For those of you new to incubating

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Happy Chooks, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Free Ranging

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I've hatched many times without any issues, until now.

    I set eggs to hatch on 2/16 and 2/17, a total of 47 eggs. All but 3 or 4 were developing at 7 days into incubation - removed the non developing eggs and everything was going just as it should.

    That was until we got a big snowstorm at 10 days into incubating. We lost power 3 times over 3 days, the longest being 6 hours without power. This happened through the night, so I wasn't aware of it until I woke up and no power. I checked the temperature in the incubator, and it was so cold, it didn't even register a temperature. When the power came back on, I got it back up to temperature as fast as I could, but it still took awhile. The next night we lost power again, not sure how long it was out. Again, I got it back up as fast as I could.

    So needless to say, I didn't have much hope for the hatch. But I kept plugging along.

    I candled the eggs at day 14 and some looked good, some didn't. But I wasn't sure enough about the ones that didn't look good to pull them out. So I put a ? on them and left them in there. I candled again right before lockdown and I was surprised how many were still going. So I put 31 eggs into lockdown, not completely sure how many were good and how many weren't.

    Tuesday night at 11:30, they started hatching, and I was thrilled to have a "few" babies. Again, I didn't expect much, just hoped to get a few of each breed. The eggs continued to hatch and last night my final chick hatched.

    After all of this, I now have 23 healthy chicks in my brooder. After all the things that went wrong in this incubation, I can't believe I ended up with so many. The others that went into lockdown (except one) were late quitters, so they wouldn't have hatched anyway. Just shows you how strong mother nature is. Some of the ? eggs hatched as well - sure am glad I didn't toss them!

    I thought I'd share this for the people new to incubating, so you don't freak out if your temperature is off a degree or two.
  2. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Songster

    Thanks for the encouragement to us first timers!

    Congrats on your hatch!
  3. snazzyboots

    snazzyboots Songster

    Mar 3, 2011
    yes thank you. there are so many opinions and horror stories about something so small going wrong it is nice to hear this story. congrats on your success [​IMG]
  4. Chickengal505

    Chickengal505 Songster

    Jan 4, 2010
    Bolivia N.C
    Thanks so much! Now I only have to worry about humidity [​IMG]
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Free Ranging

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Quote:I don't worry about humidity the first 18 days. When I set the eggs, I put it to around 35%. I don't worry about it if it gets down around 25%, in fact, I rarely add water to it after the initial set.

    At Day 18 I bump it up to around 60%. I don't like it any higher because if they start hatching out quick, it will raise your humidity too high.

    A hen will get off her eggs to eat, drink and poo - so there's no humidity on the eggs at that point.

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