FULL incubator with one week to go... uh oh! (Brinsea question)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Want Less, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. Want Less

    Want Less Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2010
    New Bern, NC
    How many eggs have you guys successfully left in lockdown for hatching in a Brinsea 20?

    We are on our second hatch for 2012. In our first round (January) we started with 21 eggs, pulled about 4-5 blanks, and hatched 8. So this time around we did as I've read many of you do and packed our Brinsea Octagon with 31 eggs. Of those, 16 were long distance shipped eggs and 15 came from our hens (half we were unsure if fertile). We expected to pull several.

    Well... we are on day 15 and we have only pulled 4 eggs... [​IMG]

    Of the remaining 27 eggs, eight are very dark Marans eggs that we have yet to be able to candle well enough to judge them confidently, so like last time around, we're giving them the benefit of the doubt and leaving them in (most of those are ones we were pretty sure were going to be fertile anyway, we've hatched off that hen before and she's the rooster's favorite lady). The remaining 19 all have positive development and movement.

    Holy moly.

    Thankfully I will have some extra helping hands next weekend for hatching, since we may not have a choice but to carefully & quickly pull chicks out of the incubator as they hatch and dry to make room for the rest.

    But I'm curious to know if anyone else here has had a good hatch with a full Brinsea? And how did you manage eggs/chicks on hatch day? (without a second incubator)
  2. Brickman House

    Brickman House Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2009
    Don't worry-- you'll be fine! I don't have the Brinsea Octagon, but I do have the RCom King Suro, which is of similar size and shape.

    The first time I had an almost full incubator go to hatch, I couldn't possibly imagine how the chicks could even get out, let alone move around and breathe in there. Believe it or not, though, they absolutely do!

    My incubator holds heat and humidity incredibly well, so I don't worry overmuch about opening the incubator during the hatch. Once there are a couple or three in there dried off and happy, I scoop them out, pop the lid back on, and take the new hatches up to the brooder. I've never had that negatively affect a hatch.

    I imagine you could do the same thing with the Octagon, with no ill effect.

    And honestly, if they're a little cramped in there for a while, what's the big deal? They've just spent 21 days in an *egg*-- it's not like they're not used to tight quarters!
    1 person likes this.
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    What Brickman House said.

    I use Octagon 20 incubators (and the very small Mini incubators too) and generally leave chicks in at least overnight. The following morning, I just take out the day old chicks really quickly IF there are no active pips or zips in other eggs.

    I had 17 hatch in one, but it took two days; they didn't all hatch on the "scheduled" Hatch Day.
  4. Want Less

    Want Less Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2010
    New Bern, NC
    It's been four weeks since this full incubator hatch and I have to say it went wonderfully despite being packed and stacked!

    At lock down we had 27 eggs (24 on the first layer, three stacked as a second layer), and ended up with 23 successful hatches. I had no problem pulling chicks out one or two at the time (with their broken shells) after they hatched and dried some, which really helped me keep an eye on the other eggs. What may have helped is that I had a room humidifier cranked up in the room where the incubator was with the door closed, so the humidity was high in the room whenever I open the incubator to remove chicks. I was also able to remove chicks while eggs were pipped with no ill effects (of course I open and closed the incubator as quickly as possible regardless, so a minimal heat/humidity loss occurred).

    I do think it important to mention here also: Despite the fact that all of these eggs were set in the incubator on the same day, it took four and a half days for them all to hatch. The first started on day 20, the last in the early hours of day 25. Other than two spraddle legged chicks (that hatched somewhere in the middle), all of the chicks hatched fine and are doing great. The spraddle chicks were caught very early, taped, and they corrected themselves within 2 days.

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