First hatch and Here's what I've learned

Discussion in 'Hatch-A-Longs' started by Bawk2theFuture, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. Bawk2theFuture

    Bawk2theFuture Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2016
    Euclid, Ohio
    First off, if you can avoid it...don't hatch shipped eggs. Local eggs are fresher and haven't been jostled or forgotten about by the post office.
    If you do decide to hatch shipped eggs, order from someone reputable. I got some from someone on Byc but did a little homework and looked at their website etc and got great eggs (77.78% hatch rate) Also I got some from eBay...did no homework and got bunk eggs. (25% hatch rate)
    Second, I've found that for me personally it makes no difference whether the bator is still or forced air. I divided up the eggs at random into two incubators, one Brinsea Advance and a Hovabator with no egg Turner.
    I was actually surprised to see that the eggs being turned by hand were developing better and were more responsive to light touch voice etc.

    Third, the less you interfere with the hatch, the better. This is a very difficult thing to do...which is doing nothing. I was watching a chick struggling to pop out of his shell for hours and my maternal instincts are yelling "help him!" But you really can't, because it may cause more damage than good. I lost one chick because of my interference. You wanna feel like a monster while a chick is gasping for air in your hand? No, it's best to do nothing and let nature be natural.

    Last, staggered hatches should be introduced to the flock gradually. I had one chick that hatched a full 24 hours after the rest. While tempted to just put her in there with the can't. The day old chicks were not welcoming to the newcomer. Fortunately, my brooder is two separate areas adjoined by a divider. Overnight they welcomed the new chick. 24 hours is an eternity for a chick.

    Here's a fun thing to do for chicken entertainment...
    Draw some dots with a pencil inside the brooder at eye level for the chicks...they will enjoy pecking at it as if they're little bugs.
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