first time incubating and nervous

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by bboyd1, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. bboyd1

    bboyd1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, so my still-air incubator I got for dang near free has been on for 2 days now, temp has settled right at 101. Im really nervous to set eggs in it though. lol. I've got my own hens and roos, so I'll be using their eggs this first time. Im REALLY nervous. I don't have an auto-turner, but Im a stay-at-home mom, so being here isn't a problem. I guess Im preparing myself for some decent failure rate, fingers crossed I get two chicks out of 12 to hatch. My oldest eggs Im putting in are 2 days old, my humidity is level between 45-50% right now. I've even made a friggin chart so I can keep track, will be putting x's and o's on all the eggs, they are sitting big-end up waiting to go in. I'd love any advice anyone has, understand Im looking for an auto turner for my next batch I hatch out.
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    The only tricky part is old Little Giant thermostats are turn sensitive. Many put milk caps over the knob to make it easier to adjust.

    Use egg cartons with fat side of egg up. Have a block of wood or I've even used lego's to prop up the side of carton and make turning (tilting) of eggs easier. First few years I turned like a champ and then got lazy at it. Eventually purchased an auto turner. Turn (tilt) as often as you want and know the more you do so the better your hatch. Well, unless your tilting eggs every hour and the incubator can't keep temp.

    Still airs are temp of 101-102 (101.5) measured at top of eggs. The idea and practice of this is so the colder bottom of eggs will average to 99.5F. The internal temp. Think of making a water egg and putting thermostat in that to get 99.5F. Oh, what are they called...wiggley or some such thing but concept is water filled with hole for you to put a thermometer in. That interior water temp will be same as an egg. You can adjust "mildly" temp to get 99.5. Any adjustment can take hours to take affect so just ever so slightly move it and wait.
     
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  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh, and look up "salt test" to know the calibration of your hygrometer. Also, first 18 days are better at 30-35% humidity. But that's with a known device, not taking for granted what something is reading rather calibrate it and then you know the humidity.


    There you go, I use a double shot glass or similar small size surface area container to get humidity of 35%. Between the eggs losing water and that it get's me where I need to be. But what ever you need for size (surface area) container use the water in that to take temp. Use an oral thermometer as we all have one and they are extremely accurate. Take temp of water as it will hold the average temp of incubator and be same as inside of eggs. 99.5F is the goal.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
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  4. bboyd1

    bboyd1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much. I'll look up salt test asap. I've now learned that the thermometer built in is total rubbish, and can't be calibrated, but I have one that is calibrated (it slides on a card with marked temps, so its easy to get right then secure) Its sitting on a rolled up washcloth so its about egg-high and I'm getting my heat adjusted according to that, shooting for 101 at that height. Gonna see about just getting a new temp & hygrometer for the next batch of eggs I do, which will be about 2 dozen eggs. Maybe find an all in one? I really wanna get these eggs going but figure if delaying another day gets a better hatch because I took my time to get it all set right, its worth it. Eggs still won't be anywhere near a week old.
     
  5. bboyd1

    bboyd1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Can I just say, I REALLY REALLY REALLY miss my hen that would go broody, always hatched out all the eggs or almost all, and was such a good momma......shame on people who dump their dogs near my house because the Humane Society is so close by here, my fence just wasn't enough at the time....[​IMG]
     
  6. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    xs 2 with the humidity. If my bator doesn't hold over 25% dry I use a damp sponge to get my humidity about 30% and I monitor my air cells for proper growth. If my bator holds that w/o water then I run dry. Lower humidity seems to work better in the styrofoam bators. Good luck on your hatch!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015

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