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"don't use an incubator for hatching"?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Darklingstorm, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Songster

    Jan 10, 2011
    Durant, Oklahoma
    I read in a duck book that you shouldn't use an incubator to hatch the eggs but only use it up till the time of lock down, especially in forced air incubators. The forced air can dry out the pipped eggs and "shrink wrap" them.

    So my questions are:
    Do you use a separate hatcher or do you use the incubator?
    If you do use the incubator, do you turn off the fan during lock down?
    What are your results from either way?

    I'm planning on building an incubator and need to know if I need a separate box for the actual hatching. Also do any of you use an egg turner to turn the eggs prior to putting them in the incubator? I was thinking of using the egg turner while gathering eggs prior to putting them in an incubator with a turner.

    Getting excited and I'm not even half way there yet.

  2. debs_flock

    debs_flock Crowing

    Sep 14, 2011
    Shingle Springs, CA
    For my first batch, I only had the one incubator, forced air. All I did at lockdown is to remove the eggs from the turner and place them on their side. I left everything else the same, but increased the humidity to around 65%. I had a great hatch.

    I think if you increase your humidity, you won't have a problem with the membrane drying out. By using the forced air, you will keep your temperature more stable with your eggs.

    I think the biggest purpose of a separate hatcher is to keep the mess out of your incubator and to give you the ability to have staggered hatches. You can set a few eggs every week and move the ones ready for lockdown to your hatcher.

  3. I prefer to turn the fan off during hatch.. however with the newer incubators I have gotten that isn't possible

    the only time to really worry about a pipped chick shrink wrapping (assuming you have done everything correctly) is if it's a "slow hatcher' with a large pip. the large pip can allow too much air to get in and dry out the membrane making it into a shrink wrapped chick or one who has a membrane that's a bit too tough for it to break through easily.

    and for the record.. i have hatched out lots of ducks in a forced air incubator with no issues.. however anytime i have a chick that is a bit slow hatching who also has a large pip I keep an eye on them in case they look as if they need some help

    as to your other question.. I don't bother to turn the eggs unless it will be several days before they go into the incubator.. if it's going to be more than a day or two then I just tilt the egg carton that I have the eggs waiting in several times a day to simulate turning them
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I have not hatched ducks, just chickens and turkeys, so take my comments for what they are worth. With a forced air I think you need higher humidity during lockdown than with a still air, regardless of what you are hatching. I could be wrong, but I think it is more finding the right humidity for the incubator and your conditions and your species more than a forced air versus still air issue.

    I take my turner out of the incubator and store the eggs I am gathering to hatch in it. I don't think you have to turn them if it is only going to be a few days, but what does it hurt?
  5. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Songster

    Jan 10, 2011
    Durant, Oklahoma
    I thank you all for the information. Glad I don't have to build a hatcher too.

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