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Hatching at high altitude - Page 2

post #11 of 151

I am working on creating an experiment around this right now through CSU. I am a 4-H Agent in Jefferson County and hatch chicks in local classrooms to teach youth about the life cycle. 

I haven't had any problems hatching in the city but have had a terrible time hatching in the Mountains. I do get my eggs from local 4-H members who live in the city (I have never tried to order eggs from a lower elevation). The last test I hatched eggs in Conifer, with eggs that were laid in Conifer, all of them hatched but they all were splay legged so something went wrong. We tried to hatch eggs from Wheat Ridge at the Conifer school as well but not a single egg hatched. When cracked open all of the chicks were fully grown. 

I use a R-Com 20 incubator to help control the temperature and humidity since schools often change temperature as they leave for the evening or weekend. The incubator is pretty expensive but if you are going to do much hatching it is certainly well worth the money! 

I will be doing the experiments in April and May and will let you know what I find out. Hopefully this will help you have success in the future!

post #12 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4hagent View Post

I am working on creating an experiment around this right now through CSU. I am a 4-H Agent in Jefferson County and hatch chicks in local classrooms to teach youth about the life cycle. 

I haven't had any problems hatching in the city but have had a terrible time hatching in the Mountains. I do get my eggs from local 4-H members who live in the city (I have never tried to order eggs from a lower elevation). The last test I hatched eggs in Conifer, with eggs that were laid in Conifer, all of them hatched but they all were splay legged so something went wrong. We tried to hatch eggs from Wheat Ridge at the Conifer school as well but not a single egg hatched. When cracked open all of the chicks were fully grown. 

I use a R-Com 20 incubator to help control the temperature and humidity since schools often change temperature as they leave for the evening or weekend. The incubator is pretty expensive but if you are going to do much hatching it is certainly well worth the money! 

I will be doing the experiments in April and May and will let you know what I find out. Hopefully this will help you have success in the future!

 

I've always had the best luck doing a dry incubation until hatch... then I aim for 65%.  Then again, these are eggs from my own flock.  A bad hatch is 70% while a good hatch is almost all of them.   I'm sitting at about 7000 feet.   It has been my experience that lower elevation eggs do not do well here because of the lack of porous shells.   Not enough oxygen gets to the chicks. 

 

If you come down here, I'd give you some of my eggs.  I'm working on a stable landrace flock now for this elevation and climate.  I'm NPIP. 

 

I would try doing a somewhat dry hatch...maybe not completely dry but somewhat dry.

post #13 of 151
I have gotten some local eggs and set mine on monday. I'm at 50% right now and will raise that on lockdown. I've also set some eggs of my own, 9 quail and 5 serama and the 18 local. None are shipped. I will keep you guys updated. As far as shipped though, I've only hatched 1 of 29, it was a late hatch and also died after 24 hours. Then I had a second batch of 9, with none hatched.
Luckily, I haven't given up hope yet and I'm still trying!
post #14 of 151
When you say somewhat dry, what do you recommend the humidity at? If this batch doesn't work, maybe I'll pull the fan and try a drier hatch. Do you do still or forced air?
post #15 of 151

I have hatched out alot of chicken and duck eggs.  We are at 7000+ and I have to agree with the dry hatching.  I have gotten eggs from lower elevations and have not had the success as with eggs from higher elevations.  I try never to go under a few thoughsand feet and never sea level.  They seem to just stop developing past half way.  I have only hatched call duck eggs and they are very difficult at any elevation so I can't say what are the factors with poor hatching for them.  I do increase the humidity at lockdown to as high as I can get it and so far that has work.  We are very dry in NW colorado and it is difficult to get the humidity into the 80%.

2 dogs, 30 laying hens, two Beltsville white hens, one Rio Grande or Merriam Tom, pair of grey call ducks.
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2 dogs, 30 laying hens, two Beltsville white hens, one Rio Grande or Merriam Tom, pair of grey call ducks.
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post #16 of 151

So, I've done a lot of reading on what others are doing as far as hatching eggs in higher altitudes. I've tried 4 batches of shipped eggs, with only 1 egg hatching and subsequently dieing the next day, and 1 quail egg hatched and lived (but it was local)...I have eggs sitting now and so far, 5/9 have hatched. These are quail eggs and my chicken eggs will be on day 18 tomorrow (will keep you updated). These are all local eggs by the way. And we are on day 17 with the quail eggs today.

What I did different this time: kept humidity at between 25%-40%, never going below or above those numbers during the incubation time. Before I was told to keep humidity at 50%-55%. And the temp has stayed at 100 degrees.

So, I'm starting to think that for high altitude incubation, it is best to stay at a lower humidity during the incubation time then raise it up to 50%-65% for hatching. All the reading I've done with high altitude hatching seems to go that way. During the incubation period, the eggs need to lose weight, if the humidity is kept high, there is no way for moisture inside the egg to disipate. I have also opened all the vent holes in my incubator. I have 4 bigger holes towards the top of the incubator at 1/2" and 6 smaller holes at the bottom at 1/4". This is a home-made cooler incubator. I also was using a water heater thermostat, that I replaced with a wafer thermostat cause I just couldn't get the temperature to stabilize with the water heater thermostat.

I hope this helps and I will keep you all updated in the next few days about my chicken eggs. Also, with the good results from this, I will be trying shipped eggs, when I can afford them, lol. But will keep you all updated on this as well.

post #17 of 151

Chlskt,

Did you have any luck with those eggs?

post #18 of 151
Yes! We had 3 cuckoo marans and 2 EE hatch out of 15 total eggs. We did check the rest of the eggs that didn't hatch, and they were either not fertile or they stopped about a week in. Unfortunately, none of the serama eggs hatched and were also early quitters. My serama hen just started laying about a month ago, so that MAY be a cause, but I'm not 100% sure.
I would count this as a success. The only thing I would recommend is on lockdown, to raise humidity over 70%. I had to help one chick out, after 24 it made little progress, I peeled some shell back and noticed the inner membrane stuff was dried, so I felt that If I didn't help, it would've died, it was shrink wrapped.
I'm happy with what we got, out of 5 batches, this is the most I've hatched.
post #19 of 151
High altitude hatches when eggs are from different altitude article. I haven't see this posted anywhere else. Might help answer some questions.

http://www.pasreform.com/academy/frequently-asked-questions/incubation/25-incubation-at-high-altitudes.html
Rachel - chicken mom to
Princess-1, Princess-2, Big Momma, Gray, Barnie, and Smartie-Pants
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Rachel - chicken mom to
Princess-1, Princess-2, Big Momma, Gray, Barnie, and Smartie-Pants
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post #20 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by coloradogal View Post

I've always had the best luck doing a dry incubation until hatch... then I aim for 65%.  Then again, these are eggs from my own flock.  A bad hatch is 70% while a good hatch is almost all of them.   I'm sitting at about 7000 feet.   It has been my experience that lower elevation eggs do not do well here because of the lack of porous shells.   Not enough oxygen gets to the chicks. 

If you come down here, I'd give you some of my eggs.  I'm working on a stable landrace flock now for this elevation and climate.  I'm NPIP. 

I would try doing a somewhat dry hatch...maybe not completely dry but somewhat dry.

I know this is an old thread but hoping to get clarification on this..? I'm at 6500 ASL & an
inexperienced hatcher.
Wife to an amazing husband, mother to a wonderful four-year-old boy, a former teacher now being educated by a growing flock of Silkies, Americaunas & Marans.

"We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same."
- Carlos Castaneda
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Wife to an amazing husband, mother to a wonderful four-year-old boy, a former teacher now being educated by a growing flock of Silkies, Americaunas & Marans.

"We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same."
- Carlos Castaneda
Reply
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