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*** AUGUST HATCH-A-LONG come join in ***

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chickenmeadow, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. chickenmeadow

    chickenmeadow Crowing 9 Years

    Jun 14, 2009
    Southern Oregon
    My Coop
    August is around the corner & many will set eggs in an incubator or under a broody hen for an August hatch. Just wanted to get a jump on this, so it'll be ready for everyone. There'll be lots of "pippers, rockers wrigglers, wigglers, cheepers, peepers, zippers, lurkers, popping liders, leaping outers & hatchers." It's a good place to share your incubating excitement, hopes for hatches, questions & even to help when others ask questions to make kind comments about your experiences. Oh & I musn't forget the pictures of all of the chickies; each & every one of them are so adorable. Just know that when you post & share, that you may be making someone elses day better. Everyone has been so good on this thread every month since I started it back in January this year on the BYC. So, come join in on the fun!

    July has been a busy hatching time here on the BYC. The pictures have been just wonderful of little new chicks, poults, pheasants, quail, geese, etc. We don't even mind if you want to sneak in & show off your puppies, kittens, colts, calves, piglets, fishies or whatever; all babies are wonderful. Wow, those quail sure looked tiny!

    Still hanging out on the 'JULY HATCH-A-LONG come join in' until the hatch posts are done for the month & will be checking in here to see what's happening til August comes along. July thread https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=362278

    August approaches, so will the heat continue to rise. My garden sure is loving it, but it's harder on the chickens & all of us. These hotter months sure give us the added challenge to keep the poultry cooled down for their health & for egg laying too. Our high here in Southern Oregon reached 117 degrees once last year, a bit much for our area. So, it's out to the chicken yard & coop to add more shaded areas with tarps, roofs, boards, bushes & trees, misters or whatever when needed. I do sympathize with all of you in other states who have the higher temps in the Summer. I've seen posts with small plastic kids pools out with the adult chickens; although I've never seen mine take a swim, they will occasionally stand in it if low enough. All summer, I'm constantly on a quest to keep melons in the frige for my hubby & I, of course he's caught on by now that the real motive is to give the chickens the ample left on fruit with the rinds. Their favorite is watermelon & really helps keeps them hydrated.

    I've had a few months off from incubating & have been enjoying my adult chickens a lot. I just raise chickens for hobby & eggs. My flock is usually a dozen or so............ (hmmmm!) & it's easy to get attached to them & their interactions. But.... am looking forward to setting eggs in the bator this Fall with eggs from some new layers. Adding more Bantam Faverolles to the flock (with a couple of my own hens & roos) is my year-end goal.

    Such a wonderful miracle, the hatching process is! Just try & relax everyone, enjoy the process & let Nature take it's course. Candle only when necessary, open the incubator as little as possible & don't open in "lockdown." I've learned over time that just because I'm curious & want to see what's going on in those eggs, it doesn't help them hatch better & often can hinder them. It all gets easier with experience & good judgement.

    If you're hatching or not, come on & join in for another month's Hatch-A-Long for August, we all enjoy the support! Happy hatching everyone!!

    Here's some info that I've collected for myself that you may find interesting or helpful! This is being posted to share some guidelines. You will find what works best for you & your equipment as you learn from your own hatches. Please continue to search out answers & learn, the search button on the BYC is very helpful (just type in your topic & click Search).

    **I will continue to use "edit" to add more info as it is collected & seems important or interesting.

    *When is day 1 (see #69 & #70) http://urbanext.illinois.edu/eggs/res32-qa.html

    be sure to monitor the incubator temperature the day you set the eggs in the bator & the day you put them into "lockdown." That's when I've noticed more temp fluctuations. Also, I've had better luck at keeping temps even in a room where there is no draft &/or room temp changes.

    *Emergency kit for incubator shut offs due to power outs: Keep a baby food jar filled with water & lid in the incubator ahead of time to hold temps longer, or add a warm one when needed. Clean smooth rock/s in the bator will hold temps longer also. Have some blankets handy to cover the bator to hold themps longer. Use a pocket warmer to warm the bator when getting cold, watch the temp in case it gets too warm.

    *Calibrating your hygrometer (see # & read the calculation correction at the bottom) (see post #241)

    a "water wiggler" with a glass thermometer inside for accuracy, should be the same temperature inside an egg. Maybe try making your own wiggler & getting a non-mercury glass thermometer from the pharmacy? See my thread for comments & DIY wiggler.

    *Sanitize your incubator between uses (I have used Brinsea Incubation Disinfectant, non-bleach, etc. The are a few choices for what to use including after sanitation, drying off in outdoor sunshine.

    “dry incubation” method (Day 1-17 & Day 18 "LOCKDOWN" to Day 21+ hatch day. I start Day 18 in the daytime so I can monitor any temp fluctuations)
    (see post #3) https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=113681&p=3

    Candling, simple, includes description & pictures (see post #6)

    progression (see post #1)

    *Hatchability Problem Analysis, this is not just for problems. (Description of daily embryo development, see Landmarks of Embryonic Development, Durring Incubation, Days 14-18 to understand what leads to Day 18 "lockdown")
    (see pg. 11 - includes section on “Nutritional Deficiencies & Toxicities” in chicks)

    *Air cell

    egg repair with wax (see post #678)

    carton hatching (see example in *My Hatch Progression,........... as seen below.

    *My Hatch Progression, from pip, zip to hatch & done in egg cartons in incubator.(see post #596)

    Still researching info on that! Let me know if you have any ideas!
    I do know that they seem to hatch faster when I'm away or have fallen asleep, ha ha!

    *My Brooder containers; fast & easy to set up, no-build, easy to find materials, & easy to clean. (see post #800)

    *Need to sex your chicks. (hatchery method at 2-4 days old) Watch this:

    *Treatments for Leg Problems in Chickens (& chicks)

    *My Christmas 09 - Incubation of 6 viable eggs (“save the favs”/see pg.70, post #695)

    Christmas 09 - Hatched eggs, 6 chicks (“save the favs”/see pg. 80, post #798)

    use distilled water in my incubator for the water tray & humidity, as I've seen my well water seem to go bad/foul smelling by the end of the 21 days (more possibility of bacteria, had a couple of hatches in the past that did not do well because of it). I also thuroughly sanitize my incubators after each hatch (Brinsea sanitizer, non-bleach, peroxide, some use bleach, etc.).

    MY "DRY INCUBATION" METHOD USED - That was very successful for me, but you will find out what works best for you & with your equipment.
    The purpose of using this method is so chicks don’t grow too large & not be able to turn during pip. Also, so they don’t drown in the excess liquid in the air cell when they pip/break through the inner membrane, before pipping the outer shell; the excess liquid is caused by too high humidity.
    *Days 1 thru 17: Temperature was 99.5 degrees F (this temp is for forced air incubators, measured at the level of the egg using a small thermometer that lays on top of the eggs), Humidity was 40% to 42% (with a couple of drops to no lower than 25% for air cell growth, may not be necessary though). Eggs were propped up at an angle with wide end at top, but most people just lay them down sideways. Turned eggs 3 times a day (on my work days) & 5 times a day (on my weekends); 5 times is better & always turn an uneven # of x's a day.
    *Day 18: "LOCKDOWN" starts. Stop turning eggs (they will position themselves for the air cell, turning eggs can put them out of position), put eggs into cardboard egg carton bottom with hole in each bottom for circulation, the carton keeps the air cell at the top & stops the hatched chicks from knocking around other eggs), keep temp at 99.5 F, bring humidity up to 55% for the durration, & do not open the incubator again until all chicks have hatched (opening it would drop the humidity too much for the other chicks in eggs & they could stick to shells & not get out).

    Be patient, as a few hatchs had some that took 24+ hrs from 1st pip to the last one hatched. I've come to attribute hatches that started on the same day with all eggs, then hatched at different times may have something to do with the breed of chick, hot & cold spots in the incubator (so I move the eggs around a few times in the bator when turning), etc.

    --OTHER INFO-- Things to read/consider to help keep from stressing about incubating. Relax & enjoy the wonder. LOL!
    *Homemade Natural Chicken Dust Bath Recipe (external parasites, such as mites & lice) put 1 part of each of the following in a kitty litter tray & leave out (keep dry) for chickens: wood ash, sand, DE (diatomaceous earth), & road dust (dusty dirt). You can also use STALL DRY in place of the last 2 ingredients, DE & road dust. My chickens love to bathe in this mixture so much that every morning I see the main rooster standing in the tray calling his flock to join him for a bath. (I sprinkle a little STALL DRY or DE only in the bottom of each of my nest boxes too). Food grade DE is the safest for humans & animals, it usually contains only 1% silica. My local livestock feed store carries it in 50# bags, I split that with other people.

    *Natural coop & nest box cleaning & external lice/mite control (See post #903) https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=4057137#p4057137

    your breeding flock for fertility, that's where a healthy egg starts. I have good luck with keeping my flock healthy & fertile by feeding the following daily: Organic chick starter crumbles, Organic layer crumbles, Organic layer pellets in the coop (less waist when locked in at night til morning), Oyster shell, grit, BOSS (Black Oil Sunflower Seeds-free feed in shell or ground like I do, very good for fertility), Alfalfa meal (with or without molasses), dried crushed cheyanne peppers (chickens don't have heat receptors, so it doesn't burn their mouth, etc.-helps worm them & adds circulation), Homemade Kiefer (has good digestive bacteria & can help with immune system, like a liquid yogurt, no heating method, just use the starter grains over for each batch-you can find starter packets in a health food store or get the grains online somewhere-got my grains from a friend), mealworms (easy to find at a pet store & easy to grow your own from the starts you buy from a pet store, directions below); grass clippings; garden scraps; & fresh clean water daily (a few days a week, they get ACV (apple cider vinegar) in the water, but not every day). Most mornings, the chickens start their day with a treat of my verson of "chicken mash" which is: Organic chick starter crumbles 18% protein, alfalfa meal, ground BOSS (blk oil sunflower seeds), dried crushed cheyanne peppers, Fertrell Poultry Nutri-Balancer powder, homemade Kiefer & water to moisten (in freezing winter just add the Kiefer, no water-the milk butterfat stops the mix from freezing, but the water freezes here in 20 min.). Whole corn or cracked corn is a great treat (especially in the late afternoon) the corn carbohydrates warm their body up for the night. Watermellon & rinds really help keep the flock hydrated in the summer heat, we got up to a freaky temp of 117 F last year & they weathered well. I don't feed a corn suppliment in the heat, instead barley works great to keep the heat down. Poultry wheat & sprouted poultry wheat is an excellent treat & easy to sprout, just rinse it well every day so it doesn't sour; sprouting adds quantity & nutrition, a good value.

    *Grow your own mealworms: Just keep them in a deep container (5 gal bucket with lid cut, cut large hole in lid & attach screening); keep them in the dark & out of the heat; fill the bucket 1/2 or more with wheat bran; layer the top with a piece of burlap (they'll lay eggs on this), a fresh whole carrot (a good clean food that does not mold easy like apple does), then 2 pieces of brown paper bag or newspaper (for easy worm collection inbetween the 2 papers); add the purchased worms. They will turn into beetles, lay eggs, hatch into worms, grow & start all over again. Wow, do they multiply!! Durring hot days, mist the top with water in a spray bottle. Check often to remove any moldy carrots & sift out bedding when the wheat bran has turned into dusty droppings at the bottom (put the droppings into a new container & watch that hatch into worms also); when the siftings are done hatching, you can just toss that into the garden. It's a very self-sustaining, high protein & inexpensive food source.

    *Good veggies for chickens https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-Treats

    poo identification (graphic pictures, but very informative, droppings tell all about the health of an animal) http://www.chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0

    abbreviations. I'm always wondering just what type of chicken they've abreviated now. (see post #15) https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=42774&p=1
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2010
  2. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane 8 Years

    Jun 10, 2010
    I will probably be sitting in for August as well, though I don't actually have eggs in my hot little hands yet. I intend to be hatching out some french black copper marans and some more polish eggs... possibly (if I can locate sellers) buff cochins, light brahmas, silkies, and frizzle polish as well. I will also be going to a swap meet in Indiana (the giantest one on August 14th) where I will be looking for these and other... 'interesting' hatching eggs or chickens >.> how dangerous.

    And depending on HOW my peacock hatching goes this weekend, another round of peacock eggs. Let's hope I don't have to hatch any more peacocks though, because I would only be doing that if none of mine make it.
  3. Rennie

    Rennie Songster

    Oct 28, 2009
    Derbyshire, England
    Im currently waiting for my july batch to finish up ( hatch day as i write this ) ..Im almost certain that this hatch wont be as successful as I wanted so Ill be doing another batch as soon as the incubator is empty ..

    Im hoping to use the eggs laid from my birds (SLW and Orps) but Im not really certain on the fertility of them .. So I "might" have to get some more eggs off ebay or other sellers .. I really want more Orpingtons in my flock and that might be the only way to do it..

    Good luck to all [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. Tigerjane

    Tigerjane Songster

    Jun 17, 2010
    Pflugerville, TX
    I just put 9 BLRW bantams in the incubator this morning, and will probably be adding 9 additional (EE, BCM, Blue Ameraucana) tomorrow morning! I'm using the Little Giant 9200 forced air incubator (arrrrggghh). I have a notebook next to the incubator logging the humidity, temp, turns, and water additions. I'm hoping to get a hen from each breed [​IMG]
  5. Gerbil

    Gerbil Oh, Crazy!

    Jun 24, 2010
    I am putting Silkie and Serama eggs in this weekend![​IMG]
  6. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Songster

    Dec 28, 2009
    Saturday the 17 is my birthday...so I am setting some eggs to celebrate...this time I will put in 15-20 salmon faverolles.....so here I go again.....
  7. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    My July Hatch Results: I set 6 Button Quail Eggs, 3 of those hatched. 8 Chicken Eggs 7 of those hatched. Then a broody hen abandon her nest and left behind 11 eggs. So far 8 of those have hatch. Plus one Buff Orpington hen sat on 19 eggs and only one hatched.
    I may incubate more quail eggs in August. But I don't know yet, because I only have one female button and she hasn't layed an egg in awile. I may order some more quail eggs from somebody else so I can have two different lines. [​IMG]
    Good Luck Everybody! [​IMG] Happy [​IMG] ing!
  8. 8ROYALS

    8ROYALS Songster

    Jul 5, 2010
    Petersburg, Texas
    my 14 eggs went in the incubator today...looking for chicks on my anniversary the 8th of Aug. I figure they will hatch a couple of days before. can't wait!!!! this is my first time using an incubator...I have always let mother nature do her thing
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  9. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Songster

    Dec 28, 2009
    Quote:Good Luck...I used an incubator this year for the first time..and I love it once I got the hang of it....don't think it was a first time success either..with that being said, don't get discouraged, you will get it..do you have a hygrometer, and just read all the things that save the favs. said up front and you will do fine...can't wait to hear how you did.
  10. Quote:P.S. I counted the days up and Chili's eggs are due to hatch on August 5th, 2010. [​IMG] I so can't wait!!!
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010

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