Counting Days and Turning?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by d_rooster, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. d_rooster

    d_rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2007
    North Augusta, SC
    Yes, I've searched the past messages for "stop turning" and I found a ton of answers with tons of opinions and interpretations. There has got to be a correct, by-the-book, rote answer to the question of when to stop turning most chicken eggs in the incubator.

    I set my incubator eggs on Saturday evening, Nov. 24th. So by speckledhens counting convention (setting eggs after noon that day doesn't count as day one), that makes Sunday evening Nov. 25th the end of Day 1 for my incubator eggs. Following out with that counting convention, the evening of Wednesday, Dec. 12th would be the end of Day 18. That would leave Days 19, 20, 21 (Thurs, Friday, Sat.) as the remaining days of incubation.

    So... doesn't that mean that my last turning and candling would be the evening of Wednesday, Dec.12th? When I close the incubator that evening (12/12/07), I should raise the humidity and not open until all baby chicks that are gonna hatch have done so?

    I know that this behavior is instinct for hens, but does anyone know what the cue is for the setting hen to stop turning her eggs? Does she quit turning once she feels the eggs bouncing around under her or does she quit turning when she sees pipping or hears peeping sounds?

    ~Donald
     
  2. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    PA
    Your chicks are going to start hatching on the evening of 12/15, so as long as you stop turning and add water a couple days before that you are fine. Mother hens stop turning (I believe) when they feel movement or hear cheeping from inside (before internal pip). The reason we do it so far ahead of time is because if your temp is a little high, they could hatch early and we can never really be sure they have internally pipped yet without constantly candling the egg. We do not have the direct contact of a mother hen, so must err on the side of caution. I typically don't move mine until 2 days before hatch, because I am confident in my temp measurement tools and know exactly when my chicks will hatch. I've already moved them with external pips and they hatched fine (because I forgot about them).

    Yes, once they are moved to the hatcher..do not disturb the hatch until it is finished. That is your best chance for a good hatch of strong, healthy chicks. The environment is very sensitive and no matter how fast you get the humidity back up, you have already damaged the membranes of pipped chicks and will cause problems. Wait it out..it's worth it. Good luck with your hatch.

    Jody
     
  3. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    Our eggs should hatch the same time. stop turning day 18 juice up the humidity and hang on for a wild ride. At least that's what I'm told. I'm new to this too.
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    It isn't an exact thing-like Jody says, we dont have the benefit or being able to know when they've pipped internally like their mother would. We are trying to simulate, therefore, estimate at best, the natural hatching process. I've been known to put my eggs in the hatcher even a few hours before Day 18 actually begins and still have had great hatches.
     
  5. d_rooster

    d_rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2007
    North Augusta, SC
    Thanks to everyone for the reassuring replies. I was thinking about setting up another incubator for the hatching. That way I can get it all set up with the soft stuff on the wire bottom, padding around the edges (to protect little feet) and maybe some sponges strategically placed so that I can add water to them with my aquarium tube through the top of the incubator during those last few days. At least that's a really good excuse to buy another incubator. [​IMG]

    The eggs in the incubator now are Silkies. I'm already planning the next set of eggs. I am wanting to try some Bantam Salmon Favorelles. I think bantams are just the right kind of chickens for me since I can have slightly more of them in the same amount of space as standard sized chickens. I also don't mind eating the smaller eggs they lay.

    I have fallen in love with Betty, my broody bantam buff cochin. She is the most adorable and gentle bird in my whole flock. Right now Betty is sitting on the half dozen Silkie eggs that match the six that I placed in my incubator. I'm down to five viable eggs in the 'bator (one was a blood ring). I haven't candled Betty's eggs, yet, and I doubt that I will. I think I'll just wait and be surprised at Betty's success.

    Lonecowboy, we will probably both be crazy with anticipation by Dec. 15th. That's less than 2 weeks from now! It's just as bad as waiting on Santa to come when I was a child. I know I won't sleep well those last few days. If my eggs hatch on schedule, at least they will be arriving on a weekend when I don't have to go to work.

    ~Donald
     
  6. skeeter

    skeeter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    after 24 hours that was 1 day thats how i did it,after I had 18 of those i quit turning and put in sponges (wet) to up the humidity,worked perfectly
     
  7. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    I'm thinking I'm going to have to put in spounges too since I don't want anything that the chicks will have a problem with. I'm worried about having enough space for the little critters to move around. However, I've decided not to worry since that would be like counting my chicks before they hatch. [​IMG] I'm sure I'll have to remove some eggs before long. I just can't see into them well enough.

    I'm planning my next hatch too. I'm thinking buff orpingtons. I really want to keep some of these that I hatch, but DH says no. I'd like to sell my SLW and replace them. They don't have any personality what so ever.

    You'd still get a good layer if you cross a Red Sex link and a RIR roo wouldn't you? I've got RIR's in the bator now, and I need a roo.
     
  8. skeeter

    skeeter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Parma Idaho
    a red sexlink is half RIR so id say so.
     

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