny weight differences but there was a clear trend that some eggs lost a lot more moisture than others over the course of the incubation. That makes sense. Different eggs have different thickness of shell and different porosities. Some eggs have thicker whites than others. These can affect the rate that an individual egg loses moisture.

I can’t remember if the hatch rates were higher or lower for the eggs that lost more versus less, but a lot of that would just be where he kept his humidity if it made that much difference. I don’t remember him actually giving that information. My take-away from that is that while it would be very interesting to weight individual eggs and keep track of them if your scale is that accurate, but what you are shooting for is an average of all the eggs.

Something that was not considered, but how and how long were the eggs stored before incubation began? Eggs lose moisture while they are being stored for incubation. How much they lose depends on how and how long they are stored. Wouldn’t it be more accurate to weigh them soon after they are laid instead of when they go into the incubator? My real feel for that is that I’m splitting frog hairs, it really doesn’t matter that much unless you are storing them for a long time in pretty dry conditions. There is such a wide range of moisture loss that actually works that this is pretty insignificant. But for a messer that has a really accurate scale this might be fun to consider.

I’m assuming that you’ve had enough hatches that you have confirmed your incubator is normally late? One hatch doesn’t tell you that much. I’ve had eggs under a broody hen hatch a full two days early and I’ve had broodies hatch right on time. My incubator runs a tad warm so I never have a hatch run late (though a few are really spread out) but I’ve had the same spread in my incubator. My incubator is a pain to adjust the temperature and I get good hatches so I just live with it, though I did have to tweak it when I first got it. You are probably getting good hatches. If you tweak it I’d do a very small amount, no more than ½ degree at a time.

Thanks for posting. There is some interesting stuff there.

I always like hearing your take on things and your experience. I'm not motivated myself to deal with weighing and since air cell monitoring has worked well for me, I try not to fix what is not broken...lol. (Unless I am testing a theory.) I have to ask though, because you mention a few hatches are really spread out, do you rotate your eggs around in your bator at all? 

Because I am a candling addict I always note the comparison of development of the chicks/embryos and because I also know where the warm/cool spots in my bator are if I think a chick is a little behind I move it to the hotter area of the bator and if I think it is ahead, I'll move it to a cooler area. I know this is REALLY extreme hands on over processing....lol But it makes me feel like I am doing something. (I'm a nut case with a broody. Absolutely hate it and I swear that in real life I am not a control freak...lol Just when it comes to incubating.) I was just curious as to how many do rotate the eggs to prevent them from sitting in warm.cool spots for the duration of the incubation.

Need help incubating/hatching? Are you more a hands on hatcher? Come visit us: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081034/hands-on-hatching-and-help

A guide to hatching from the hands on perspective: http://hatching411.weebly.com/

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Need help incubating/hatching? Are you more a hands on hatcher? Come visit us: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081034/hands-on-hatching-and-help

A guide to hatching from the hands on perspective: http://hatching411.weebly.com/

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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

@Ridgerunner, @AmyLynn2374 -  Thank you both for your input.  That's what I was hoping for. 

 

I don't have any records from last year, and this is my 3rd hatch in this incubator, my first with shipped eggs.  So, I guess for the sake of accuracy- this may be considered an isolated incident.   I *think* I hatched about 36 hours early on both my chicken and turkey eggs.  Maybe.  It will take a lot more hatches to really understand the details of this incubator, and to learn from my mistakes.  (and record keeping.)

 

I don't know if weighing eggs will in fact be any benefit to me, as I am wildly inexperienced in this department.  At any rate, it will be interesting to compare the candle data to the weight loss. 

 

I believe that I may have done some egg rotating last year.  I know I did not rotate eggs more than once on this latest hatch.  That too, is interesting to think about. 

 

I had temp set for 99.5ish.  My goal for next hatch is 100.0.  Hopefully that will be a small enough adjustment that will not swing too far the other direction.  And MAYBE I can cut down on how much I open the incubator.  Although if I change too many variables at one time, I won't know what fixed the problem! 

Amy
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by amynrichie View Post
 

@Ridgerunner, @AmyLynn2374 -  Thank you both for your input.  That's what I was hoping for. 

 

I don't have any records from last year, and this is my 3rd hatch in this incubator, my first with shipped eggs.  So, I guess for the sake of accuracy- this may be considered an isolated incident.   I *think* I hatched about 36 hours early on both my chicken and turkey eggs.  Maybe.  It will take a lot more hatches to really understand the details of this incubator, and to learn from my mistakes.  (and record keeping.)

 

I don't know if weighing eggs will in fact be any benefit to me, as I am wildly inexperienced in this department.  At any rate, it will be interesting to compare the candle data to the weight loss. 

 

I believe that I may have done some egg rotating last year.  I know I did not rotate eggs more than once on this latest hatch.  That too, is interesting to think about. 

 

I had temp set for 99.5ish.  My goal for next hatch is 100.0.  Hopefully that will be a small enough adjustment that will not swing too far the other direction.  And MAYBE I can cut down on how much I open the incubator.  Although if I change too many variables at one time, I won't know what fixed the problem! 

Very true. Changing one variable at a time will give you the best idea.

I know one of my BYC friends tried weighing and candling both for one hatch and the conflicting findings she was getting would confuse her. The weighing would say they were on target while the candling would say they needed more growth. I don't remember if she was weighing individual eggs or weighing by the average of the eggs though. She ended up just going by the air cells...lol

Need help incubating/hatching? Are you more a hands on hatcher? Come visit us: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081034/hands-on-hatching-and-help

A guide to hatching from the hands on perspective: http://hatching411.weebly.com/

Reply

Need help incubating/hatching? Are you more a hands on hatcher? Come visit us: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081034/hands-on-hatching-and-help

A guide to hatching from the hands on perspective: http://hatching411.weebly.com/

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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyLynn2374 View Post

Very true. Changing one variable at a time will give you the best idea.
I know one of my BYC friends tried weighing and candling both for one hatch and the conflicting findings she was getting would confuse her. The weighing would say they were on target while the candling would say they needed more growth. I don't remember if she was weighing individual eggs or weighing by the average of the eggs though. She ended up just going by the air cells...lol
To be honest, if I can see air cells at all in the Wellie eggs, I'll probably just candle. I'm off to get them from the post office now, so we'll see soon.
Edited by amynrichie - 3/9/16 at 8:32am
Amy
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post #8 of 9
No Amy, I don’t regularly rotate the eggs. I generally candle in the incubator at day 7 and as I go into lockdown. That’s when I toss the clears, after 18 days. With my green eggs I can tell which are clear and which have developed but seeing much beyond the air cell is a challenge in some. I don’t have a fancy set-up for candling though. I just hold a flashlight up to them. I know I could make a good candler if I really wanted to. When I candle on Day 7 they generally go back in the turner where they came from.

I never candle a broody’s eggs.

I don’t keep detailed records but I’d say about half my hatches, whether in the incubator or under a broody hen, are over about 24 hours after the first one hatches. I have had hatches, whether incubator or broody, that have stretched out to three days. Not many, but a few. One specific one I remember a chick hatched out late day 19. I didn’t even have a pip for a full 24 hours, then finally saw an external pip. I was getting concerned. The rest of the chicks were out within about 16 hours of that pip. The total number of chicks that hatched were in the upper teens.

I have had hatches that stretched out for three days that were fairly steady in the hatching though it was really slow. Some come in waves. Each hatch is unique. I may have cool spots in my incubator but I don’t think so. Many of the hatches are bunched pretty tightly.

I always line the eggs up in the turners along the edge and leave the middle clear so I can get to the water reservoirs and have a place to put my hygrometer. I’ll spot check the temperature every now and then with a calibrated thermometer but I don’t keep a thermometer on it at all times.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post

No Amy, I don’t regularly rotate the eggs. I generally candle in the incubator at day 7 and as I go into lockdown. That’s when I toss the clears, after 18 days. With my green eggs I can tell which are clear and which have developed but seeing much beyond the air cell is a challenge in some. I don’t have a fancy set-up for candling though. I just hold a flashlight up to them. I know I could make a good candler if I really wanted to. When I candle on Day 7 they generally go back in the turner where they came from.

I never candle a broody’s eggs.

I don’t keep detailed records but I’d say about half my hatches, whether in the incubator or under a broody hen, are over about 24 hours after the first one hatches. I have had hatches, whether incubator or broody, that have stretched out to three days. Not many, but a few. One specific one I remember a chick hatched out late day 19. I didn’t even have a pip for a full 24 hours, then finally saw an external pip. I was getting concerned. The rest of the chicks were out within about 16 hours of that pip. The total number of chicks that hatched were in the upper teens.

I have had hatches that stretched out for three days that were fairly steady in the hatching though it was really slow. Some come in waves. Each hatch is unique. I may have cool spots in my incubator but I don’t think so. Many of the hatches are bunched pretty tightly.

I always line the eggs up in the turners along the edge and leave the middle clear so I can get to the water reservoirs and have a place to put my hygrometer. I’ll spot check the temperature every now and then with a calibrated thermometer but I don’t keep a thermometer on it at all times.

My last hatch started at day 19 with my first hatcher that actually pipped real late day 18. Almost all of mne were hatched by the end of day 20, except three that decided to wait for day 21. But I noticed something and I really want to find my notes and compare with my thoughts for the last two hatches. It seems as though the chicks that pipped day 21 went from pip to zip much faster than the early ones. The chick that pipped late day 18 took almost a full 24 hours to hatch. The middle ones averaged more around 12 but those last three pipped and were zipping, clean, no yolk, no veining in the membranes at 8 hours. Now I am wondering if there is a correlation between the time of pipping in relation to "hatch day" and the amount of time they need to progress to zip.

In my LG 9200 even with the fan directly under the heating element that circles the top is about 1-2 degreed warmer than the center and outside, so I try to regulate my temps for under the heating element and place my eggs in those areas in equal mass.

Need help incubating/hatching? Are you more a hands on hatcher? Come visit us: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081034/hands-on-hatching-and-help

A guide to hatching from the hands on perspective: http://hatching411.weebly.com/

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Need help incubating/hatching? Are you more a hands on hatcher? Come visit us: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081034/hands-on-hatching-and-help

A guide to hatching from the hands on perspective: http://hatching411.weebly.com/

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