1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Egg Journal: Homemade Incubator! :)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by 77horses, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    Hey everyone! [​IMG]
    My eggs are finally set in my new homemade incubator! This thread is for updates and questions (a.k.a my "Egg Journal"). I will update you all everyday I can on the development of the eggs and will post pictures when possible.
    Right now there are 3 eggs in the incubator...I haven't used it yet, so I'm just putting in 3 eggs from our own chickens to see how it works first before putting a full load in and having it not work out.
    The incubator that I built (with a bunch of fellow BYCer's help! [​IMG]) is made from a 100q Igloo ice chest. I put in 2 manual-turn egg turners, both can hold 12 eggs, which means I can put up to 24 eggs in there. [​IMG]
    I used to have a fan running, but it was so loud, so I tried it without the fan and it is working fine. The temperature is staying from 99-101 (once and a while it will go down to 98 on really cold mornings and it once went up to 105, according to the incubator, but it's not really that high because the water wiggler/thermometer with probe are more close to the light than the eggs are. When it gets too hot, I just open one of the air plugs and when it gets too cool I close one or two of the air plugs.

    I read that chicken eggs can go up to 7 days without being incubated, and then you can put them in the incubator and they will start developing when they warm up to the right temp.
    So here is where I have a question. They waited until day 5 after they were laid before putting them into the incubator, that way I had plenty of time to test the incubator and get it at the right temp. On the 5th day, I put them in and incubated them as usual. So, would I count the day that I put them in as day 1 or 2? Or would that still be day 5 and do I just count normally from the day they were laid?
    Also, I'm doing the dry incubation. Right now the humidity is at 20-25%...it's a bit low, and for some reason takes A LOT of warm water and a sponge to raise it up. [​IMG]
    And I'm using a digital thermometer with probe, non-digital humidity meter, a lower water heater thermostat, and 75watt light bulb with porcelain light socket. So far, it all seems to be going pretty steady. [​IMG]

    Recording of Development: I will add the development updates at the end of the hatch.

    *UPDATE* The two eggs were laid on 1/2/10 and the other third one was laid on 1/3/09.

    I won't be able to get on every day, but I will update you as much as I can. I will add to the development record and post pictures when I can. [​IMG]

    Feel free to give me any advice that you have on dry-incubating or anything else from your experience. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2010
  2. smallbluejellybean

    smallbluejellybean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 13, 2009
    Kings Park NSW Australia
    Here is my still air button quail incubator.
    It worked great or should I say its still working great. I still have 7 eggs to hatch and 2 are pipping at the moment.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
    1 person likes this.
  3. rosaline

    rosaline Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 14, 2009
    I would say you are on day 1 when you put them into the incubator. As that is when they stat to develop in the bator. Good luck.

    I am attempting my secound hatch at the end of this week so I will keep watching your thread. Good luck x
  4. Eagle2026

    Eagle2026 HIGH FLYER

    Mar 10, 2009
    Snohomish, WA.
    Yes, what
    Rosaline said
    Day one is 24 hrs at time of actuale incubation:

    Check candling again on day ten.


    Have some faith in this, you will not be disapointed.
  5. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    UPDATE: Today is day 14 for the egg. There were 3 eggs, but after candling I found that 2 had blood rings in them, a sure sign of an early death. So, I have one healthy, developing egg in the incubator right now. It is on day 14 and is planned to hatch next upcoming Friday! [​IMG] I just candled it tonight and there is a nice web of veins, I can see the chick's eye and most of the egg is about half-way full of the yolk and chick.
    My only concern is that the good egg's air cell is crooked. It is off to the side rather than in the middle on the top. Humidity has been 25-35% (dry incubation method) and when I first candled the egg before it was even in the incubator (to make sure it had no tiny cracks, just in case) I noticed that the small air cell was more to the side. Is this anything I should worry about? So far it doesn't seem to be affecting the development of the chick or anything.

    Thanks and I will keep you updated as much as I can! Once we install a better computer here, I can get on more often to post about them.
  6. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    UPDATE: January 24th, 2010- Day 17

    Hey everyone! [​IMG] Today is day 18 and tomorrow I will be starting the 3 day wait! [​IMG] Egg #3, the only egg remaining (the 2 others were early quitters and I tossed them out a couple days ago because they both had blood rings in them). I candled last night and it looks good so far. The chick was moving the last time I checked, but was moving less because it has taken up more than half of the egg and has little room to move anymore. The air cell looks a bit on the small side for what day it's on and is crooked, as I noticed before, and this is what I'm worried about. Humidity has been 20-35% (dry incubation method) and I'm going to raise it to 45-55% from day 18 until it hatches.

    So, if anyone has any time to help me here, could you let me know if the crooked air cell is going to be a problem? So far it's the only thing that I've been wondering about if it's going to negatively affect the chick when it internally pips for the first time.

    Thanks and I will update you later! Right now the temperature in the incubator is 99-100*F, which is perfect. Humidity is about 35%. I might candle one last time tonight, then tomorrow morning I will take the egg out of the turner and put it in the bottom of the incubator for hatching.

    Hopefully it turns out OK! This is the first egg to fully hatch in this incubator since it was updated...before only one egg hatched in it successfully but it was already more than halfway developed and we had to put it in because the broody hen abandoned it. [​IMG]

    Thanks and good luck to Egg #3! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. Farmer Benjii

    Farmer Benjii Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2009
    Vic, AUS
    Yay, but just dont think of a name yet, it will make you cry if it doesnt hatch [​IMG]
  8. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    Also, another question I have is that since this egg is the only one planned to hatch (well, the only one now in the incubator...), will the chick be OK being alone? If I put more eggs in now, it would be about 3 weeks old already by the time they hatched. My only option would be to buy some at the local feed store, but they don't have any, or to find someone selling a couple baby chicks nearby. [​IMG] So for now when it hatches, I guess one of my old small stuffed animals will have to keep him/her company. Oh and she/he will be getting a lot of attention from me, too! [​IMG]
  9. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    Quote:I don't have any ideas for names. When/if she/he hatches, you guys can help me with that! [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by