Day 14 - staggering eggs

Lydipants

In the Brooder
Jul 30, 2020
17
21
26
I have a large capacity incubator - 104 that currently has about 65 eggs -. There are two egg trays with automatic egg turners.

Today we are on day 14. I have 30 plus eggs ready to go in, two dozen gifted that will be longer than ten days since lay if I wait.

Can I put the eggs on the top egg tray clearly separate today so they will be in one week by the time the chicks will be hatching?

What's your experience with staggering hatches like this? Looking for advice or suggestions to make this work.

If relevant, my incubator is pre programmed with temp, humidity and egg turning.
 

ABBandit

Chirping
Aug 10, 2020
51
51
54
Wadsworth, Illinois
Hi!
I have a similar style incubator to yours. I have a GQF 1502 Sportsman and 1550 (both amazing incubators). When I only had the 1502, I had the same dilemma. You can do as you said and put the egg tray on top so that they'd be around 1 week old when the others hatch; the problem comes when the first batch starts to hatch. I don't know your hatching method, but I always raise the humidity when they are about to hatch. Raising and then lowering the humidity unexpectedly does have negative consequences for the eggs that are nowhere near hatching.
I had various eggs die due to staggering (they wouldn't have if I had two incubators). That is why I bought two incubators: one for entirely setting the eggs, and one for hatching them out. Both have different contingent humidities- the setting incubator always has a humidity of 55%, while the hatching incubator has a humidity range of 65-70%. Granted, there are many approaches to playing with humidity, but this is the formula that I use and get approximately 95% hatch rates of egg counts of 100 or higher. You can do what you said, but if you increase the humidity, expect some embryos to be terminated.
So my take from this is that, while you can stagger, you'll maybe have more pre-mature deaths than usual.
If you tell me the temperature and humidity that you use, I can maybe offer a little bit more advice on staggering.
 

Lydipants

In the Brooder
Jul 30, 2020
17
21
26
Hi!
I have a similar style incubator to yours. I have a GQF 1502 Sportsman and 1550 (both amazing incubators). When I only had the 1502, I had the same dilemma. You can do as you said and put the egg tray on top so that they'd be around 1 week old when the others hatch; the problem comes when the first batch starts to hatch. I don't know your hatching method, but I always raise the humidity when they are about to hatch. Raising and then lowering the humidity unexpectedly does have negative consequences for the eggs that are nowhere near hatching.
I had various eggs die due to staggering (they wouldn't have if I had two incubators). That is why I bought two incubators: one for entirely setting the eggs, and one for hatching them out. Both have different contingent humidities- the setting incubator always has a humidity of 55%, while the hatching incubator has a humidity range of 65-70%. Granted, there are many approaches to playing with humidity, but this is the formula that I use and get approximately 95% hatch rates of egg counts of 100 or higher. You can do what you said, but if you increase the humidity, expect some embryos to be terminated.
So my take from this is that, while you can stagger, you'll maybe have more pre-mature deaths than usual.
If you tell me the temperature and humidity that you use, I can maybe offer a little bit more advice on staggering.
I have been ranging humidity a few points either side of 60. I candles yesterday and things are moving along.

Temp is at 38.

Also thank you for your thoughtful detailed reply
 

ABBandit

Chirping
Aug 10, 2020
51
51
54
Wadsworth, Illinois
Of course!

Now that I have an idea of how you are setting your eggs, I can comfortably say that you really shouldn't have that many problems with staggering so long as that the humidity stays fixed for both hatches.

While I have done a single humidity hatch (I believe it was around 60-62% for setting and hatching (also while staggering)) I didn't have that great of a hatch compared to normal. I had around 80+ eggs and had around an 85% hatch rate for both. I don't know what your hatch rates are, but what you are doing is more than fine.

Hope this helps and you have a great hatch.
 

Lydipants

In the Brooder
Jul 30, 2020
17
21
26
Of course!

Now that I have an idea of how you are setting your eggs, I can comfortably say that you really shouldn't have that many problems with staggering so long as that the humidity stays fixed for both hatches.

While I have done a single humidity hatch (I believe it was around 60-62% for setting and hatching (also while staggering)) I didn't have that great of a hatch compared to normal. I had around 80+ eggs and had around an 85% hatch rate for both. I don't know what your hatch rates are, but what you are doing is more than fine.

Hope this helps and you have a great hatch.
I'll post pics/updates!
 

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