I am so new at this that my incubator isnt even out of the box yet. I recently bought a couple Cochin hens that were in with roosters of their breed at a breeder, she mentioned their eggs could still be fertile for 2-3 weeks so I figured I would find out. After doing a bunch of research I settled on the Brinsea Octagon 20 and picked up the craddle as well (hoping to increase my likelihood of success). I only have 2 hens that would potentially have fertile eggs right now, its hot out and they have only produced 6 eggs in the last week to 10 days. I want to get these eggs in the incubator as soon as the shakedown test is done.
So now I have questions...
Can I add eggs to the incubator as the hens lay them? Obviously those would still need the full amount of time to incubate but is this a process that can be done every week or so where I save for a week and then add 5-6 more in another part of the bator so I know which should hatch when? Or is it once the doors shut no more can go in until that batch is done?
If I save eggs for a week will the egg laid on day 2 still take the same amount of time in the incubator as day 8s egg? Does the "process" not start until the warmth starts or are they currently developing so hatching would be spaced over the week?
Ive read that the last few days you are supposed to do something different humidity wise. Does that effect my first question about adding more eggs as time goes on?
Do I wash the eggs prior to storing them? Do I wash the eggs prior to inserting into the incubator?
Sorry these are such basic questions but I dont know anything yet :( Thank you!