Adding Eggs to Incubator after starting first set of eggs.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by HoglundH, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. HoglundH

    HoglundH Chillin' With My Peeps

    I only have three eggs to start with, but would like to get started as soon as possible. The incubator is stable at 99.5 (+ - 3 deg), humidity is at 70%. My chickens are giving me 3-4 eggs a day, and would like to add another 4 - 8 or so eggs. Can I add 4 a day, until I have enough? There should only be a 2-3 day difference from the first eggs and the last eggs set. When the eggs start to pip, do I have to take the turner out and put the eggs on the screen? Do I just unplug the turner. I have a Hovabator with fan and turner.

    Harold and Wendy
  2. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    you should wait to set & have them all go in at the same time.

    The eggs can safely be stored on the counter for several days with out any hatch rate reduction so I'm told.
  3. texaschickmom

    texaschickmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 4, 2009
    Lindale, TX
    [​IMG] Since this is your first time incubating your own eggs,I would do LOTS of reading on this website. There is a wealth of good information from people who have been hatching eggs for years. I am a newbie like yourself. As soon as my hens start laying again, I plan on hatching my own. Good luck!!
  4. Yard full o' rocks

    Yard full o' rocks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2009
    Cartersville, Georgia
    In order to do a "staggered hatch" like you are describing (chicks due on multiple dates) is best to have more than 1 incubator. One to be used for incubation/regular turning, one for hatching

    Good luck
  5. Cowgirlgrace

    Cowgirlgrace Chillin' With My Peeps

    The eggs come out of the turner on day 18, not the day they pip which also means eggs that still need turning will have to be turned by hand. The eggs that still have a few days left will be rolled around by hatching chicks. Once eggs go on lock down the incubator needs to stay closed for humidity. There are so many reasons not to do what you are proposeing. If you don't have a second incubator, do not do a staggered hatch.
  6. GreenGoddess

    GreenGoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    St Pauls, NC
    Quote:First and foremost, [​IMG] !!! Now that that is said, I am very surprised that non one has commented on some key points here... I will touch on the staggered hatch afterwards...

    1. Bator is stable at 99.5 + or - 3 degrees or .3 degrees?? This makes a HUGE difference.... It's fine if it is only a few 10ths of a degree off but 3 degrees too low, they will never develop... 3 degrees too high and you may cook them or they will grow too fast and not develop correctly....

    2. Humidity at 70% at the beginning of a hatch, even a staggered hatch is WAY too high... If you are doing a single hatch, get that humidity back down to about 35%-40% and then you can raise it back up to 65%-70% on day 18 until they hatch.... If you decide to do a staggered hatch as i am currently doing, you can get it down to 50% and leave it there the entire hatch...

    3. As for the turner, on day 18, you take the turners out! You can lay the eggs on their sides for the final 3 days of incubation for a single hatch.. You can also put them in egg cartons, pointy side down (air cells should be on top).. Be sure to cut the top flap of the egg carton off as well as a small section of the bottom so you have a hole at the bottom.. This will allow air flow around the egg but not allow the eggs to roll all over the bator... You can also use this method for a staggered hatch so that you can continue to manually "turn" them by placing a book under the edge of the bator and then a few hours later switch sides so it's under the opposite side of the bator... This will not harm your first set of eggs....

    Now... For a staggered hatch....

    I would honestly suggest you only do a single hatch since this is your first time... However, I know how addictive this hobby can be! If you decided to do a staggered hatch, collect eggs for about a week or so (you can collect and keep eggs for up to 10 days before setting them) and after you get a nice clutch of eggs, mark them so you know they are to hatch later and set them in the bator... I would give it at least a week for a staggered hatch because the last 3 days are the most critical for humidity and taking out any chicks can cause the second set of eggs to shrink wrap (chick will get stuck to the shell and cannot get out) if it is only days apart... If it's a week, this gives you time to let the first set hatch and get them out and let the humidity go back up BEFORE the 18th day for the second batch....

    On day 18, you will go into lockdown... During this time, DO NOT OPEN THE BATOR!! Sit on your hands!!! Chicks that hatch can survive up to 72 hours without food/water because they absorb the yolk right before hatch... This 72 hour period allows all chicks to hatch naturally so they all survive....

    In either case, welcome to the wonderful and STRESSFUL world of hatching! [​IMG]

    Goddess [​IMG]
  7. HoglundH

    HoglundH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes .3 deg not 3 deg.... whooofff, that would be a problem.
  8. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I would never do a staggard hatch with only one incubator unless it was a Sportsman or its equivalent.
  9. GreenGoddess

    GreenGoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    St Pauls, NC
    Quote:Ok.. That's one problem solved.. lol... did you calibrate the thermometer/hygrometer? Are you sure they are correct?

    Goddess [​IMG]
  10. HoglundH

    HoglundH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Working on the calibration, of the hygrometer. It is the one that shipped with the hovabator. The two thermometers match exactly for temperature.

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