First batch done, and what we've experienced!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Jeffross1968, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    So back on September 5th, we set 8 eggs, at 6pm, all from our own hens and our recently matured rooster. Some eggs were showing as fertilized, some were not, so we didn't know what to expect. We purchased, new, an LG still air, with no turner. Plugged it in, spent 6 or 8 hours doing our best to stabilize the temps (nearly impossible) and set the eggs. At the time, I had only the thermometer that came with the LG, which I placed on top of the eggs. I half filled the water canals, with the idea that little to no more water would be added during the first 18 days. I did end up adding water once, around the middle or end of week 2, when humidity dipped below 20%. The rest of the time, the humidity ranged between 35 and 50%. One week later, we purchased a turner, and a very cheap thermometer/hygrometer from wal-mart. A simple, black plastic one with no probe that we sat right on top of the turner.

    Here comes our first mistake. I had to leave within minutes of adding the turner. I did not consider how raising the eggs by adding the turner would effect their temps. For several hours, I'm guessing, the temps at the top of the eggs reached 106-108. I was horrified! I immediately opened the bator and let the whole thing cool down a bit, and then adjusted the temp control. It took a couple of days of swings between 95 and 103 before it settled into a not very stable 101ish. I let it alone.

    We candled 3 times. Here comes mistake number 2. I had the first candler, on day 5, set up across the room from the bator. 2nd egg I touched I dropped. Splat. At that time, 3 eggs showed spider veins and an embryo. The final 4 showed nothing but the yolk. I left the eggs in until day 10, when I candled again. Again only 3 showed even more progress, the other 4 still nothing, so they were removed. I carefully cracked open each one into a bowl, and found that all 4 were not fertilized. So nothing I did, nor the cheapness and troubles with the LG caused problems, to this point.

    The final candle was on day 15, and the three remaining eggs all showed a moving, healthy embryo. Yay!

    Now here came the tough part. Day 18...lock down. It was a Friday morning, and I was about to leave the house until Sunday, with no one to attend to it. Terrifying. I removed the turner very early in the morning, and placed soaking wet paper towels in all the canals, a soaked wash rag folded in quarters under the screen mesh, and a small cup of hot water right in the middle of it all, on top of the screen. I watched the humidity rise to 79%, and figured I did the best I could. I spent the final few hours raising the temps back up a little, since the turner had been removed, and the eggs were now sitting farther away from the heating elements. I did what I could...and I left.

    I returned Sunday noonish, to find the temps at 104! I figured I cooked them for sure. That was the top of the egg, the air sac, so I had no idea what the embryo temp was at, but figured too high. Good news was, the humidity stayed above 60%. It soon dropped slightly below that, and I used a straw through one of the vent holes and re-soaked everything I could reach, bringing the humidity back up 10 points.

    Monday...Day 21. Temps mostly stabilized back at 101, humidity good, we get the fist pip at noon. Second pip very soon after. Nothing from the 3rd egg, or so we thought....

    Hours later, maybe 4pm, the one with no pip is moving like crazy. This bird really wanted out. There was little movement from one pipped egg, and none from the other. We continued watching. Around 7 or so, I happened to be looking at the no pip egg from a different angle, and noticed that there WAS a big pip, but at the bottom! I came here to the forums and asked for a quick reply to whether or not that could be an issue, and was told to turn it immediately! I did so, and this seemed to temporarily confuse the chick, as the zipping stopped almost entirely. But, when it started again around 8:30, it did so with a vengeance! By 9pm, it was out, and our first ever hatched chick, Rocky, was born.

    Rock proceeded to roll around, flopping all over the place scaring the crap out of us. Thought there was something wrong. Falling into walls, getting it's beak stuck in the metal grate, and kicking around the other 2 eggs. At one point, strangely, Rocky seemed to focus on one of the eggs. Soon, that egg, which had shown little to no activity for 9 hours, went nuts, and zipped itself out and hatched at 10pm! Bullwinkle was born!

    We left them both in the incubator until almost midnight, but they had begun to really kick around the final egg, which still showed no movement, and we decided to move them into the brooder.

    When doing so, I picked up the final egg and tapped on it, while holding it to my ear. I heard TAPPING AND CHIRPING! It was alive. I was very, very close to overreacting, having read so many threads about intervention. I'm glad the little sucker was still kicking. I put the top back on the bator and we decided to go to sleep, since my wife had to work very early. I woke once around 2pm and checked it out, and there was no change. The alarm went off at 6am, and I took the flashlight over to the bator, only to find....the 3rd one hatched! Welcome, Peabody! It was laying on the grate, half asleep. We moved it into the bator with the others, dipped it's head in the water like we did the other two, and I'm proud to announce that they are all doing wonderfully.

    I think one of the things I learned is that even with massive instability, mistakes, and a cheap bator, you can have a good hatch. All things considered, removing non-fertilized eggs and the one I dropped, I'm going to consider it a 100% hatch. Every egg that I didn't drop (LOL), that was fertilized hatched. Hard to beat that.

    That was this morning, and soon after, I ran to the post office and picked up my Turken eggs ordered from a member here, all in great condition. We'll be adding maybe a dozen more of our own eggs, this time a good amount of EE's and some we can hopefully sex at birth, we'll take the lessons we learned from our first run, and hope for another great experience.

    Just for fun, here is a pic of our 3 great babies as they enjoy their first day outside the shell! Thank you everyone for helping us through our first hatch!

  2. chickmama1662

    chickmama1662 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2011
    That is awesome! Great job. I would have been a nervous wreck!
  3. angie3881

    angie3881 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Congratulations on your success!!!

    Just curious... do you have ice in your waterer? If so, why? I have never seen or heard of that.
  4. Impress

    Impress Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    Gray, TN
    That is craft marbles I bet, it makes them extra interested in the water and prevents drowning. I think I was one of your helpers, I'm glad it all turned out okay! Cute chicks and fantastic names!
  5. angie3881

    angie3881 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Every day I get on here and learn something new! [​IMG]
  6. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Quote:Yeah, wal-mart was out of regular marbles, so I got these in the fish section...used in fish tanks. Already caught one asleep with it's head on the rim of the waterer. Never know where they'll lay their heads, and this keeps them from drowning.
  7. spowell

    spowell Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2011
    Rocky Point, NC
    Very happy for you and your chicks [​IMG]:jumpy:jumpy
  8. bikerchic

    bikerchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 22, 2011
  9. Lorrie77

    Lorrie77 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 26, 2011
    Wow congratulations on 100% hatch and welcome to the world Rocky, Bullwinkle, & Peabody [​IMG]
    I too incubated for the first time and used the LG incubator! My first egg pipped at 4:30 yesterday and then hatched at 12:30 am
    I staggered my batch so just 1 little egg for me and Sweet pea was born with no complications except me being a nervous wreck [​IMG]
  10. babigyrl22

    babigyrl22 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2011
    [​IMG] awesomesauce.

    I am at day 19 and I am a nervous nelly. I LOVE the names you chose [​IMG]

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