Got an incubator for my birthday...now I have questions :)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Feathered Landings, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Feathered Landings

    Feathered Landings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2009
    Eatonville, WA
    I have the best sister and sister-in-law in the world...they bought me an LG 10200 with fan kit incubator for my birthday AND gave it to me 2 weeks early. I have a few questions though...(chicken eggs here btw)

    1. I've read to have the humidity at 60-65% for the first 18 days then up it to 80-85% during lock down? I know climate, current room temp/humidity all are factors, but is this a good range to start with and then adjust as I learn my incubator?

    2. I see some people put their eggs in turners/cartons and some just lay them on the mesh bottom...which way is right/better?

    3. With above question #2, which would be the correct way to turn the eggs then (I don't have a turner yet)? If they're just laying on the mesh, do you turn/roll them 180 degrees to the other side?

    4. I've read a lot about the air cell (and have seen it at the round end of all my eggs) so what do I need to watch for while incubating...what should a good one look like vs a bad one?

    5. And last (at least for now [​IMG]) What day is actually day 1...the day you put the eggs in or the full day after? My chicken eggs went in Jan. 22 at 5:45pm so I think this puts my day 1 at Jan. 23 5:45pm and my hatch date Feb.12th, right? [​IMG]

    So, I'm completely paranoid and excited all at the same time, probably not a good combination cause my mind keeps creating all kinds of different scenarios of "what if's"....where's the OFF switch [​IMG]

    Thank you in advance...I love BYC and all it's helpful members.
     
  2. 1mommahen

    1mommahen Love My Cluckin' Coop

    Mar 20, 2008
    NJ
    I'll try to help!

    1 .First 18 days humidity should be 35 to 45 and day 18 on, 65 to 70

    2. If you don't have a turner put them in a carton the first 18 days and just tip each end on a 1 inch block, 3 times a day. Day 18 lay them on the wire and let them be.

    3. see 2

    4. ?

    5. If you put them in before noon, that is day one, after noon, next day is day one.

    Hope this helped a bit! Good Luck!
     
  3. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Temperature - Days 1-21 - as close to 99.5* F as you can get it.
    Days 1-18 50-55% humidity
    Days 19-21 60-70% humidity lots of NORMAL high spikes once they start hatching; remove a red plug if moisture forms on conver.
     
  4. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    You have opened a can of worms here at will get you as many different answers as there are members. If you follow the answers that 1mommahen gave you, you will be OK.
    This is called the dry method of hatching. It is closer to natures way of hatching. At least we like to think so. Feel under a broody hen, the humidity is not 50% for the first 18 days, nor is it 70% for the last 3 days. Those of us that use this method believe if the humidity is to high during the first 18 days the egg will not lose the proper amount of weigh,
    14%. Then if the humidity is to high, (above 65%) during the last 3 days the chicks will drown.
    I think the use of a turner is good, for we can't always turn the eggs every day 3 times. DO NOT TURN THE EGGS AN EVEN NUMBER OF TIMES EACH DAY, this has the chick laying in the same position every night. On week ends when the schools are closed, I do not have to worry about the eggs not being turned.
    Learn to think like a hen and all will be fine.
    On your question number 4, the increse in the size of the air sack is where the weight lost happens. Drop a fresh egg in a pan of water and it will sink, then place and egg that hass been in the bator for 2 weeks in the pan of water and it will float.
     
  5. Feathered Landings

    Feathered Landings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2009
    Eatonville, WA
    I've been holding the humidity between 60-65% so I think I'll lower it a bit...makes sense about the humidity not being that high under a hen. Anyone else have suggestions? Also, about the air sac...when candleing the egg what size should it look like and if it looks too big or too small what is the correct way to adjust the humidity or is it too late at that point?
     
  6. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    I only candle the eggs twice, once when I put them in and then on day 18 when I take the turner out. That is unless I smell a bad egg, then I will do it at that time. I know anyone wants to look at what is happening in the egg, but every time you open the bator, you are changing the temp and humidity just a little.
    Even when I have the bators in the class room, I show the students what eill happen if you open the bator up to much. So they get to look at one hatch while the next is kept closed. The same bator but different eggs will have a lower hatch rate when the bator is opened for candling.
     
  7. pw_quiltworks

    pw_quiltworks One Handy Chick

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    Jan 7, 2009
    Maine
    Quote:Yep I agree. I have had very good luck with hatching just by making sure the water is full. I have had excellent hatch rates. I don't even check anything. I just leave them be. I don't candle them. I know..I know many here would frown on this. But I usually get a 99% hatch rate provided I get the day right!! The ones that don't hatch were not fertile. Good luck with your new incubator.
     
  8. Feathered Landings

    Feathered Landings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2009
    Eatonville, WA
    What about for turning? I'm going to have to open it at least 3 times a day to turn. I'll try to be really fast about it, I guess. Boy, really looks like I should get an egg turner - that's going on my birthday wish list [​IMG] Thanks again for all your suggestions and help as this is my first time and all the help I can get is greatly appreciated. I really don't want to mess this up. The anticipation is just killing me!!!
     
  9. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    You can look at the post about a home made turner. but is you plan on buying one don't use this method. Just place the eggs in an egg carton with a small piece of wood under it, you can then just move the wood from one side to the other . That can be done real fast.
     
  10. Madcap621

    Madcap621 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 30, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    Hi Feathered landings. [​IMG] All good questions, all good answers! There are a bunch of us here setting our first or 2nd clutches, with some very experienced chick-moms in the group. Would love to have you in our "Hatch-Partners" group [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Here is the thread [https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=287826] Proud to know there are other coffee addicts in our group!
     

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