First time hatching chicks in incubator and need advice.

teamtmo

Chirping
Apr 25, 2015
29
3
64
Simi Valley, CA
I currently have 5 eggs right now in my Brinsea Mini Advanced incubator. Today is day 18/19 and I have seen movement from 3 of the eggs. Should I do a water candling test on the two eggs that haven't moved? One of those non-moving eggs has a hairline crack in it (It was there when the eggs arrived in the mail, but on candling day 8 I could see the embryo moving inside it). I don't know if the water candling would hinder the cracked egg. Should I wait until they have hatched to check the non-hatched eggs in water? Also, when should I take out the turning tray and put down the paper towel? It is still turning the eggs, but I expect it to stop automatically tonight (5/13/2015). I read in the incubator operating manual that I need to fill both water reservoirs once the incubator stops turning the eggs. Since I am seeing movement from them already, should I fill up both reservoirs now even though it is still automatically turning them? One more question, would paper towel or smooth top plastic shelving liner be better to put down inside the incubator for the chicks? Sorry for all the questions! I just want to make sure I am doing everything I can for an optimal hatch. Also, I don't know if certain breeds hatch earlier than others, but the 3 eggs that are showing movement in the incubator are an Easter Egger, a Sulmtaler, and a Bielefelder. The 2 eggs that have not moved yet are Jubilee Orpingtons. Thank you for your help!
 

Wyandottes7

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 24, 2013
20,586
1,309
401
Hi and welcome to our flock!
welcome-byc.gif


So glad you could join BYC! Congratulations on getting this far in the incubation. I've used the Brinsea Mini Advance before and here's what I would do. I wouldn't do the water candling test (never done it, actually). Sometimes, you can't see movement in the eggs, because the chicks are so large and close to hatching. At this stage in incubation, you want to handle the eggs as little as possible. Let the eggs go to day 22-23 before trying the water test or candling again.

I know that some people put down paper towel in the incubator for hatching, but I've never done that. I've had no trouble with the chicks slipping on the surface or having any difficulties (have hatched about 30 chicks in total using the Mini Advance and this method). If you want to, I'd put the paper towel in now. But, you don't really need to, in my experience.

Filling up both resovoirs now would be a good idea. At day 18 (lockdown) I raise the humidity by adding more water. You should do this before the chicks pip, to prevent drying out membranes.

Certain breeds sometimes hatch earlier. For example, the smaller bantam breeds tend to pip a day early or so and hatch on day 20, instead of day 21. In general, however, it is only a day's difference or even less. A difference in breeds is unlikely to cause a huge variation in hatch times.

Good luck with the hatch and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask! I'll be happy to help answer any more questions you may have.

Welcome to our community!
smile.png
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
137,409
258,100
2,027
Out to pasture
Welcome to Backyard chickens. With a hairline crack you can put candle wax over it to seal it. I just wonder since it was like that when it was shipped, if bacteria has taken over inside. That could cause the death of a chick.
 

teamtmo

Chirping
Apr 25, 2015
29
3
64
Simi Valley, CA
Thank you so much for the tips! I also read that I need to take out the turning tray once the automatic turning stops on day 18. It says I have 3 days left of the incubator, but it is still automatically turning. So, my question is should I manually turn it off or just wait to see if it stops turning them by tonight? Also, is it necessary to remove the turning tray in the Brinea Mini Advance incubator once it has stopped turning? Thank you again for the help!
 

teamtmo

Chirping
Apr 25, 2015
29
3
64
Simi Valley, CA
Hi and welcome to our flock!
welcome-byc.gif


So glad you could join BYC! Congratulations on getting this far in the incubation. I've used the Brinsea Mini Advance before and here's what I would do. I wouldn't do the water candling test (never done it, actually). Sometimes, you can't see movement in the eggs, because the chicks are so large and close to hatching. At this stage in incubation, you want to handle the eggs as little as possible. Let the eggs go to day 22-23 before trying the water test or candling again.

I know that some people put down paper towel in the incubator for hatching, but I've never done that. I've had no trouble with the chicks slipping on the surface or having any difficulties (have hatched about 30 chicks in total using the Mini Advance and this method). If you want to, I'd put the paper towel in now. But, you don't really need to, in my experience.

Filling up both resovoirs now would be a good idea. At day 18 (lockdown) I raise the humidity by adding more water. You should do this before the chicks pip, to prevent drying out membranes.

Certain breeds sometimes hatch earlier. For example, the smaller bantam breeds tend to pip a day early or so and hatch on day 20, instead of day 21. In general, however, it is only a day's difference or even less. A difference in breeds is unlikely to cause a huge variation in hatch times.

Good luck with the hatch and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask! I'll be happy to help answer any more questions you may have.

Welcome to our community!
smile.png

Thank you so much for the tips! I also read that I need to take out the turning tray once the automatic turning stops on day 18. It says I have 3 days left of the incubator, but it is still automatically turning. So, my question is should I manually turn it off or just wait to see if it stops turning them by tonight? Also, is it necessary to remove the turning tray in the Brinea Mini Advance incubator once it has stopped turning? Thank you again for the help!
 

teamtmo

Chirping
Apr 25, 2015
29
3
64
Simi Valley, CA
Welcome to Backyard chickens. With a hairline crack you can put candle wax over it to seal it. I just wonder since it was like that when it was shipped, if bacteria has taken over inside. That could cause the death of a chick.

I called the company I ordered the eggs from (www.mypetchicken.com) once I received them and realized one of them had a hairline crack. They recommended if it's a small crack to incubate it anyway and if it starts to smell, then to get rid of it. They said there is still a chance it will hatch. I candled it on day 8 of incubation and I saw an embryo moving around inside of it, so I kept it in the incubator. I haven't detected any smell, and now it is almost day 19. Thanks for the advice on candle wax. Next time I get an egg with a hairline crack, I will try that out :)
 

Wyandottes7

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 24, 2013
20,586
1,309
401
Thank you so much for the tips! I also read that I need to take out the turning tray once the automatic turning stops on day 18. It says I have 3 days left of the incubator, but it is still automatically turning. So, my question is should I manually turn it off or just wait to see if it stops turning them by tonight? Also, is it necessary to remove the turning tray in the Brinea Mini Advance incubator once it has stopped turning? Thank you again for the help!
The Mini Advance's turner is set to turn off two days before hatching. So, yours should shut off soon on its own. However, I usually manually turn the turner off on day 18, because my breeds tend to hatch a little early (and I want them to have enough time to position themselves in the egg). I always keep the turning tray in, even after the turning has stopped.
 

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