First time hatcher

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by PoultryGirly, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. PoultryGirly

    PoultryGirly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi. I am wanting to hatch some mixed-breed eggs from my chickens this spring and I have some questions:
    1. Do I need to spray the eggs at all with water?
    2. When should I candle them?
    3. What is the humidity supposed to be and how do I measure it?
    4. What is the temperature supposed to be?
    5. Should both of the ventilation plugs be unplugged?
    6. Does water need to be in the bottom if the bator?
    7. Should I only use eggs without poo on them?
    8. How long can eggs be out before going in th bator and how do I store them?
    9. Any more advice!
     
  2. Impress

    Impress Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. Becci

    Becci Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can mostly agree with Impress. There are a couple things that I would do differently, however.. so here goes..


    1. Do I need to spray the eggs at all with water?
    Not if you're putting the water in the bottom of the incubator.


    2. When should I candle them?
    It's recommended to candle on days 7, 14 and 18.


    3. What is the humidity supposed to be and how do I measure it?
    The humidity depends on your eggs, incubator and environment. That's why you don't see people giving exact answers on what humidity should be. You have to find out what works for you. The best thing to do would be to get the basic understanding of humidity, and experiment a bit. Basically the egg is supposed to lose around 13% of it's starting weight, give or take. It does this by evaporating moisture through the pores, and replacing it with air inside the air sac. If the humidity is higher, the egg will lose the weight at a slower speed. If it's lower, the egg will lose the weight faster. So, to judge how accurate the humidity is, some people weigh their eggs. They weigh them before incubation, subtract the 13%, write that down as the goal and mark each egg for identification. They'll weigh the eggs a few times during incubation and depending on how rapid the weight loss is, they'll adjust the humidity accordingly.


    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Not everyone wants to mess with weighing the eggs, so, some people candle and judge the humidity by the size of the air sac. Smaller air sacs mean too much humidity, larger air sacs mean not enough humidity. We use charts to compare to our own eggs. The chart I've posted is what I myself use. It shows what the correct development of the air sac should look like. To measure the humidity, you'll need to purchase a hygrometer and calibrate it before use. [/FONT]

    [​IMG]


    4. What is the temperature supposed to be?
    As mentioned above, it depends on your incubator. The goal is to get the core of the eggs at 99-100 F. Still air incubators have gradient heat, so you'll want the *top* of the eggs to read at about 101 F. The center of the eggs should be at the desired temperature. Forced air incubators have even heat, so you'll want your thermometer to read at 99-100 F.


    5. Should both of the ventilation plugs be unplugged?
    I leave both of mine out throughout incubation.


    6. Does water need to be in the bottom if the bator?
    Yes, if you've got a store bought incubator, there should be trays in the bottom for the water. If you've made your own incubator you can use a jar or bowl for the water. Remember that the surface area of water is what counts.


    7. Should I only use eggs without poo on them?
    Lots of opinions on this, but preferably, yes.


    8. How long can eggs be out before going in the bator and how do I store them?
    It's recommended not to store past one week. It's said that after 7 days of storage the hatch rates begin to decline quite quickly, however I almost always store my eggs 14 days and have great hatch rates. Storing in 55-60 F and 70% humidity is ideal. Humidity is important during storage as well! Also remember that if you're storing in the egg turner or an egg carton, to store the egg pointy end down. The air sac is located at the fat end of the egg. If the pointy end is facing upwards, the air sac may try to migrate to the pointy end. If it succeeds the chick won't be able to hatch. If you can't determine which side is which, candle the egg. The air sac will be visible, and which ever side it is on, is the fat end. Turn once a day or whenever you think about it.


    Only other advice I can give you is to *always* calibrate your tools. Thermometer and hygrometer both, as it's likely that they won't read the actual temp/humidity, and that can ruin your hatch. Calibrating will show you how far off they are reading, if at all, so that you'll know how much to +/- when reading them.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
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  4. bamachicks8

    bamachicks8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Interesting
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  5. PoultryGirly

    PoultryGirly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the help! I can't wait to hatch some fluffy butts!
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus Angel <straightens Halo> Premium Member

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  7. PoultryGirly

    PoultryGirly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, on average, what's the humidity?
     
  8. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus Angel <straightens Halo> Premium Member

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    I use dry incubation methods, in that link scroll down to humidity and it will explain in simple terms why and how to follow the method.
     
  9. PoultryGirly

    PoultryGirly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm just going to follow the directions on my incubator, but do you think it's too early to hatch? I already have 4 eggs collected from today. They were mistakenly in the fridge for almost 5 minutes, and they were in the coop for 24 hours or less. They are in an egg carton with the fat side up on tor of a book so they are slanted. I will set them this weekend when I get a hydrometer.
     
  10. Becci

    Becci Chillin' With My Peeps

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    By too early, you mean too early in the year? Absolutely not! Look at all the people who attended the new year's hatch along. I'm going to be collecting eggs for my incubator soon, myself. :) Good luck.
     

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