French Black (and Blue) Copper Marans Incubating - lessons learned

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by armyPatti, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. armyPatti

    armyPatti In the Brooder

    Jan 31, 2015
    good morning!
    I am posting this in the hopes that the lessons I have learned will help others trying to incubate the illusive French Copper Marans.

    first things first, I incubate in a Brinsea Mini EX
    that is the little one that has all the bells and whistles as the big ones (digital everything & water pump)

    After reading TONS of posts from others and trying the different suggestions out myself I have found that those pretty dark brown eggs are a royal pain in the (you get the idea) But, a few adjustments and you will have statistically better results.

    What not to do -
    • some have suggested lightly sanding the eggs (when you do the math it does not increase the hatch rate)
    • incubate with other eggs (you will see why below)

    What the math says helps the hatch rate - (assuming all eggs are fertile)
    Shipped eggs should rest in a carton for 36hrs before setting if you incubate them on their sides (24hrs upright)
    Shipped eggs should not be turned the 1st 3 days of incubation
    Incubation Temp in a circulated air (fan) incubator should be 100.5
    Humidity should be 30% and not exceed 35% - up to 60% at lockdown, 65% at 1st external pip

    It seems that the extra layers of pigment in the shell effect the way the eggs evaporate moisture and absorb heat.
    You may have to play with the exact humidity numbers for your area, but as a rule these little buggers don't like a very humid incubation environment.

    GOOD LUCK EVERYONE! Happy Hatching! [​IMG]

    Patti Riley
    Belton, TX
    Proud Retired Soldier and Army Wife

  2. scflock

    scflock Crowing

    Jan 13, 2015
    Upstate South Carolina
    Thank you for the tip. I just got my first batch of FCMs. Beautiful chicks from a beautiful line, but the man I bought them from said he was only having a 20% hatch rate. His eggs were between a 6 and 8 on the maran scale, beautiful eggs, and he said that he was getting fully developed, but unhatched chicks. His guess was the shells were too thick, which could also be a product of the extra pigment layers. I will be hatching from my own flock in a Brinsea 20 advance, so hopefully I can improve from 20%
  3. armyPatti

    armyPatti In the Brooder

    Jan 31, 2015
    I have found with the tweeking to the process that I listed I am getting a 75% hatch rate on fertile eggs. Now it's very hard to tell fertile from un with the dark shells, so the math was started after candling on day 7 of incubation.

    I have noticed as well that they hatch better on their sides - so at lockdown I would take the "bars" out and lay them down on their sides. I like to put a piece of shelf liner (the grippe stuff) inside so they don't have so much trouble moving around and knock into the other eggs.


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