A newbies question thread. First incubations.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by rtho88, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. rtho88

    rtho88 Out Of The Brooder

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    I started a new thread to not hijack the hatch a long.

    I'm placing my first set of eggs tonight. A hovabator 1602, no turner. I have a wireless grilling thermometer I'm using for air temp. It is still air so I was thinking 102 from what I've read.

    I am looking at hygrometers on amazon and once I get one, how do I adjust humidity?? And also can someone point me towards the information for what settings I need throughout.

    I'm starting this chicken project as close to cost free as possible. And it's going to need to stay there for a while.

    A work friend is going to bring me his eggs, he has two roosters and two hens. Both are laying and he feels the eggs are fertilized. He used to have over 100 chickens and sold eggs and chicks so I feel like he knows what he's talking about.

    He his going to bring me 1-5 day old eggs depending on when we work together. Can I clean and refrigerate these eggs to eat if my incubator is not ready?

    I might look into getting a second incubator or something home made to move "lock down" eggs too. I'm also making a chick station, two of them. To move the dry chickens to after I've tied to sex them. How warm does this area need to be?

    Thanks for your help! I'm going to keep this thread for questions I have along the way. Please feel free to just paste a link. I've been using the search and google but still have some questions.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    101.5 at the top of the egg for still air. 102 if taken on the floor of the incubator would be about 103 at mid egg.
    Cooler is better than hotter, especially if you're not sure how accurate the thermometer is.

    As long as the roosters are fertile, 2 roos with 2 hens = fertile eggs. You can verify by opening one egg and looking at the blastoderm. It is the white dot that is on all egg yolks. If it's a solid dot it is infertile. If it more like a halo, it's fertile. The center is cells that have died off as the blastodisc starts to grow.
    Sometimes it is on the bottom of the yolk. If it isn't visible, turn it over.

    You can eat fertile eggs. There really is no difference.

    Don't worry too much about humidity at first. Just add a little water. Humidity is a big issue at the end. Should be about 65% or so. Surface area is more important than volume, so a sponge or humidity pad in the water helps.
    What works better for me is to weigh the eggs when you set them. You can get an inexpensive gram scale. They should lose around 12% of weight during incubation if the humidity is correct. That comes out to 0.6 to 0.7% each day. You can also weigh all the eggs together which saves time. If they aren't losing enough - lower the humidity. If they are losing too much - raise the humidity.

    A hatcher is a good idea, especially for staggered hatches.

    The brooder for chicks needs a warm spot between 90-95 the first week. You can keep it like that if it is big enough for them to get away from the heat. Otherwise, lower the temp 5 degrees or so each week by raising the light. Better yet, use the chicks behavior to judge. Crowding under the heat = too cold. Hanging at the far side and panting = too hot. Scattered around the brooder= just right.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  3. rtho88

    rtho88 Out Of The Brooder

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    @chickencanoe

    That all makes great sense. Thanks so much!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  4. rtho88

    rtho88 Out Of The Brooder

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    So I've got 7 eggs in the incubator. Put them in around 1 am when I got home from work. I've turned them twice and will keep turning 2-3 times a day around work schedule. I can turn more when I'm off if I need to.

    I have them laying flat. Can or should I put them in an egg carton? With air bubble up right?

    Also wondering when the first day I should candle them is? They are 2 day old eggs roughly. The hen was brooding them when he took them from her. Kinda sad :(
     
  5. chicketydooda

    chicketydooda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Day 7 is when they say to candle....don't wash your eggs at all. They have a protective covering that can be washed away and will make it easier to get bacteria in. I am impatient and started candling on day 4 and saw veins growing. Day 7 you can see a heartbeat....My marans eggs I dont bother cause I can't see anything candling.
     
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  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Usually the first day to candle is 7.
    IMO 3 times a day is plenty and what I do if hand turning.
    Either way works. The shape of the egg works to elevate the big end but I like them more upright.
     
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  7. rtho88

    rtho88 Out Of The Brooder

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    Uh oh. I rinsed them off because they were kinda dirty and had some paper on the I guess from his nesting box. I just ran them under luke warm water and wiped off gently with a paper towel.

    Did I ruin them??
     
  8. chicketydooda

    chicketydooda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could have. incubate them anyway and see what happens but in the future...no washing
     
  9. rtho88

    rtho88 Out Of The Brooder

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    Candled today, have signs of life in 6 out of 7 eggs!!!! [​IMG] The one that looked different had a large vein system but did not have the black dot "eye" or "embryo" like the other 6 did.


    I will candle again in about 5 days and see whats going on. If looks like I will have chicks then I will set up the brooder. How many chicks can go in what size brooder?

    My next question is, when I make the coop/run, do I need to separate Roosters from Hens?? Just simply for aggression issues. I shouldn't have any eggs laid for a while just because it will be dead of winter here in Mississippi when I get them outside.
     
  10. chicketydooda

    chicketydooda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's exciting....I have Marans eggs hatching at home as we speak. I had a temperature spike of 108 so I was just keeping them in there just in case....and they stayed alive!
     

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