any hints for staggered hatch?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by aussieheelr, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. aussieheelr

    aussieheelr Songster

    I set a bunch of my own flock's eggs while I was waiting on some shipped eggs. The gal with the eggs was having uncooperative chickens that kept going broody... well the chickens finally cooperated and I got eggs on Saturday and mine are going on lockdown this friday (in 3 days). Only one incubator for all this. SO my shipped eggs are about two weeks behind the others which means they still need turned for another 2 weeks and the humidity is going to be off.

    Any hints.
  2. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Is there any way you can get another incubator? It really helps out alot to have one for incubation and one for hatching.
  3. Mrsfoote

    Mrsfoote Songster

    Jul 19, 2010
    Laurel Montana
    Yea like kathyimmo said Get another incubator to use as just a hatcher or....are your eggs in a egg turner? If they are you can remove the racks that the ones going into lockdown are in and let them go into lockdown in the same incubator however you risk exposing your others to bacteria but it can work I have 2 incubators and my hatcher went on the fritz so I purchased another incubator to have on standby and my original hatcher started working again so I hatched in that and then had another staggard hatch and placed it into the new incubator cleaned the original hatcher and its ready to go for another staggard hatch I have coming up on thursday.

    I would get another incubator and that can always be your hatcher and your other can always be your incubator works out much easier.
  4. aussieheelr

    aussieheelr Songster

    OK so another bator... well then here is the option. The only ones that are sold localy would be an LG which I've read so many bad reviews for the innability to hold humidity at a consistant point. Would an LG do ok for a hatcher? My bator is a Genesis and I LOVE its reliability and the egg turner... but don't have the MOOLA to get another and certinally not by Friday (lockdown on the first set).
  5. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    The LG should do for hatching only, but you need it like today to get it up and ready and watch the numbers. You'll have 30 days to return (check with the store to be sure) so if it doesn't function for hatching, you can take it back for a refund.

    I've had staggered hatches before. Funny story. I was at a county park where they have a mini farm for the kids. Found a black hen in a really bad spot, nesting. She had it in a metal trough with 12 inch sides. No way were chicks going to be able to get out of it to eat and drink, and it was hot and dry out. So I picked up each egg, any that there too light I left there. Took the "heavy" ones home.

    Already had eggs in the incubator, placed the "stolen" ones.

    Next day, I have a chick. Ooops! Unless another of the new eggs hatched, this was going to be a problem. Nothing else from her nest hatched, and mine had another 17 days. So I had a little pullet glued to my every move. Finally another hatched, a little black rooster. Matching pair! She hated him. It took a good week for her to accept him (and herself) as a chicken. I don't know if she thought she was a duck, a dog, or a human. She hung out with all 3.

    The biggest issue with staggered hatches, is humidity. Followed by hatched chicks knocking around the other eggs. If you have a way to separate the eggs due to contain the hatching, that would help. Humidity... you would have to not open the incubator at all during the hatch so that it didn't fluctuate lower than it already is for regular incubation.

    That little black pullet hatched just fine in regular humidity. I didn't know she was coming (luckily I was hand turning then) until my evening turn. I saw the pip and left it shut, and didn't resume turning until she was out.

    For eggs due to hatch, they can't be in a turner. So a staggered hatch with a turner won't work.
  6. aussieheelr

    aussieheelr Songster

    Well i'm taking my chances as it turns out. The LG was $60 which is out of the budget since we just bought 2 heated water bases at $45 each and a wood stove! SO I took out some of the auto turner trays and made a cardboard devider to keep the chicks out of the turner area... don't need any trapped under egg trays. I know the humidity is going to be off and bacteria could cause problems but I guess it's an experiment if nothing else.
    Today there are 3 hatched and 1 piped... let the note taking begin.
  7. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    The way you've done it should be okay, and the humidity won't bother the eggs that are only a week into incubation. You have to worry about high humidity too close to hatch because it can cause the air cell to have 'water' in it. This far away you have plenty of time for them to dry out. Good luck [​IMG]
  8. JustAChickenLittle&More

    JustAChickenLittle&More Songster

    Nov 25, 2010
    I looked this one up because I had the same problem two weeks ago. This is what they said; if you are doing staggered hatches, fill the water trays and stop turning the eggs at the 18 day mark (the ones due to hatch), however, keep turning the other eggs. When the first ones have all hatched, let the trays in your incubator goe back down to the normal hatch level that would be for your next hatch, for about 3 days, to let them dry out before you add more water. It worked so far.
  9. aussieheelr

    aussieheelr Songster

    Hatches did just fine [​IMG] I took the turning racks out that weren't occupied to give the locked eggs room for chicks and that way one wouldn't fall asleep under a rack and get smooshed.

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