Couple questions from a first time hatcher, w/ homemade bator & shipped Araucana eggs!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by n8ivetxn, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,574
    60
    181
    Nov 15, 2011
    Elma, Washington
    I've read a lot of the posts under incubating....[​IMG] And, I read the posts regarding shipped eggs - uggh! I'm trying to do everything possible to have, or increase the hatch rate on my precious babies [​IMG]I even carved out holes in the bottom of the carton/holders for more oxygen [​IMG]

    The scenario:

    Climate: NW Washington state, about 200ft elevation and 35 miles from the coast.

    I built this bator - I couldn't find a cheap cooler (even goodwill), so I bought a storage box at WalMart. (Photos are attached.) It has an egg turner, fan, w/h thermostat and 2 lights. I have 2 analog thermometers and one analog hygrometer. Tomorrow I will buy an acu-rite digital from WalMart.

    I've been testing the bator, empty, for a couple of days. It's maintaining a temp of about 97F and 38C - the thermometers read just slightly different. The hygrometer is holding steady at 30% - 33% humidity (dry). I'll add a damp or wet sponge before lockdown....

    Lights cycle on & off regularly (2-3 min), not too long or too short. I've taken readings in different areas and the box seems to have a stable climate.

    The eggs shipped on Saturday and arrive tomorrow (Tuesday). I'll pop them in the bator as soon as I can - the temps here have been stable for a few days, so they shouldn't need to adjust or settle before I put them in.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I know there are lots of opinions, so lay it on me - is the temp (too lo?) and humidity good for starting a hatch? Is there anything else I can do to help the hatch rate?

    My biggest question: tell me about ventilation. How many holes should I have in 56qt box? Where should they be located? It's a small box, so I have 3/16" holes near the base, one on each side and a couple near the top.

    I've never set eggs before, so I'm not sure what my habits will be like, most likely a 'hands off,' set and forget approach..... I don't have a scale for weighing eggs.... not sure how much I'll candle.... I just really want some Araucanas!

    Thanks in advance! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    28,658
    14,731
    616
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi, I cannot help with 99% of your questions, but i would advise that once you get your eggs, you let them rest of 24 hours before putting them in your incubator.

    CT
     
  3. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,574
    60
    181
    Nov 15, 2011
    Elma, Washington
    Thank you! I'll definitely consider your advice, my only reason for not letting them rest is due to age. They'll be at least 4 or 5 days old by the time I get them, but other than that, I'm in no hurry to put them in....So maybe I should rest them [​IMG]
     
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    28,658
    14,731
    616
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    You are most welcome and i hope that other members will chime in and help you out with your incubator questions.

    CT
     
  5. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

    30,677
    15,417
    676
    Nov 30, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    Sounds like one of your thermometers is off a bit? 97°F is too low, but 38°C is correct temp... did you calibrate your thermometers?
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,574
    60
    181
    Nov 15, 2011
    Elma, Washington
    No, I didn't calibrate.... I could do that tomorrow before mail runs! - Or, when I go to WallyWorld to get the digital temp/hygro, I could get 2 new units....

    Do you think 30 - 35% humidity is alright? I'm dry right now.....

    For ventilation, I might need to add one or two more top holes, but in any case, I'll just be leaving them all unplugged....Can you advise on venting?

    Thank you for the input [​IMG], I'll be monitoring this thread for more!
     
  7. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

    30,677
    15,417
    676
    Nov 30, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    Go ahead and get a couple more temp/hygros, just make sure to calibrate those too... even brand new ones can be off... :)

    Humidity sounds good for starting, just monitor your air cell growth and adjust it if needed...

    [​IMG]

    As for ventilation, yes, I would add some more... just watch that it doesn't drop your temps...
     
  8. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,574
    60
    181
    Nov 15, 2011
    Elma, Washington
    Great, I can do that [​IMG] Last night I adjusted the temp up just a hair, so this morning it's reading 39C/100F and 31% humidity.... I'll put two more vent holes in, near the top and bottom and monitor accordingly.

    I read the calibration page, but I'll need to go back and review it again....

    Ravyn, I love your birds! [​IMG] I got 36 eggs from Edd Sheppard's hatchery down in Redding CA. He's looking to retire/sell the hatchery soon, so I got some of his birds before who-knows-what happens.... It looks like I'll be lucky if I get a 50% hatch rate from shipped eggs.... I'll be happy if I get any! [​IMG]
     
  9. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

    30,677
    15,417
    676
    Nov 30, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    Good, ventilation is really important, you want the eggs getting plenty of O2... plus, you can always plug up holes if it's too many... :)

    I do ice bath calibration for thermometers, just crush some ice into a cup, add water til it covers the ice and place the bulbs or probes into the mush... swirl occasionally... within 15 mins to half an hour it should read 32°F or 0°C... if it doesn't, mark down how much higher or lower it reads and add or subtract that much to get your accurate reading...

    Humidity calibration is fill a shot glass with non-iodized salt, fill with water to the top of the salt only, place in a large ziploc bag with the hygrometers... within a few hours the readings should say 75%, if not record how much higher or lower they read and add or subtract that much to get your accurate reading... :)

    Thank you for the complements... I've been working hard on my Araucanas... since you're closer to Cali, hopefully you should get a decent hatch... hope the eggs had a good trip...
     
  10. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,574
    60
    181
    Nov 15, 2011
    Elma, Washington
    The humidity gauge I have is zoo-med, a reptile gauge. It has dual temp on it, but I'm not sure it's submersible [​IMG] I'm off to WalMart after the eggs get here, I'll check and see what they have for digital set-ups, maybe visit Home Depot...

    It seems that not many people raise Araucana chickens, I had a difficult time finding a reputable breeder. I looked around about 3 years ago and gave up... I'm fortunate that he was in the same region - do you ever have hatching eggs to offer BYCers? After I made the purchase from Sheppard, I saw an ebay seller in SC with a half dozen at auction, but that's all I've seen.

    Going to the freezer now to perform the calibration check.....

    Thanks again, me and the eggs appreciate it! LOL ....
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by