First ever hatch and need advice for next time

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by clay30286, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. clay30286

    clay30286 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 22, 2012
    So I just finished my first hatch. I’m happy with the results but would like to get better for next time. I am hoping some of the experts can provide insights. I set 14 barred rock eggs in my hovabator (also equipped with computer fan and auto egg turner) on 12/31. Eggs were taken from coop on the day they were laid and straight to the incubator.

    1) 6 clean hatchers on 1/21
    2) 2 assisted hatchers – these were broken all the way around but I think the membrane had dried and stuck them. Let them try for 10 hours or so then helped with warm water and they popped right out.
    3) 1 cracked all the way around but failed to get out of egg (this was the reason I helped the other 2 because I left him to get it on his own for 24 hours).
    4) 2 appeared to be fully developed but no pip attempt
    5) 2 partially developed not close to formed
    6) 1 empty with no development.

    I miscalculated and did not raise the humidity and pull the egg turner until 1/20. My humidity after that was 57 – 58% (if you trust that thing) from 1/20 forward. Chick who failed to escape egg was directly under the fan, which I suspect contributed to the drying of the membrane.

    For next time I think I need to make sure to get the humidity up a day earlier. Maybe add more water to get it a bit higher? Also I think turning the fan off at this point would help with the drying problem. Is it safe to kill the fan 2 – 3 days before hatch? Thoughts?
  2. williamsl77

    williamsl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2011
    I'd love to hear thoughts... I had a more or less similar first hatch. I was very curious about why fully developed ones didn't make it.

    I also had some dry and need help despite pretty high humidity (like 70-80%, just during hatch though). I think the fan is a likely culprit. I haven't figured out how to turn mine off, but I will probably turn it off for my next hatch. Only issue is watching temps as the fan keeps the temps even through out the incubator. Might have to nudge it just a little higher to keep the right temp at egg level. (I think).
  3. Barred Rocker

    Barred Rocker cracked egg

    Jul 15, 2009
    King and Queen Co, Va
    I try to get the humidity up to around 70% on lockdown. But no matter how well things go with your temp and humidity you're still bound to lose one or two. I had a 90% hatch last Christmas but two died during hatch. I think it was more because the other chicks rolling them around like bowling balls than anything else. You'll learn by experience.
  4. clay30286

    clay30286 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 22, 2012
    That's another good point about the bowling balls. With only 14 eggs, there was a lot of rolling around. I don't think there would be any harm in taking hatched chicks to a pre-warmed brooder pretty quickly. I tried to leave them 24 hours and by the time the first ones came out they were pretty spunky.
  5. 3forfree

    3forfree Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2010
    essexville, michigan
    I just had six hatch friday and saturday, I left all of them in the bator until they were dry. they played alot of soccer with the eggs that hadn't hatched, but the last two hatched with out any problems.
  6. The Chickeneer

    The Chickeneer ~A Morning's Crow~

    Yeah, eggs rolling around in the bator always seems to be a problem......because, under a hen, the eggs are all snug and tight in a bowl shape nest, so eggs rolling isn't a problem. What a lot of people do during lockdown to keep eggs from rollling, as well as helping with the mess, is they set some napkins down in those little nacho boats, then they put the egg in it so the walls of the nacho boat keep the egg in, as well as the mess, so you can just through the boat and napkins away afterward. Good luck with your next hatch![​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  7. IMPO

    Dont turn off the fan. DO raise the humidity as high as you can get it and pull the turner 3 days before hatch. If the chicks are dry you can go ahead and quickly grab them to move them to a prewarmed brooder. Have a small shallow bowl ready with a hot wet wash cloth and put that in there as you pull the chicks will keep the humidity up as long as you get in and get out.

    Edit... You did a good job for your first hatch. Congrats.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  8. TucsonAZ

    TucsonAZ Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 15, 2011
    Great job on a first hatch, it takes some time to perfect and you couldn't have expected to do any better! Here are my suggestions:

    1) Make sure fan is blowing up with about an inch and a half of space at the top.

    2) Make sure you aren't running it with more than 5 (6 at the most) volts, you are trying to circulate the air not create a breeze.

    This is how I set mine up and I normally get 100% hatch rates.
  9. clay30286

    clay30286 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 22, 2012
    That's a good idea about flipping my fan to blow up. It should accomplish the same thing by circulating the air and no direct breeze on the hatching chicks. I'm going to do that this week and then load the unit with a full load of eggs this weekend.
  10. clay30286

    clay30286 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 22, 2012
    Can you tell me what model ranco you used? I am thinking that might let me move it outside to the garage.

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