A few random musings on incubating...opinions?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by arlee453, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Been thinking a LOT about incubators/incubating, etc over the last couple weeks (hard to think of much else with this red cooler full of my silky flock hopes sitting on my desk...).

    Here's a couple of random thoughts I'd love to get opinions on from you more experienced incubator-hatcher-outers.

    This end up?...?
    I've got my eggs laying on their sides. I've marked them so I know what side I turned on last when I turn them by hand. My grid has a natural dip in it, so I've got them sort of arranged as a momma hen would, with the larger end on the outside and the smaller end in the dip in the center.

    Obviously the eggs would have taken up less room if I had put them in a carton, but I had plenty of room and I thought maybe a more natural positon as if they were in the nest might raise their chances of hatching.

    Anyone tried it both ways? Have you noticed a difference in hatch rates when eggs were on their sides throughout vs large end up in a turner or egg crate?

    Auto turner vs hand turning?

    It is just intuitive that rolling over with eggs on their sides would maybe be better than auto turner where eggs are just tipped? I don't know though - anyone have any wisdom on which gives higher rates of hatch? Again, I'm just thinking about what a momma hen does...

    Lastly, here's another thought.

    Been thinking about emulating the incubating hen (obviously). What are the thoughts about using a gal sized zippy bag filled with water to lay over the top of the eggs to provide direct contact warmth? I suppose you could put the water bag inside another bag and slip the probe of the thermometer down between the water bag and the top of the eggs. In addition to acting as a heat sink to hold and help stabilize temps, it would be more like the hen providing the heat directly to the top of the eggs.

    Any wisdom or opinions??
  2. Interesting musings [​IMG]

    The only thought I have is a plastic bag over the top of the eggs is going to restrict air flow.
    edited to add: If they pip against the plastic, they might suffocate.

    (and that was my one thought for the day [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2007
  3. eggonomist

    eggonomist In the Brooder

    Oct 20, 2007
    Singhampton, Ont, Canada
    My wife has something she heats up in the microwave and she puts on her sholders for aches, it's like a sock with small beads in it. I wonder if that would be a better 'hen' than the bag. My wife says it has wheat in it. It holds temperature for ages and would not suffocate a hatching chick.
    A 'Hen' hatcher sounds like a great idea.
  4. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Thought about the rice/wheat sock thing too. Once it got up to bator temp, it'd hold it pretty good, and would be more breathable than plastic bag.
  5. jkcove08

    jkcove08 Songster

    Apr 12, 2007
    I have hatched eggs both with and without an egg turner. You have to make sure that your bator is well stablized if you are going to use an egg turner. I had about 60 bucks worth of turkey and other eggs in the turner and had the water all evaporate. That make my temps go up. Of course I didnt catch it until the next morning and by then they had been at 104 for over night. Since they were in the turner they were higher up in the bator and were definately in the hot zone, some might have made it if they were on thier sides and being hand turned. Nothing made it through that. I found though that if I turn them by hand I had more get confused and pip on the wrong end. I currently have 43 of my own eggs in the bator with the turner. I the big thing you would want to think about with using something to simulate a hen is that you will have to take it out to turn your eggs and it will get cool fast. That in turn will chill your eggs. If you want them to feel like they are under a hen then just put them under a broody. The only thing that I think is better with a broody is that I am sure she talks to them when they are getting ready to hatch. The chicks will peep to each other and encorage the hatch. I have had good and bad hatches with shipped eggs by all ways, turner, no turner, and broody. It all depends on how strong the chicks are. Just keep turning them and let mother nature do her thing. The only thing I like is using an rubber pad on the bottom when it is the last 3 days. It is easier for them to get footing, then again they start rolling the other eggs this way to so maybe it is not such a good think..lol Jenn
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I use a jar(s) of water for a heat sink. Water doesn't change temp easily. Those hulls have a quick temp exchange.

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