Do you remember your first time hatch?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Sallysec, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Sallysec

    Sallysec Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 31, 2012
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    I'm wondering what breed those of you with experience chose as your first to incubate. Are some breeds easier?
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    For a first-time hatch, I would recommend getting eggs you don't really care about. I know that seems counter-intuitive, but incubating and hatching is like learning a fine motor skill - it takes a little experience to really get it right. When you are doing the learning/experimenting-with-what-works, on expensive eggs you are emotionally invested in, it can be very discouraging to get to the end and have nothing hatch. I have a friend who bought a Brinsea - usually a good choice for someone starting out - and was trying to hatch her own eggs for months without success. It turned out the thermostat in the incubator was off by 5 degrees so although development started, the eggs were too hot for too long each time and nothing fully developed. Those are the kinds of wrinkles it is best to iron out with eggs you aren't so invested in, rather than eggs that cost you $70 shipped.

    If you have a rooster of your own, the best place to start is to hatch some of your own eggs, even if they are barnyard mutts. Having not had to travel anywhere, and being fresh, you will get a better hatch out of your own eggs.

    The next best choice is to place an ad on Craigslist for some local fertile eggs that you can pick up. Picking them up allows you to handle them very carefully getting them home. When someone contacts you, ask them to collect the eggs and place them big end up in an egg carton.

    If you order eggs to be shipped in, you will be dealing with eggs that may have been handled roughly by the USPS prior to your getting them. If the air sacs or yolks have been affected, those eggs will be much more challenging to hatch. Many people have had a 0% hatch from shipped eggs - even experienced hatchers who know their incubators and can trust that the thermometer and hygrometer are reading accurately.
     
  3. Sallysec

    Sallysec Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 31, 2012
    New York
    Thanks for the advice, I fidget a brinsea mini adv. as a gift, I just received my chicks today but for the futures wanted to collect advise and experiences from others. I plan on hatching whatever I can get my hands on for free locally at first in the spring....I don't have a rooster (illegal here) or I'd use my own. I figure I won't be hatching a lot since I will need to rehome the boys.


    Thanks and what did you hatch first?
     
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I built my own incubator and then looked on CL for people selling eggs for eating. I contacted them one by one asking if by any chance the eggs would be fertile. It didn't take long to find some that were, and the lady agreed to collect them, place them big end up in the carton, and sell them to me at eating egg prices. I hatched four from the first 11 I set (one was cracked) and that told me a lot about what was working right and wrong with my incubator, allowing me to make some adjustments.

    At that time I lived in the city and couldn't have roosters, but I've since moved to the country and have a big old boy who likes the ladies. Once I realized the eggs were fertile, I set 10 eggs and got 9 chicks, and then set some more and got my first 100% hatch. In between I had done several batches of shipped eggs but never got anywhere close to those kinds of figures, so it really does make a difference if you can hatch your own.
     
  5. Haloclimb

    Haloclimb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Our first hatch was under a broody hen. She was a silkie cross so she went broody ALL THE TIME! I stuck some eggs under her with a half-hearted hope for some chicks, but since we'd only had chickens for a few months I had no clue what was going on. I wasn't actually expecting them to hatch, so when I went up to the coop one day and heard cheeping under the mother, I ran down to the house and started shouting and yelling that we had chicks! Both mum and dad instantly ran up to the coop to see as well xD
    That hatch actually went really well, with the majority of the eggs hatching, and since they were brown leghorn crosses they were quite colourful!
     

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