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First Hatch

Discussion in 'Hatch-A-Longs' started by Bush84, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. Bush84

    Bush84 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 4, 2015
    Kensington, mn
    So I have had chickens for a year. Bought some buff orps from a local farmer. I decided that this year I was going to try to hatch eggs. This winter I got a brinsea Eco 20. Seems to knee temps regulated nicely. Bought some cream legbar and welsummer eggs from byc members. Put them in the incubator this morning.

    [​IMG]
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    Now for those of you who are very observant you may be thinking...why are there only 11 cream legbar eggs? Well that's because I broke one putting it in. :he so my wife had probably the most expensive scrambled egg in her whole life this morning. Anyways...they sat for a sold day before incubating and have read to leave turner off for a day or two. Will be adding turning tomorrow. Best I could tell the air cells were intact for the legbars. The welsummers arrived a day earlier and had that extra day of rest. So the turner should be fine for tomorrow. I have had to fill both water channels. We are still chilly and dry here. Seem to stay in the 30s as long as I top it up now and again. I have been running it for a while as a dry run.

    So keep your fingers crossed. I know that shipped eggs can be hit or miss. I'll try to update with some candle pics later.
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Did you calibrate your hygrometer? Do a salt test and take any guesswork out of humidity readings.

    I set eggs yesterday and will add what is laid today. Yet to add water, waiting to see what the eggs bring it up to naturally. Salt tested the hygrometer Friday and got a baseline of room RH of 38%. Incubator running with no eggs was 16% RH and with eggs seems to be holding 18%. I've only 18 eggs in there so far but a few more wont add much moisture. Usually it only takes a double shot glass sitting in the incubator next to turner for me to get 30%. We'll see later today. I suggest you try 28-33% RH in incubator.


    If you don't know here is a salt test:

    Milk, juice, soda cap with salt in it. Add drops of water until saturated. I pour off standing water.

    Put hygrometer and cap in a zip seal bag. Quart size is good. Wait 4 hours and record the reading.

    Subtract the reading from 75 for your calibration number. A salt environment is exactly 75% RH at room temperature +/- fraction of percent in range of 60-75 F.

    Ex. your reading is 82. 75-82= -7. Write -7 on masking tape and stick it to incubator as a reminder to always subtract 7 from reading for true RH.


    I'll post a pic when son wakes up. Left camera in his room. Have a salt test photo.
     
  3. Bush84

    Bush84 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 4, 2015
    Kensington, mn
    Well that was a great first day. Not sure why but flipped a circuit breaker in the middle of the night. It wasn't off for terribly long. I had checked it close to 12:30 and it was noticed at 4 am. So at most 3.5 hours. Temp was still 98.6. So not terribly cold. I know there is nothing else to do about it but should I expect problems from this?

    I'll also have to try the salt test tonight if I get time.
     
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    That short of time without power is fine. Amazed it kept temp so well.

    Hey! Just noticed your hives. Look good, that's a fair amount of supers you got on them. I take it you don't have bear problems. I've got to restart an apiary this spring and this time will look like a prison when done. Welded wire and electric. Hopefully I can train the bear in this area to respect the polytape electric so wont have to build a big structure as the apiary grows. It got rediculous last year. They must have seen me restack the hives and come to tear them down within 20 minutes. Like I restocked it with brood for them? Had to finally leave them all torn apart for a day so they knew it was empty excepting a few bees. All queens were gone (eaten) by then. Had enough bees for one box that layed drones and slowly died off- couldn't buy a queen that late in year. Live and learn. Got 4 nucs reserved for late April to build up.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
  5. Bush84

    Bush84 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 4, 2015
    Kensington, mn
    I used to live in a part of Minnesota that was a bit further north. I had a hive eaten there but we are out of bear country where I am at. I suppose it's possible that a stray bear may wander down but I'm not concerned. I did lose a ton to yellow jackets last year.

    I'm not sure how long it lost power. It may have just been a few minutes. We aren't sure.
     
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Yeah, I'd not worry about the short period of power loss. People lose power for almost 24 hours and still have good hatches. Your big thing is that they were shipped eggs. Those are always hit or miss. I'm an old hat at hatching and the eggs for current flock were shipped. Was elated to get 70% hatch rate. Used to live in a postal dead zone. Would get 90-100% hatch from own eggs and then 3 of 18 from shipped. Was horrid. Definitely that areas postal service. Rollers out of place on conveyer belt or one very angry postal worker that shook any package marked fragile.

    Here's the photo of salt test. You'll note the humidity reads 75%- that was after 2 hours. Went up to 77% in 4 hours. This little combo unit is for cigar boxes. Can be calibrated but now have dial all the way turned. Likely is due to old battery. Will change when I change it but think I've another spring run of hatches left of life in it. My c alibration # is -2. Checked the humidity next to incubator and is 41%. In incubaor without eggs was 18% and with 23 eggs currently set is 20%. Guess I'll look for a shot glass to fit in there. Anywhere close to 30% i'll go with till day 18ish. To check that the egg is losing the right amount of moisture you can candle periodically and look at the air cell growth. Any major difference in air size to model you'd adjust the humidity to either get it to grow, run dry until day 18, or slow it down- add more water surface area to up humidity until day 18.

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. Bush84

    Bush84 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 4, 2015
    Kensington, mn
    Salt test underway. Will check before bed and see where we are at.
     
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I take the temp with an oral thermometer- digital. My cigar combo unit reads to full degree and have found it's about 1.7 degrees low. Will jump from 97 to 98 when I have things dialed in. With the digital oral I can leave it in vent hole to get the high and then when the heating element turns on start turning the thermometer on and off (doesn't go down in temp so have to turn off) until I find the low temp then average the two. Low is usually 30 seconds after element turns on. Anywho, Saturday morning without eggs had a 3 degree swing and averaged 100.1F. Nudged the temp down and put in eggs. Today with eggs in it has a 2 degree swing in temp and averaged 99.2F so nudged it up. Checked this evening and averaging 99.6F so will leave it alone.

    Put in one long stemmed sherry class. Pretty shot glass of water. Fits to front of egg turner in mine. Humidity went from 20% humidity eggs alone to 26% RH with that little shot glass in there. Put in another cherry glass and now am a bit over 40% RH. I think I spilled some water as that makes little sense. Was expecting another 6% jump. I'll see in morning what it reads if not down in low 30's I'll run the one glass in there for a week to 10 days then candle a few eggs at random to see how the air cell is growing.

    That's it. All the work is done. Just need to fill the glass of water everyday and spot check the temp if the cigar box gauge reads funny. I do a spot check of temp everyday when bored for first week. Have a wafer thermostat so when in use will loosen the metal and shut off sooner in first week until it's settled in. I'll have to nudge temp up now and then until it's settled in. Doesn't change temp a lot but enough that if not corrected would add up. Used this Hovabator for years now so know what to expect. Will be doing a few hatches in a row so won't have to mess with it here after just until the metal softens from constant expansion and contraction. Gas filled metal wafers are super reliable and old method thermostat. Have to be run a bit when first out of storage then are stable.

    I must apologize for rambling. Been a long day- bit punch drunk from running around with kids this Easter and all the while running out to keep the fire going to boil sap. Was a good run from yesterday afternoon to tonight, brought my boy and niece with me to collect sap and drew off far too many cups of hot near syrup for them to drink.

    Your avatar is small but think I count 6 supers. What did you extract last year- 180lbs?
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
  9. Bush84

    Bush84 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 4, 2015
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    It may be a bit deceiving as I run three 8 frame deeps as my brood space. I also had a yellow jacket problem last year and didn't find out until they had killed off three of my hives and stole ~2/3rds of my honey harvest. That was my first full summer in this area of the state and I'm still figuring out the dynamic of this region when it comes to bees. Never had yellow jackets do that before, but then again I didn't get reducers on in August and I should have harvested in August but I got busy. So you live and learn.
     
  10. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I do 8 frame hives too. Can fit 9 frames in brood chambers. Mann Lake 8 frames are just big enough to do that. I started with Carniolian package bees, was able to only run mediums to keep all equipment the same. Going with nucs I'll have to build a few deeps to house them in. I've got a lot of medium frames so will see how the common strain in this area- Carni/Itallian cross do with one deep and two medium for hive. From what I understand the pure Italian winter a large cluster. Guessing that's what you have.
     

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