Explain the process of incubation?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by SeptemberQuail, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. Yes! (Around 70% or more)

    2 vote(s)
    40.0%
  2. It worked at least. (So less or more than 50% of the eggs hatched)

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  3. Sadly, no. (I'm sorry...)

    2 vote(s)
    40.0%
  1. SeptemberQuail

    SeptemberQuail Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,

    I'm planning on making my own incubator to save money, I've found a tutorial for a styrofoam incubator and apparently it's "guaranteed" (Hah, well not really, but still xD) a 60% hatch rate, which isn't bad, at least it's more than half. [​IMG]

    Anywho, I've browsed around the forums lately and am a little confused on what all this lock down and turning stuff is.
    I've got at least a dozen fertile quail eggs, if so more, [from both my quail hens, though I'm a little lost with which eggs belong to whom since they all look the same and they both lay in the same nesting box [​IMG] But I've seen the male mount them both.] , with more to come as my hen keeps laying, and since I know going broody is uncommon, I thought I might as well hatch them rather then eat them (I really adore quail, I'm obsessed really; and would absolutely be fainting with love if I had chicks!).

    So if anyone can explain to me in detail on what to do, how I should keep humidity at bay and measure it, how many times I should turn it, and a lot more information needed for this process would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!

    >>> I'm a newbie at this.
     
  2. SilverDuck284

    SilverDuck284 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have only incubated shipped eggs, so my hatches are usually about 50%. the best I've had is 70%. My biggest suggestions is to invest in a plastic cooler. The styrofoam ones can be difficult to work with, they are flimsy and you will hold better temps with a plastic one. They are also easier to clean and much more durable. I used a handful of how-to's from this sites incubator section in the learning center. Although I think the most helpful info I found were the videos on youtube by rush lane poultry.

    Lockdown is the last three days of incubation where you aren't supposed to open the incubator. This is because the chicks need it to be moist so the membranes in the shell dont stick to them. When you open the incubator you lose tons of moisture, so its a big no-no. As for turning the eggs, all you do is move the'm so the little embryo moves around and cant get stuck to one side of the shell. You can get a fancy turner, build one out of pvc, tilt the whole 'bator side to side, or just reach in and roll them around. Many methods, same outcome. I have a small 'bator, no room for a turner, so I just tilt it. They need to be turned 3 times a day.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!!
     
  3. Sweetlilbaby

    Sweetlilbaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My rate has been bad because my source of eggs :( They show up with majority not fertile, the ones that are fertile are full of bacteria.
    Without counting the eggs from that source i've had a 90% hatch rate with a home made incubator. counting them i've had maybe 10% hatch rate. I wont be getting anymore eggs from that guy. Not worth it to upset myself.
     
  4. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I voted no, but it's not really a fair vote. My "homemade incubator" was a heating pad and a shoe box. I knew next to nothing about incubating eggs then, so they didn't really have a chance. My little sister accidentally knocked it over about a week into incubation and there was no development whatsoever.
     
  5. SeptemberQuail

    SeptemberQuail Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @Silverduck284

    I'm actually using a styrofoam box, so I guess this is a 'prototype' first off. Since I'm getting fertile eggs daily, I'm getting quite a lot, so if nothing happens with the eggs I'll just eat them. Waste not want not. :)
    Anywho, I know you said opening the incubator will make the eggs lose moisture, but what if I'm doing it when they're not on lockdown? As in when I turn it (I know this sounds like a stupid question, but it's my first time hatching things with an incubator! ^-^) I'd need to open it via the top of the box.

    Another question;
    [I haven't built it yet, but this is the plan]
    The eggs will go in the middle of the incubator in a smaller container (so they don't roll around like crazy). But about the light source, I'm still thinking about this:

    Should I put the light bulb in with the eggs, as in, in the middle; all the eggs will go around it? The light bulb is 25 watt.
    Or should I just put the light bulb on top of the incubator - the instructions aren't clear, I'm using this tutorial:
    http://www.cyberquail.com/incubators.html
    [Tony's Styro Incubator]

    But thank you very much for that information, that was all I needed to know! [​IMG]

    @Sweetlilbaby,

    It's really sad to lose what could've been a potential chick. I've accidentally cracked probably 3 fertile eggs, when collecting them (My quails keep kicking the hay around in their nesting box every time before they lay an egg, they actually make a mini nest and always trick me into thinking they're going broody, but the eggs could crack since the bottom of the nest is wooden)... They were tasty though. But a 90% hatch rate is great! (Not counting those eggs) What did you use to make your incubator? ^-^"

    @LaynaDon95,

    I'm sorry to hear about that. I hope all goes well next time with any future incubations!
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    You will want a few very small holes for some amount of air exchange. The hardest thing for you will be keeping steady heat. There are great success stories using a simple hot water thermostat. You can pick one up at a box store like Home Depot for about 8 dollars US. Wire it inline to positive wire of light socket. The most important part of incubation is steady heat, secondly is turning eggs regularly then humidity. You could also pick up a cheap hygrometer online for 6-10 dollars US.

    For best results store your eggs in a cool area like basement. If you store them in egg cartons pointy end down and turn them twice a day just like you will in your incubator you have a high viability rate for hatching. I've stored eggs for two weeks with no problem and heard tell of others storing them for three weeks or more with good results.

    Don't eat any eggs you've starting in an incubator. And you stop turning eggs last three days of incubation when you add more water to up humidity to 60%. Quail hatching time varies by species so I don't know when your "lock down" day starts. Say you have Button Quail then you'd up moisture and lay eggs flat, stop turning, the night of day 12 (or very early day 13) and expect them to hatch day 16.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  7. SeptemberQuail

    SeptemberQuail Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @Egghead_Jr,

    Thank you for that information, it was quite helpful actually!
    Though after just watching a video tutorial, I'm thinking of going shopping this weekend to buy a smaller styrofoam cooler (mines way too big) and a digital thermostat (hopefully shouldn't cost more than $10).

    With the egg carton, so is it just a regular egg carton, just regularly on it's right side up, just with the lid chopped off?
    Also I know coturnix quail incubate for around 17 days.. So would lockdown be at around day 14 or 15?

    Plus, thanks for the humidity info, I'll need to remember that; But the tutorial I watched put a sponge inside the glass of water, do you have any idea of why it was needed... and is it needed?
    Yet again, thank you!
     
  8. CEngdahl

    CEngdahl New Egg

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    I was going to start hatching some quail in the next couple of days. I had an old incubator from a couple of years ago but never done poulty. I dont have a egg turner so I just plan on propping up one side and then later on propping up the other side to kid of turn the eggs a bit. My question is do you put the eggs in a seperate plastic container with some straw or anything or do you just sit them on the wire. I was afraid of the rolling around to much with me propping up one side to the other.
     
  9. SilverDuck284

    SilverDuck284 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your eggs dont need nearly as much humidity during incubation, There are no stupid questions, thats why you are here. To learn. =]

    If you put a fan in your incubator (Highly recommend!) then bulb placement isnt an issue, All you need to keep in mind is tp put it where newly hatched chicks cant get too close to it. I have mine higher up on the side of my 'bator. As for the container, I use egg cartons with the bottoms cut off to keep my eggs in one place. Remember that the eggs need to breathe and will die without enough air circulation.

    Here is a picture of my incubator.
    [​IMG]

    And here is the video that helped me make it. There are 4 parts, this is part 1.


    And this is how to modify and place the water heater thermostat.


    Keep asking questions! =]
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. SeptemberQuail

    SeptemberQuail Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much @Silverduck284! Okay, since I already have a computer fan, am I supposed to put the fan at low-speed? Or just at a regular spinning speed?
    Also, you've been a great help in the past two posts, so thank you! ^-^
     

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