Goose egg hatching, best incubators and methods?

m1chelle1

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 12, 2017
518
1,126
282
Central Florida Coast
Hello All!:frow

I used my nurture right 360 to hatch my first few goose eggs, and it worked great! Its too small to hatch a larger number of goose eggs, so I got a GQF cabinet incubator to be able to do more eggs from my flock. I was curious how seasoned hatchers hatch their goose eggs? During season (spring) I plan on only hatching out goose eggs, so im trying to come up with a good strategy to work with my flock on this, and be as successful as i can be :bun

I have 6 females of mixed ages (1y/o to 5 y/o), and am going to estimate somewhere around 20 eggs a week give or take (or so, assuming all females are laying somewhere around every other day, consistently) :)
I know I wont be able to set all the eggs, but I know some of my geese (pilgrims) have low hatch rates inherent to the breed, and I do want to set as many as I can. So I was thinking that I could set 10-15ish eggs per tray once a week (i believe thats all that will fit on one tray). I only have 3 trays so on the third week, the cabinet would be "full" of goose eggs. If I staggered like this, id have a hatch happening once a week, for the three back to back weeks. I was planning on NOT using the cabinet as a hatcher, since goose egg lockdown would call for a bit higher humidity, and a lowering of temp. Im not super concerned about opening the door to the incubator, since I did do the misting and cooling for my first goose eggs, and I do feel this worked well with the eggs, and plan on doing that again.
I'm going to be getting one (hopefully larger, maybe two if I need to) foam still air incubators to use as hatchers. Anyone have any recommendations on good larger hatchers? I'm counting out any cabinet model hatchers this year, i already broke the bank big time with the one i already got $$$:eek:

Ok, thats my strategy for incubating and hatching (in a nutshell). What do you think? Suggestions? Recommendations?:old:old

Thanks all, happy hatching :jumpy:jumpy:jumpy:jumpy

Cheers
M:bun
 

FoodFreedomNow

Crowing
5 Years
Aug 11, 2016
3,911
4,856
472
Hi! It sounds like you have a busy spring planned. 🙂

I hatch a lot of goose (Pilgrim) eggs in season, and I use a couple of Hova-Bator 1588s as incubators and a couple of Hova-Bator 2370s as hatchers...and, quite frankly, the 2370s hold temperature better than the 1588s and are about half the cost. I hand turn my goose eggs several times a day by hand (and mist and cool), so the incubators and hatchers are plenty roomy for even the largest goose eggs.

If you're planning to stagger hatches, I'd definitely consider having at least 2 dedicated hatchers, to allow for cleaning/disinfecting time between hatches and in case something unexpected happens to one (e.g., fan stops working). Always have Plan B. 😄

Re the hatch rates: I've heard other breeders mention low fertility and/or hatch rates for their Pilgrims, but haven't personally experienced that with my breeding group. Fertility seems to be a little lower when they first begin laying for the season and it tapers off a bit toward the end of the laying season, but I'd expect that with most poultry. Did you experience low fertility or hatch rates with the ones you set?
 

m1chelle1

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 12, 2017
518
1,126
282
Central Florida Coast
Hi! It sounds like you have a busy spring planned. 🙂

I hatch a lot of goose (Pilgrim) eggs in season, and I use a couple of Hova-Bator 1588s as incubators and a couple of Hova-Bator 2370s as hatchers...and, quite frankly, the 2370s hold temperature better than the 1588s and are about half the cost. I hand turn my goose eggs several times a day by hand (and mist and cool), so the incubators and hatchers are plenty roomy for even the largest goose eggs.

If you're planning to stagger hatches, I'd definitely consider having at least 2 dedicated hatchers, to allow for cleaning/disinfecting time between hatches and in case something unexpected happens to one (e.g., fan stops working). Always have Plan B. 😄

Re the hatch rates: I've heard other breeders mention low fertility and/or hatch rates for their Pilgrims, but haven't personally experienced that with my breeding group. Fertility seems to be a little lower when they first begin laying for the season and it tapers off a bit toward the end of the laying season, but I'd expect that with most poultry. Did you experience low fertility or hatch rates with the ones you set?
Thank you for the tips! I really appreciate it :D:D
No, I’ve only incubated African, and I got a really decent hatch rate there. But I have a few ladies in my area that have been incubating pilgrims for a while and have mentioned it. I also work with the livestock conservancy, and it’s mentioned often that pilgrims have notoriously low hatch rates :idunno idk, that’s just what I’m preparing myself for. I have 4 females and two males tho so I’m hoppy to do well enough. Super excited for the season this year!

ru gonna incubate this season too?
 

FoodFreedomNow

Crowing
5 Years
Aug 11, 2016
3,911
4,856
472
YVW! I guess I should count myself lucky, I guess. 😁

Yep, I'll likely be hatching goslings come spring. They're almost too charming to rehome, though. ❤️
 

addctd2plnts

Songster
Aug 24, 2019
286
635
156
St. Charles County, MO
YVW! I guess I should count myself lucky, I guess. 😁

Yep, I'll likely be hatching goslings come spring. They're almost too charming to rehome, though. ❤️
Do you show your Pilgrims? I've been looking through the APA yearbooks and writing people to find some Pilgrims. I haven't shown yet but hoping to breed some ducks I got from good breeders and show next Fall.
 

m1chelle1

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 12, 2017
518
1,126
282
Central Florida Coast
Do you show your Pilgrims? I've been looking through the APA yearbooks and writing people to find some Pilgrims. I haven't shown yet but hoping to breed some ducks I got from good breeders and show next Fall.
Where ru located? I’m in central Florida and one of my girls was shown. She won awards, too. But I do have other females in the mix. I have her daughter, and two from other stock
 

FoodFreedomNow

Crowing
5 Years
Aug 11, 2016
3,911
4,856
472
Do you show your Pilgrims? I've been looking through the APA yearbooks and writing people to find some Pilgrims. I haven't shown yet but hoping to breed some ducks I got from good breeders and show next Fall.
I don't show them. 🙂 Best of luck with your shows.
 

addctd2plnts

Songster
Aug 24, 2019
286
635
156
St. Charles County, MO
Where ru located? I’m in central Florida and one of my girls was shown. She won awards, too. But I do have other females in the mix. I have her daughter, and two from other stock
I'm outside St. Louis but we're looking for land around Myakka City, FL, for a Winter farm. The winters up here are getting old. LOL Hubby is originally from Clearwater. We usually drive down with our adult children a few times a year.
 

m1chelle1

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 12, 2017
518
1,126
282
Central Florida Coast
I'm outside St. Louis but we're looking for land around Myakka City, FL, for a Winter farm. The winters up here are getting old. LOL Hubby is originally from Clearwater. We usually drive down with our adult children a few times a year.
Ok, let me know if you’re interested in goslings, we should have plenty this year. We have pilgrims, tufted American buffs, and Sebastopol mix
 

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