First go-round with the incubator!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Beanzie, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. Beanzie

    Beanzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I finally did it; I finally got some eggs for hatching! All of my hen's eggs have been frozen thus far, if any laid at all. But I had a very kind woman offer me a slew of eggs from Modern Game to Sumatra to try out in the bator. This is my first time hatching with an incubator and I have prayers it will go well. I set the eggs today after running my incubator for a few hours. Last week I did a test run of it over several days, so I have faith in my incubator and my three thermometers keeping track of the temp.

    I hope to keep some pictures and track my first experience. So, to start us off, I'll post some shots of the whole procedure on day one. I set the eggs at 1PM on 2/8/2014, making them due March 1st. The temperature was stable prior to putting the eggs in, but after taking the cover off the incubator I lost all of it and am building it back up again.

    When I first put the eggs in they were cool to the touch, so the incubator will have to actually have heat saturate the egg before it will be more reliably stable. To get it up to temperature I turned it up slight from what I had it, but I hope to keep an eye on it till it stabilizes, then turn the temperatures back down. Humidity seems to be going good thus far.

    I candled all of the eggs, but I really don't know what I am looking for. Quite a few of them were mildly speckled on the inside when candled, is that bad? I set them anyway, but considering most were like that I figured it couldn't hurt.

    I am very excited about the variety in these eggs. They are breeds that I would never have even been interested in getting other wise, but I think it will be very neat to have them! Among the breeds are Modern Game, Sumatra, Lakenvelder, Silkies, and Belgian D'anvers. They have many different chickens, so I may be surprised. Like I said, I will keep you all updated. [​IMG] I can't get my pictures on my computer, but I will share some one of these days. Especially hatch day at very least, but I'd expect tons otherwise. I also will be getting Silver Penciled Rock (?) eggs, and I might be able to weasel my way into some Call Ducks, though I would need quite a few eggs for it to be worth it considering the hatch rates.
     
  2. Beanzie

    Beanzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2014
    Got my pictures all sorted out, so here is the first leg of our journey!

    Here all of my eggs are set large-side up in the egg turners. It is a bit hard to tell, but note the differences in sizes in some of these eggs! Not many are absolutely giant, but their are quite a few bantam eggs smaller than anything I've seen.

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    Underneath both the egg turners and the metal tray is the water reservoirs. I put food coloring in the water so I could see it beneath them. I will be adding a tube on the end of a syringe so I do not have to open the incubator to fill them.

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    My incubator temps slowly climbing when I first put the eggs in. The first tick mark on the meat thermometer is 100F and the smaller probe thermometer is very accurate. At this point the built-in thermometer was being fairly accurate, as well.

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    Here is the brand name doing its work. I have heard this model's thermometer to be off and while it wasn't to start with, it is now off around five degrees.

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    Nothing too fabulous but I hope for people trying to go through this process my thread can serve as a bit of reference. I have picked up a varied bit of information so I hope I can mash it all together for a successful hatch. I will be candling my eggs on day seven to check for veins and development. I will try to get pictures of that.
     
  3. Beanzie

    Beanzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2014
    Perhaps this may seem obsessive, but yes, I have more pictures. [​IMG] But now I have my incubator ready for "lockdown" in a different sense of the word. I am keeping it closed until next Saturday, a week from when I set them, and I will open it up to candle them.

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    And to accomplish my not opening the incubator I attached a tube to a syringe to add water to the reservoir without having to pry apart the bator. I also can draw water back up through it to see what I have in there, but it doesn't work very well so I will mostly be going by the humidity.

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    Here you can see a picture of the hose going through the back of the incubator. I had to tape it shut for this go round, but I'm sure the next batch I put in I will drill a hole and get it set up better. This was sort of on the fly but it works and that is all that matters. I had the incubator open long enough, so I just had to get it done. Although once the eggs are warm, they put of plenty of heat. Cool eggs take a long time to heat up and get the incubator stabilized.

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  4. Avlana

    Avlana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awesome! And modern games and sumatras too! Beautiful birds. Good luck with your hatch. You seem well prepared and know what you're doing. Please update :)
     
  5. Beanzie

    Beanzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2014
    Thank you, even though this is my first time I'd like to hope I have most of it figured out. But there is always more to learn! [​IMG]

    I just wanted to add a bit of a side note; I now have thirty-six eggs in my incubator. In my outdoor excursion to the barn to labor over the birds I come across the one frozen egg that I have been getting daily from a particularly hard working hen or three. Thus far I give the frozen eggs to one of the dogs and call it good. I grabbed the egg and before giving it to the dog I did a bit of research as to if the egg would even stand a chance in the incubator. I read in several places that while hatch rates aren't perfect, eggs that have been frozen completely [without cracking] can still remain candidates for hatching. So I took the egg inside, let it thaw, then put it in the bator. Today I did the same thing with another egg I found. I think these are Brahma crosses, but that is just my hunch. But I figured no harm, no fowl. [​IMG] These eggs should be fertile as my roosters are busy boys. We will have to see if they hatch or not, but I figured it would be interesting. Once they are grown it will be very apparent as to whether or not they are chicks from my eggs or the others.
     
  6. Beanzie

    Beanzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Today marks day six of our journey! I have been taking notes on temperature and humidity thus far in our journey and all seems to be going well. Today I finally purchased a flashlight good enough to actually candle the eggs. Tonight I got it assembled and gave it a whirl. At first it was very discouraging. The first three eggs I candled had nothing. Next egg I went to, a bantam egg, and boom! I see a heartbeat and veins sprawled out on the shell. I was so excited after thinking, "How am I ever going to figure out which are developing?" I candled maybe ten eggs just for observation's sake. All of the bantam eggs had veins, some I could see the heart beat and the air sac seemed wonderfully average. About half of the large fowl eggs looked like duds, and I caught a few here and there that looked like they were developing some.

    I may candle them all tonight and take better notes, but I'll have to wait and see. Considering it is dark and I don't have to compete with light shining in the windows I may be better off. I have yet to figure out how I am going to classify and keep track of them. One looked like it had a blood ring - should I remove that one? The other 'duds' I am going to segregate and candle in a few days. They do not smell, so I figure there is no harm in waiting them out. If my phone is done stroking out I may take some pictures of the process, but it has been very temperamental as of late so we'll see. Thanks to any and all who read this, and I will have more updates soon. [​IMG]
     
  7. Beanzie

    Beanzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, it seems I couldn't resist so I have candled all of my eggs a little bit early. [​IMG] It is day six so I can very clearly see the development in a good number of them. Although it is kind of disappointing that not every single one of them have veins and a heart beat clear as day, but it is encouraging to see in the ones that are going strong. Since the lady who gave me the eggs has her birds separated into different pens by breed, the majority of the eggs are demarcated with a symbol representing their breed. A few eggs just had 'S' on them, but I assumed the small eggs were Silkies, and large eggs Sumatras.

    Out of all thirty-six only fourteen are showing clear vein development. Ninteen of them I marked 'ND' for 'Not Developing'. Those ones I candled, majority of them have a good air sac and a quality shell, I just do not see any veins only a dark shadow in the middle. Those ones I plan on leaving for a few more days, but one whiff of something bad and I'll boot them out. Then I had three that had a very distinct blood ring. I left them in the incubator, but I will likely remove them tomorrow as blood ring = dead embryo, correct?

    Going by the fourteen developed eggs, I should have: nine Silkies, two Lakenvelders, and I have three questionable eggs. Two of them were completely unmarked, and one I think is a Modern Game? God only knows! But of the 'ND' eggs I am not sure if they will develop or not. One is incredibly porous, I would be very surprised if it developed. But of my ND eggs I have: four Lakenvelders, six Sumatras, four Silkies, two D'anvers, and two are my own mystery eggs I threw in for the heck of it. Then, I have three eggs with a blood ring: one Silkie, and two Modern Games. What I have learned from this experience is Silkies are fruitful and multiply! But I do not mind, as she had blues and splashes - it will add a bit of color to ours. The Sumatra eggs seemed of poor quality, and were quite porous. All the bantams had a good quality of shell, but both the D'anvers and the Modern games didn't have much going for them.

    So I am hopefully looking at fourteen or more (or less) out of thirty six. Not to count my chicks before they hatch, but that would be a rate of about 38%. Not entirely awful, considering a hatch rate of 38% means some actually hatched! We will have to see, of course. I do not know what the future holds for the clear eggs. Some of the shells I just couldn't see through, which my two were the darkest and I couldn't tell. If the veins were not blatantly obvious I could easily miss them. Maybe I will have more than I thought, who knows.
     
  8. Beanzie

    Beanzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Today is day twelve, and everything is going more or less according to plan. I threw away the eggs with blood rings in them, and I recandled the eggs that were clear. Bantam eggs that were obviously clear I also tossed, and any porous large fowl egg I got rid of. I also found two more big eggs with development! One is a Lakenvelder that popped up in the eggs I was going to toss, all of a sudden I could see veins and wiggling around. Then my two eggs that I added that were frozen and I left them in there on a whim, one is showing development! I am assuming it is either a Brahma or Cochin crossed with a Red Star rooster. I am going to find a better camera so I can get some pictures of them before the eggs are too full to see anything. So this leaves me a sixteen eggs!
     
  9. CoopDeDoo

    CoopDeDoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] I will be doing my first ever incubating next month with the same incubator. Wishing you all the best!
     
  10. Beanzie

    Beanzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck, I hope this will serve as a reference for anyone with this incubator. I try to be as detailed as I can because when I was pondering incubation I really didn't know some of the finer things of incubation with this certain incubator. What kind of chickens are you hatching?
     

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