First time incubating

TJAnonymous

Crowing
Feb 29, 2020
1,791
8,579
411
Central Arkansas
My lovely husband bought me a Nurture Right 360 for Christmas. Over the past few months, I've done a lot of reading about incubation and various different things that people do as part of their process. I'd REALLY like to order some Silkie hatching eggs but I thought I'd start my first batch on something that doesn't cost a lot.... That way if I lose them all, I won't be absolutely bummed.... So I collected about 7 eggs from my own girls and bought a dozen Happy Eggs from the store. I thought this might be a good option as I've seen some threads on BYC of others who successfully hatched some chicks from Happy Egg. Also, I live in Arkansas and that's where Happy Egg is located. Lastly, I was hoping for some Copper Marans which is supposedly one of the Happy Egg breeds....

Here's my question. The store I got my Happy Eggs from didn't have a big selection to look through. Only about 8 or 9 packages. Most had broken eggs. I found a package that was marked 335 Julian Date (Nov 30th). This package had some broken eggs so I swapped them out with some from other packages which weren't broken. A store worker helped and brought me a paper towel since I had egg yolk all over my hands. Anyway, that means that I have some eggs that could have been laid 30 days ago.... All the way up to eggs from my girls which were laid in the past 2-3 days.

Heres my question.... How likely is it that an egg can still develop when it could have been laid 30 days ago? I realize that it could be a crap shoot on whether ANY of these eggs, including mine, are actually fertilized. I have 2 roosters for about 35+ hens, but only 15 of them or so are adults. The other 20 are only about 16-17 weeks old.
 

mcdze

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
327
456
128
lol thats alot of chickens .. probably your own eggs are your best bet, just collect up a full load and drop them in the bator, simple as that .. after a week candle them to weed out the non-developing ones .. and keep an extra thermometer on top of the eggs to get a better feel for temp .. if you can keep the temp in the 'go zone' they'll hatch just about every time :) if your house fluctuates alot keep the bator in a non-drafty spot and maybe snuggle some towels around it ...
 

RoosterML

Making Marans Great Again !!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 5, 2018
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Tolland County Connecticut, USA
#1 verifying that your incubator instruments are accurate is crucial. If they are not correct just adjust accordingly. Personally if you want Silkie eggs get silkie eggs. If your equipment is right on you will be fine. Kinda hard to mess up.
 

TJAnonymous

Crowing
Feb 29, 2020
1,791
8,579
411
Central Arkansas
#1 verifying that your incubator instruments are accurate is crucial. If they are not correct just adjust accordingly. Personally if you want Silkie eggs get silkie eggs. If your equipment is right on you will be fine. Kinda hard to mess up.

I agree... I just didn't want my first attempt at ever using an incubator to be with eggs that I paid $75 for.... I'd rather figure out what I'm doing with free eggs (mine) or eggs I paid $5 for (Happy Egg). And if I can get some Copper Marans out of it, even better.... 😂


Still looking for the answer to my question... Has anyone ever successfully hatched a refrigerated egg in an incubator that was laid 30 days before? I'm guessing no but someone might surprise me
 

TJAnonymous

Crowing
Feb 29, 2020
1,791
8,579
411
Central Arkansas
lol thats alot of chickens .. probably your own eggs are your best bet, just collect up a full load and drop them in the bator, simple as that .. after a week candle them to weed out the non-developing ones .. and keep an extra thermometer on top of the eggs to get a better feel for temp .. if you can keep the temp in the 'go zone' they'll hatch just about every time :) if your house fluctuates alot keep the bator in a non-drafty spot and maybe snuggle some towels around it ...

Honestly I'm not expecting the store bought eggs to hatch... I only have 7 eggs which are from my girls and we'll see if they are all fertilized.

Right now I have the incubator on a table in a corner of my kitchen. Should be pretty safe from drafts or any major temperature fluctuations. My humidity level was was 53% before I added the eggs. After putting eggs in, it dropped to 40% and wasn't going up. I finally figured out that I had the lid on wrong. Once it was corrected, it went back to 53% rather quickly. The humidity was only low for a few hours.... Hoping that wasn't a deal killer since we are still on Day 1
 

spartacus_63

Crowing
11 Years
Aug 21, 2009
979
784
271
Central Iowa
My lovely husband bought me a Nurture Right 360 for Christmas. Over the past few months, I've done a lot of reading about incubation and various different things that people do as part of their process. I'd REALLY like to order some Silkie hatching eggs but I thought I'd start my first batch on something that doesn't cost a lot.... That way if I lose them all, I won't be absolutely bummed.... So I collected about 7 eggs from my own girls and bought a dozen Happy Eggs from the store. I thought this might be a good option as I've seen some threads on BYC of others who successfully hatched some chicks from Happy Egg. Also, I live in Arkansas and that's where Happy Egg is located. Lastly, I was hoping for some Copper Marans which is supposedly one of the Happy Egg breeds....

Here's my question. The store I got my Happy Eggs from didn't have a big selection to look through. Only about 8 or 9 packages. Most had broken eggs. I found a package that was marked 335 Julian Date (Nov 30th). This package had some broken eggs so I swapped them out with some from other packages which weren't broken. A store worker helped and brought me a paper towel since I had egg yolk all over my hands. Anyway, that means that I have some eggs that could have been laid 30 days ago.... All the way up to eggs from my girls which were laid in the past 2-3 days.

Heres my question.... How likely is it that an egg can still develop when it could have been laid 30 days ago? I realize that it could be a crap shoot on whether ANY of these eggs, including mine, are actually fertilized. I have 2 roosters for about 35+ hens, but only 15 of them or so are adults. The other 20 are only about 16-17 weeks old.
30 days is a long time, but I have hatched 22 day old eggs with pretty good success. Of course, my eggs are kept at 50* with the pointy end up while they wait for their turn in the bator.
Really, it can't hurt anything. You will know in a week or so if they are developing.
Good luck & happy hatching.
 
Last edited:

RoosterML

Making Marans Great Again !!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 5, 2018
5,609
45,287
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Tolland County Connecticut, USA
I agree... I just didn't want my first attempt at ever using an incubator to be with eggs that I paid $75 for.... I'd rather figure out what I'm doing with free eggs (mine) or eggs I paid $5 for (Happy Egg). And if I can get some Copper Marans out of it, even better.... 😂


Still looking for the answer to my question... Has anyone ever successfully hatched a refrigerated egg in an incubator that was laid 30 days before? I'm guessing no but someone might surprise me
I have not hatched refrigerated eggs regardless of age. I believe some have done so successfully.
 

RoosterML

Making Marans Great Again !!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 5, 2018
5,609
45,287
982
Tolland County Connecticut, USA
Honestly I'm not expecting the store bought eggs to hatch... I only have 7 eggs which are from my girls and we'll see if they are all fertilized.

Right now I have the incubator on a table in a corner of my kitchen. Should be pretty safe from drafts or any major temperature fluctuations. My humidity level was was 53% before I added the eggs. After putting eggs in, it dropped to 40% and wasn't going up. I finally figured out that I had the lid on wrong. Once it was corrected, it went back to 53% rather quickly. The humidity was only low for a few hours.... Hoping that wasn't a deal killer since we are still on Day 1
Run your humidity in the 30’s. During lock down you can bring it up to 50. Once an egg hatches it will spike. So no need to spike it yourself. The humidity fluctuations are fine.
 

TJAnonymous

Crowing
Feb 29, 2020
1,791
8,579
411
Central Arkansas
So over the past few days, I've noticed that the water pot goes completely dry overnight even though I fill it completely each morning. The humidity level drops to about 30% when this happens. As soon as I add more water in the morning, the humidity goes back up to about 50%. Maybe I need to start filling the water pot twice a day?

I know you suggested keeping the humidity in the 30's. The NR 360 instructions say to keep it between 48-55% until lockdown and then raise it to the mid 60's for lockdown.

So confusing when you get conflicting information.
 

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