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Anyone else incubating at high altitude (over 3,000')?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by BeardedChick, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. Ok, so here's my plan in case anyone ever reads this post... [​IMG]

    I think I can manage the humidity issue by keeping it up somewhat during days 0-18. Maybe in the low 40's or so. It would help to keep track of egg weight, which might be doable for me.

    For this next hatch, if it gets here in time, I ordered a pediatric oxygen regulator off of Ebay for about $40 and I am going to supplement a tiny bit of oxygen to my incubator. The pediatric one allows a teeny tiny flow, so I don't think it will be too expensive to operate (esp. if I can get a good hatch).

    I would expect that at high altitude, the most critical time to supplement oxygen is during day 18 through hatch because increasing the humidity at that time lowers the amount of available oxygen.

    Anyway, I'll keep posting on how this hatch goes if anyone is interested. Might post anyway so I will have notes for myself!
  2. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Interesting! I think I'm about 4500 feet. I would have to look it up.

    I have a light on 24/7 in my incubator an grass planted on the bottom for more oxygen so I don't have to ventilate as much. May have been a better idea that I thought.
  3. Patchesnposies

    Patchesnposies Chickens.....are my ONE weakness!

    Mar 5, 2008
    Southern New Mexico
    Beardedchick-it sounds like you are on the right track with the pediatric oxygen regulator. After reading the links on your post and the trouble shooting page from the Mississippi State University Extension Service , supplementing oxygen seems like the thing to do.

    When we first moved to NM we lived up near Sunspot Observatory at almost 10,000 ft. We didn't have chickens then, though, and we are now down around 4500 ft. like Rebelcowboysnb. I guess I never thought too much about the elevations effect on hatch results. Probably should have! [​IMG]

    We have battled the extremely dry air. It is a struggle to keep our humidity up where it should be. One thing that has worked for us is using folded,wet, paper towels. (I change them daily) I set the paper towel in a small bowl or plastic lid varying how many and to what degree we wet them depending on how much we need to raise the humidity.

    I've seen it recommended on this site to use a brand new athletic sock, wet and placed in the incubator. I am sure it yields the same results. I worry too much about incubating unwelcome guests in the material-though I am sure they could grow in the paper towels as well.

    Do you have eggs in your incubator now? When are they due to hatch? I will be curious to watch and see how much difference the oxygen makes.

    When Brad is teaching tonight, so I haven't had a chance to ask his opinion.

    Such an interesting topic Beardchick!

    Rebelcowboysnb-Do you REALLY have grass growing in the bottom of you bator????

  4. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm


    It a fridge-u-bator. The bottom is for hatching so I put grass in there to up the humidity an oxygen. I should have planted clovers but the grass was handy.

    [​IMG] Never underestimate my willingness to try something different. [​IMG]
  5. Rebs, I love that! What an interesting idea! Why did you start growing grass in your bator? I'm just so curious...

    Deb, I have been using non-woven veterinary 4x4 gauze sponges for the sponges in my 'bator. They are cheap, and you only need a few of them. It was the cleanest thing I could think of and I always have those on hand... They are not sterile but are medically clean.

    I don't have any eggs going yet, but some are due to arrive from GA this week and I have another dozen coming from Miss Prissy. I *really* want these to hatch.

    Temperatures are very steady with the upgraded thermostat, and the veterinary sponges are working well for humidity (can get it up in the 70's if needed).

    If I can get my hands on some locally produced hatching eggs, I am going to put a few in the 'bator to track the difference in weight loss. They should have smaller pores and lose less weight. It also means they might not hatch if they hold tooo much water compared to the other eggs... But I need a set to try. I guess I could even put in some of my crew's eggs which are usually non-fertile (all I have now is a bantam rooster and standard hens). I just really don't want any chicks out of my silly little rooster!

    I will keep posting back on this thread with my data.
  6. UrbanMama

    UrbanMama Gone Country....

    Sep 27, 2008

  7. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Quote:The fridge has no real ventilation other than the ice shoot in the door. So I planted grass to try an help the oxygen level. I also figured by putting the grass in the hatching tray I could water it good when the humidity needed upped so the eggs that are about to hatch have the highest humidity an oxygen.

    I have no Idea how its going to work but I had the room so why not. I set the first eggs in it on the 2th.
  8. Patchesnposies

    Patchesnposies Chickens.....are my ONE weakness!

    Mar 5, 2008
    Southern New Mexico
    Hey Rebelcowboysnb-I like the way your mind works. That is a wild thing you have done! You have to keep us updated on how your fridgidair-chicks turn out! [​IMG] This is great.
  9. ksacres

    ksacres At Your Service

    Nov 16, 2007
    San Antonio TX
    We are over 6,000 ft in altitude, and I regularly get 80-90% hatches without doing anything special.

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