First Time Incubating! SO EXCITED!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by StephensonC, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. StephensonC

    StephensonC Chillin' With My Peeps

    580
    46
    118
    Oct 14, 2014
    Richmond, Va
    Hello all.....So, I put 21 eggs in the still air incubator on Sunday for the first time ever!! So far, I have maintained a steady 99.6 temp and averaging 45%-50% humidity. I've researched a TON and there is still LOTS to learn. I do not have an automatic turner yet, so I have been turning them 4-5 times a day, including 1 time during the night.

    For some reason, I do not feel very lucky about this hatch. Maybe I'm just paranoid, I don't know. But, I would be happy with just 3 or 4 little chickies. I certainly don't need all 21 to hatch, and only used that many to increase my odds, as I know they don't all make it. I have already dropped and busted 1, trying to candle it, so that brings me down to 20. I know I probably won't see anything this soon, but I can't manage to keep my eyes off them. It's crazy addictive!! Just the thought of seeing the little spider veins is so exciting!!

    Is there anything I need to pay close attention to? other than the temp, humidity, turning? Anything about the air sac? How can I tell if it's still attached? I'm sure I will have lots of questions as time go on. The hatch date is Dec.14, give or take.

    By the way, the eggs were from my Rhode Island Red rooster and White Leghorn hens, which makes a Tetra Tint. The same rooster with Golden Comet and Olive Egger hens. Also, I have 2 eggs that are from my Japanese Bantam rooster and EE hen that lays blue eggs. So, I can't wait to see if and what I get.

    Thanks for all your support!! I just hope it isn't a complete fail.
     
  2. StephensonC

    StephensonC Chillin' With My Peeps

    580
    46
    118
    Oct 14, 2014
    Richmond, Va
    Ut-oh! I've been reading on here about the Little Giants still air incubator. Everyone is saying not to trust the built in thermometer. This morning at 11:00am was day 2, and the temp on the bator has been reading 99.6 the entire time. I also have a digital one in there and it's been reading around 93 and I just figured it was wrong and strictly going by the bator temp. Have I totally messed up my eggs? Should I throw them out and start over or is there still a chance that some may be ok? I'm so worried!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  3. FreeRanging Hen

    FreeRanging Hen Out Of The Brooder

    81
    8
    33
    Sep 7, 2013
    Western Australia
    A little cooler is ok. They just grow slower. Being only a couple days in, you should be able to still get good growth from your fertile eggs, just get it up to the correct temp ASAP. You can expect them to possibly hatch a day or two later then normal, due to the slower growth.

    My incubator takes a couple days to get up to the right temperature when I first set my eggs any way, but they all do just fine :)
    I like to use a couple seperate thermometers instead of relying on my incubator thermometer.
    I calibrated my thermometers to know what their true readout is, then I pop them in the incubator and go by them.
     
  4. Dcat

    Dcat Chillin' With My Peeps

    332
    24
    96
    Mar 19, 2014
    AA County Maryland
    Always a good idea to double check the temps with another source. I don't believe you will have to worry about detached air cells from your own chickens, that is "usually" due to rough handling from the P.O.
    I hand turn mine also, usually 3-4 times a day with the last turn being right before I go to bed. I like feeling like I'm still part of the process. LOL.
    As long as your temps stay steady and you keep turning them you should do fine until lock down when you raise the humidity. Then it's just a waiting game as you stare into a box at eggs as you worry if everyone is still ok and trying to remember everything you did or didn't do. Don't forget to candle if you can to weed out any possible bombs. G'luck and seriously, have fun!
     
  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,022
    2,513
    426
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    Don't get to upset especially since it's only day 2. My first hatch, I relied on just one thermometer. It was brand new so I thought, can't be off that much, right? WRONG! I thought when I candled at day 18 they looked a bit behind schedule, but I was hoping it was newbie ignorance. It wasn't. At day 24 I finally had one egg hatch (I had 17 moving growing at lockdown). The following day I had a second hatch, but failed to survive. So out of 17 eggs I ended up with one. We decided last month to give it one more try. Now armed with 3, yes 3 thermometers (which I compared to the one I used for first hatch only to find the one I had used was between 6-7degrees off!!!! So the temp the whole time averaged around 93 instead of the 99.5 degrees recommended for forced air.) I started my second hatch. Out of 16 eggs that went into lockdown 13 hatched!! (I had one die just over a week old.) So you should be fine. It's the average temp during incubation that is important.
    Let me just point out though, if you are using a still air incubator (regardless of what the manufacture book says) recommended temps for still air are 101-102 degrees, not the 99.5 that is recommended for forced air.
    And yes, HIGHLY addictive....and stressful, sometimes frustrating, but awesome when you see them hatch!!! Good luck!
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    36,252
    8,065
    666
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    You won't be able to see much if you candle before day 7, unless you have a good light and pale shelled eggs. Give them a few more days and try again and relax! You're doing o.k. and I see you got some excellent advice from the above posters. Best of luck with your hatch!
     
  7. StephensonC

    StephensonC Chillin' With My Peeps

    580
    46
    118
    Oct 14, 2014
    Richmond, Va
    Got my first look at some spider veins this morning, and unless my eyes are playing tricks on me, I think I could see a heartbeat....Yay!! AND....I can already feel some hatching addictive behavior coming on...lol
    [​IMG]
     
  8. StephensonC

    StephensonC Chillin' With My Peeps

    580
    46
    118
    Oct 14, 2014
    Richmond, Va
    It's day 14!! I can't wait to see the little buggers. I've candled and weeded out a few. I've had 5 clears, and I accidentally dropped 2. One is a double and both embryo's seem to be developing and are moving all around. Here is a video where I candled it on day 10.



    I realize doubles hardly ever hatch and live, but I'm gonna give it a shot. I've been reading up on assisting the hatch, but would love if someone with experience would chime in on any advice.

    Including the doubles, I have a total of 15 live embryo's at this point.
    This is going to be the longest week!!
     
  9. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    15,022
    2,513
    426
    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    Time slows down even more when you go into lockdown...lol Good luck!!
     
  10. StephensonC

    StephensonC Chillin' With My Peeps

    580
    46
    118
    Oct 14, 2014
    Richmond, Va
    Lol.....I can imagine!! I will probably be checking on them every 5 minutes......sounds like a "crazy chicken lady" to me!! Lol
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by