Candling at 15 HOURS?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Englishable, May 17, 2017.

  1. Englishable

    Englishable Out Of The Brooder

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    This is our first year trying to hatch some eggs, and while we have had 3 hens go broody, we haven't had any luck getting them to sit or stay on the eggs we give them. We're not giving up on them, but in the meantime we've ordered an incubator. We're currently collecting enough eggs to fill it (holds 42 eggs), which should be by Friday. First eggs collected were Sunday.

    I'm reading Gail Damerow's "Raising Chickens" and came across the following passage:

    To optimize incubator space and improve your overall hatching rate, incubate a full setting for 15 hours, then candle and remove infertile eggs and those with germinal discs (the dark spots) that are smaller than the majority. Put the remaining eggs back into storage, where they will safely go dormant, and repeat the process with a second setting. Combine the best of both settings and incubate as usual.

    Seems like a great idea to maximize hatchings, especially since we only have the one incubator; it could ensure us more chicks without waiting until the first batch hatch to do a second batch. (My ultimate goal is to end up with 16 hens... I figured I may have to attempt to hatch 64 eggs to get that, with a 50% hatching rate and 50% male/female ratio.)

    So my questions are - what would I be looking for at 15 hours; and how long will the eggs stay dormant after incubating for 15 hours?

    We get anywhere from 6 to 10 eggs a day. I wouldn't want to wait until we get a second batch of 42 eggs, but could we store the first batch for 48 hours, incubate the second batch (12-20 eggs) for 15 hours, and then finally put all fertile eggs in the incubator together?

    Any other thoughts on this? Has anyone tried it?
     
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Not only have I never tried it, I never heard of it till now. I have hatched over 10,000 chicks in the last 3 years or so and have no desire to try it??? I have no idea what to tell you to look for at 15 hrs?? But if someone has a Interest----Go for it.

    Now what brand/type incubator have you got??
     
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  3. Englishable

    Englishable Out Of The Brooder

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    We got a Hova-Bator 2362E with automatic turner. Not the best, not the worst.
     
  4. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Nice Incubator. Seems like most are happy with them.
     
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  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Hovabators are awesome, and I recommend highly against pulling clears before 7 days. I candle daily. I've been hatching for 3 years. This year I started paying close attention to the yolk and subtle changes in it in the first 48 hours to see if I could predict which were going to be developers and which were not. Based on the change of color and the "spot" germinal disk, blastoderm when it can be seen. I'm not doing to bad in my predictions, of course I kept notes for the last 5 hatches, but I would never count on this to decide to pull clears. I just like challenging myself. Seeing how well I can pick up on subtle differences. If incubator space is that important and a hatcher wants to produce many chicks I'd say invest in a cabinet incubator or buy a second bator to use as a hatcher and do continuous staggered hatches.
    If you are getting 6-10 eggs a day that's 30-50 in five days and 42-70 in a week. You should be able to fill the bator in 5-7 days of collecting.
     
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  6. wynn4578

    wynn4578 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The idea behind it is called heat treating and if you want to try it I would suggest doing plenty of reading. Heat treating is not necessary unless storing eggs for extended periods of time (longer than a week) some hatcheries use this method for storing eggs for up to 2 weeks. But be aware if done improperly you will actually damage the egg instead of preserve it.
     
  7. wynn4578

    wynn4578 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Forgot to mention that I tried an experiment checking germal discs a couple of years ago and though my goal was to determine if size during the first stage of incubation had any bearing on sex ( it does not) I also didn't see any significant difference in hatch rates between the eggs with smaller discs ( to be fair I also wasn't tracking this).
     
  8. Englishable

    Englishable Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks everyone! I'll just go with a straight, regular incubation period and just have eggs ready to go for a second batch by day 22 or so. We put 42 eggs in at noon today so wish me luck!
     
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  9. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Good luck!
     
  10. Englishable

    Englishable Out Of The Brooder

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    Just an update: We candled our eggs on day 8 and most seemed to be doing really well. We marked the ones that either we couldn't really tell or we could discern without a doubt were not developing; however, because this is our first hatch, we kept all the eggs in the incubator in case we were wrong.

    On Friday at 6am, about 6 hours shy of a full 21 days, we had our first chick! As of yesterday afternoon, 30 of our 42 eggs have hatched - that's almost 72%! We are thrilled. We left the incubator in lockdown until Saturday at 6pm (36 hrs) and pulled 21 chicks out, left the newest/wettest ones (4) and waited until last night to remove those ones (plus the 5 others that had hatched since). All 30 babies are now in their brooder, eating, drinking, cheeping and pooping away!

    We'll remove the remaining eggs tonight, open them up to see at what point they stopped developing (if they developed at all), clean the incubator and have it all set for batch #2 tomorrow!
     

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