First time incubator questions.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by DesertBrahma, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. DesertBrahma

    DesertBrahma Chillin' With My Peeps

    276
    25
    98
    Mar 27, 2015
    New Mexico
    I know these questions have been asked before. I probably just can't find them. I'm a first timer oniincubating. My 4 year old son convinced me to try it. I put 4 eggs in the incubator on January 17th. I've been watching the temp and humidity like crazy. I guess being a stay at home mommy gives you a little extra time to get anxious about the eggs. The temps have been between 98 at the lowest, and 101 at the highest. I've been trying to keep them between 99 and 100. The humidity has been about 65. I really want to candle these eggs but I don't want to disturb them too much. I'm hand turning them every 8 hours. Yes I wash my hands and wear medical gloves to keep from transferring germs and bacteria to them. Ok so here are my questions:
    1 When should I candle them the first time?
    2 Should I candle them in a dark room, or anywhere?
    3 How can I be sure I've candled them correctly?
    4 How can I keep my children from being disappointed if I have incorrectly incubated these eggs?

    I know my rooster is doing his job, I'm just scared I'm going to do this all wrong. Thanks in advance.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    9,279
    729
    321
    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    1. Since its your first time, I'd hold off until day 7 to candle. It'll be much easier to see development at that point. And, if you don't see anything, leave them in until at least day 10 (especially since your temp has been dipping).
    2. You'll want to candle them in a dark room, much easier to see into them if its dark.
    3. Shine your light into the fat end of the eggs, where the air cell is located. Easy peasy.
    4. I would explain to them, as much as you can to a child, that not all of the eggs may make it. Some just aren't meant to turn into baby chicks, but you can always try again if you aren't successful ;)

    One thing does stand out in the information you gave though. Your humidity is quite high. Eggs need to loose moisture to successfully hatch. At 65% humidity, your eggs aren't going to be able to do that. When the humidity has been too high, chicks tend to grow too large or they're too wet. If they do make it to hatch, they're also in danger of drowning when they pip into the air cell. I typically run my incubator completely dry the first 18 days. And, if I do add water, its just a little. I aim for 30-40% (50% at the most, but that's still higher than I'm comfortable with, personally) the first 18 days and 60-70% at lockdown. You still have plenty of time to get the humidity down and get things back on track though, so its not that big of a deal. Dry out your 'bator and keep an eye on your air cells when you candle. You should see them getting bigger as you get closer to hatch time. There are charts on here and on Google to show the proper progression of the air cells.
    I'd also recommend you read Sally Sunshine's Hatching 101 thread if you haven't already. Gobs of excellent information there for those who are new to incubating.


    Good luck, happy hatching :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. chant

    chant Out Of The Brooder

    87
    3
    48
    Jan 16, 2016
    N. FL. USA
    Thanks for Q & A! Doing the same thing here. Trying to get the levels stablized, but it's a challenge this time of year and it being my 2nd time.
     
  4. DesertBrahma

    DesertBrahma Chillin' With My Peeps

    276
    25
    98
    Mar 27, 2015
    New Mexico
    I live in NM and it's really dry here. My outdoor hygrometer says we have 10% humidity right now. I have a couple humidifiers in the house but we only have 15% right now. Yep dry old NM lol. I haven't added any water since I first set it up a week ago. The temp goes down to 98 at night, and 101 during the day. I'm doing tiny tiny adjustments to the incubator as it warms up or cools in the house. It's usually between 70 and 75 in the house right now, and I have the incubator set up in the kitchen. I'm not going to give up on trying to incubate. I'm finding it fascinating watching my 2 yr old, and 4 yr old boys almost glued to the incubator. I'm also finding myself watching, and realizing that I'm going to have OCD about the whole process. I've been doing a lot of googling about temps, and humidity for NM temps are the same but they said to keep humidity between 50 and 60% I'm working on getting it lowered by just opening the incubator, and just letting it cook off until it's where I need it. I am already OCD about my boys, and my animals care but now these eggs are getting on the list lol. I'm trying to explain that these eggs might not hatch because they sat out too long, and we might have to wait until May to try again. Our weather is a bit more stable then. Thanks again, and keep the advice coming. Yes i have read the incubating 101 on here and was fascinated, and still had questions. I'm because as nervous as a momma cat in labor lol
     
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    9,279
    729
    321
    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    If you haven't added any water, then I don't see how your humidity is at 65% unless your house is SUPER humid. Did you calibrate your hygrometer before you started? It may not be reading accurately.
    Also, instead of adjusting the incubator, you may find it easier to adjust the thermostat in your house to compensate for the temp swings (or you could wrap the 'bator in a blanket if you know when the temp is dropping, like if its at night).

    What kind of incubator, thermometer and hygrometer are you using?
     
  6. deb blue

    deb blue New Egg

    1
    0
    6
    Jan 20, 2016
    I have a goose that has been sitting on eggs they started to hatch last night. The first baby died FFA teacher told me to bring the rest in and help with the hatching. No humidity have a heat lamp on them what do I need to do I am lost help
     
  7. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    9,279
    729
    321
    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    Honestly, if they were my eggs, I'd give them back to momma goose. If you can't manage to rig up something that can hold some humidity, you'll have to peel them out, which could kill them anyway if theyre not ready.

    However, before I had incubators, I used a cardboard box lined with aluminum foil, a heat lamp, candy thermometer and several dishes of water in a pinch when I had a hen abandon some eggs. This set up didn't hold humidity AT ALL and I had to assist every egg. If you have a styrofoam cooler laying around, that would probably be a little better. I'd rip the top in half (to make room for the lamp) and set the other half on the other side in hopes that it would hold some humidity in. Or maybe cover either set up over with more foil. Just be sure theres also ventilation, or you'll suffocate them.

    How did the gosling die?

    Good luck!
     
  8. DesertBrahma

    DesertBrahma Chillin' With My Peeps

    276
    25
    98
    Mar 27, 2015
    New Mexico
    I have LF Brahmas. Really big chickens. They just started laying again after the shock of being moved from their breeder's place to mine. They weren't interested in brooding. These that I'm incubating are a just for fun/expand the flock project. I filled the bottom of my Little Giant Styrofoam incubator which is the reason the humidity is still high. I haven't added any water since then. It's gone from 90% down to 63% which its been since about noon today. Heck I'm still figuring this silly thing out. I'm using a hygrometer/thermometer combo with a 2 prong probe. I made sure it was calibrated correctly. I also have a candy thermometer in there to make sure the temp is correct. The blanket trick might work. I'll try it tonight. I'll the main unit out and wrap the incubator. It's getting warmer so I'm having to fiddle with the thermostat temp. I have windows open to help keep it cooler in here. Probably a little over kill on the thermometers but would rather be safe.
     
  9. chant

    chant Out Of The Brooder

    87
    3
    48
    Jan 16, 2016
    N. FL. USA
    I'm really excited to see that someone else new to incubating is doing it at the same time, and how awesome for ur boys too! I am looking forward to hearing about your experience as we jouney thru this. We're in N. Fla. with the weirdest winter I can remember. We didn't have to turn the heat/fireplace in til Jan. and usually we can expect to start on Thanksgiving. Good luck with your new brood, and thank you to everyone that replied.
     
  10. Roo92

    Roo92 New Egg

    6
    0
    6
    Jan 20, 2016
    im a first time incubator hatcher and my chicks aren't hatching or pipping. I cracked a few that were several days past due and they had yolk on their bottom and no blood the fluid was clear. What am I doing wrong. They are Silkie eggs. HELP!!!! I feel like a murderer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by