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First time incubating chicks! Need advice.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
To begin with, our only broody hen had her first chick almost 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately, the chick passed away and our hen was no longer broody. I decided to take matters into my own hands and built an incubator out of a styrofoam cooler. We lost 4 eggs and are left with 5, which are doing well. About 2 weeks later, basically this morning around 8:20, I heard chirping from an egg! I'm so excited, yet scared because I'm not sure what to do. I have a small container of water for humidity. Should I separate it from the eggs to prevent drowning? Also, is there a certain temperature I should have the incubator at in order for the chick to be well, or should I leave it around 99-102? Do I separate the chick from the incubator once it hatches? The other eggs seem to be in earlier stages of development, so they might take another week to hatch. Thanks in advance! Any advice to take care of the chicks properly would be a great help as well!
post #2 of 7
Is this the only egg that will be hatching now? You need the water for humidity. You can fill the bowl with rocks or marbles to prevent drowning. Or you can use wet sponges. Do you have a hygrometer for measuring humidity? Do you have a fan in the incubator? Do you have a brooder set up? You just need to keep the chick around 100 degrees until it's dry, then anywhere between 90-100 should be fine for him.
post #3 of 7
Temp should be 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit with the humidity anywhere from 60-70 this is what I keep mine and have great success rates. As far as the water bowl, I would put a little screen or something with holes in the top to cover it to keep the chicks from drowning. DO NOT REMOVE THE CHICK UNTIL IT IS DRY! If you do then you risk the chick of getting a chill and dying. Hope this helps and good luck with your hatching.
post #4 of 7
99.5 is correct if it is force air but 102 is correct at the top of the eggs if it is still air. Either way looks like your temp was good since you are hatching!!

Personally I use wet sponges. They are easy to add and remove humidity very quickly and very chick safe.

Some days you just have to put on the hat and remind them who they are dealing with. Release the flying monkies!

~Miracles DO happen!~

~Life is not disposable.~


~You do the best you can with the information you have at the time. When you know better, you do better.~
Reply

Some days you just have to put on the hat and remind them who they are dealing with. Release the flying monkies!

~Miracles DO happen!~

~Life is not disposable.~


~You do the best you can with the information you have at the time. When you know better, you do better.~
Reply
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Yes, this is the only egg that seems to be hatching right now. The chick just now made a small crack in the shell :) I took the advice of using a wet sponge instead and this Texas weather is perfect right now, especially with all the rain outside hahaha... As for the brooder, we are setting one up today and buying the chick feed tomorrow morning. And I will keep the chick in the incubator to dry off then.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
UPDATE: Our first chick has hatched! It is so precious! The other 4 eggs may or may not be far from hatching. However, we bought 2 one-day-old chicks and set them into the brooder so that the other chick will have some company to bond with once we move it out when it's ready. All is well so far smile.png



post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madi431 View Post

UPDATE: Our first chick has hatched! It is so precious! The other 4 eggs may or may not be far from hatching. However, we bought 2 one-day-old chicks and set them into the brooder so that the other chick will have some company to bond with once we move it out when it's ready. All is well so far smile.png



She is beautiful!!! Congrats, you're a grandparent! Just FYI, if you candle the other eggs, right before internal pip the membrane "draws down" around the chick and grows drastically in 24 hours. So if you see that then you know they will be internally pipping very soon. I had a bunch of girls go broody and there were eggs that were in all different stages of development, so I tried to group them according the their development and put them under each girl. Well today in one of the nests, 1 has externally pipped and the other two have that draw down, so I know they are close.
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