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Two incubators-using one as a hatcher?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I have two brinsea octo 20 adv. incubators and I'm considering staggering my hatches by using one to incubate and one to hatch. I'm thinking I will set one row of eggs at a time and then move them to the "hatcher" for lockdown.

Benefits: eggs will be fresher, I'll have a constant rotation of chicks, I should be able to do chicks and ducklings at the same time

Drawbacks (?): more complicated to keep track of, have to let eggs cool in order to clean incubator, possible lower hatch rate because I'm messing around with it more.

But the biggest problem I forsee is that I won't be able to let the eggs set for one day before turning. There will be eggs at various stages incubating and turning. I thought about putting them in the hatcher for one day then moving them over to the incubator, but then it gets really complicated with eggs in lockdown in there too.

So, my question is How bad is it to have the eggs turning from day one? Will this really mess them up or is it just a minor issue?

And feel free to comment on how you think this setup may or may not work!
post #2 of 3
A lot of people use two or more incubators. You should only have to clean the hatcher. If you do need to clean the first incubator you can heat a towel in the dryer and put the eggs on/in it if you are worried about them cooling off. But, it won't hurt them to cool for 10 - 15 minutes. A hen gets off the next almost every day in order to eat and drink.

I would stagger starting the eggs so that you have a day or more after the planned hatch date to give you time to clean the hatcher and to allow for any late hatchers.

Unless you are incubating shipped eggs, there is no reason to let them sit for a day. However, I would start a batch all at the same time. Pick a day of the week that is convenient for you for hatching and make that your start day. I start all chicken eggs on a Friday evening. That way, I get hatches on Friday and Saturday. Then the next batch would go into lockdown on wednesday.

There is an app you can get called Bellsouth Hatchabatch from the Bellsouth Poultry Equipment company. I find it very helpful in keeping track of hatches.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply, always good to get advice from others. I will check that app out, will be good to have something to help me keep it straight. Of course, the late hatchers always mess up the timing, lol
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