Hatch-a-long for people who don't have much time

Discussion in 'Hatch-A-Longs' started by NTBugtraq, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    So, this is my 5th hatch of ~100 this year. Things are getting better, I have an 80% fertility rate and an 80% hatch rate, so 64 out of 100 now. I'm hatching my own eggs, creating generation 2 of my own breed. My layers have come back into their own and are now giving me 25 or so (from 38 layers) a day...so I'm able to incubate nothing but fresh eggs (e.g. < 7 day old eggs). I have been incubating eggs < 63g in order to fit 98 into my Ova 100 (49 per tray). I'm not suggesting that larger eggs wouldn't hatch well, only that if I use larger eggs I have to set fewer eggs.

    I have stopped weighing my eggs during the incubation...in fact, I have tried to stay out of the bator as much as possible. I run it at 51% RH and 99.6F. I candle on day 7 and day 10 to remove obvious clears. At the beginning of day 19, I put the eggs onto trays that have a paper towel liner, check for Red Rings (early death eggs) and bump RH up to 65%. After that I only open the bator once a day. I run my hatches for 23 days, tossing anything unhatched on the morning before day 24 (which starts at noon for me), allowing me time to clean the bator out before Day 24 begins.

    I am not hatching for pets, but for production birds (eggs or meat), so if they have not hatched by themselves by Day 23 they aren't what I want to propagate. Sally Sunshine has a great treatise on assisting if you are interested. https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/step-by-step-guide-to-assisted-hatching

    Have fun, but keep your posts about your hatch please.
     
  2. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    Day 9 and I used my new high powered flashlight to candle. Even very dark shelled eggs are revealed. 1 RR, and 9 clears, gives me an impressive fertility rate.
     
  3. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

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    Glad to hear your project is moving along. Good luck with your hatch
     
  4. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    Day 19 today. 81.63% fertility rate. I've been using the idea of low air flow until day 19, the idea as I understand it is to get weak eggs to fail before the end. I would much rather toss a red ring egg than take out a 2 day old dead chick. Last hatch this worked well, I have very few chicks die after hatch. I have a rather high fertility rate this time around...it could be true, maybe as the males are getting older they are more willing to spread their love...with only two mating males, higher is definitely better.

    In my last 3 hatches (this year) I have had practically no hatches on any day prior to day 21, so I am not really expecting anything until Monday. Pictures as soon as anyone gets out of their shell.
     
  5. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

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    Day 20 has finished and I have 53 hatches out of 84 viable eggs. Another 9 have pipped well, so I am at 67.95% hatch rate so far.

    Interestingly, the ratio of dark chicks to light chicks is changing. Last hatch, lights represented 29% of the hatch. So far, lights are only 21% of this hatch.
     
  6. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    Day 22 was interesting. I got another 9 chicks hatched, but I lost 10 chicks in the brooder. All died under the Premier1 brooding plates, so that's strange. I put them out at like 3:00pm, so I wonder if they fried...my brooder is in my greenhouse which maxes 116F currently in the day time. I had 2 large brooder plates in there, leaving not much room for chicks who might prefer a cooler space, so I have taken one out.

    Meanwhile, my buyer came and took all of my "light" coloured birds (9) and the 15 3 week old light coloured birds. Genetically there's no difference between them and the dark birds, but I figured having some other people with my breed might help should I have a catastrophe...and the income doesn't hurt. I need to replace my laying flock, and selling 10-20 day olds doesn't prevent that. By the 7th of September I will have more gen 2 layers than gen 1.

    Anyway, currently I have 74 eggs less than 4 days old ready to go in the bator, by the 5th there will be > 100, and 36 will be significantly dark eggs. I think I will just keep this thread open and carry on incubating.
     
  7. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

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    If your greenhouse gets to 116 degrees, no wonder you are losing chicks- heat plates or not.

    Most of my brooder is around 70, and they can go under the heat plate to warm up if they want.
     
  8. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

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    Nice you sold some birds.

    Good luck on your next batch. They are all fathered by BCM now?
     
  9. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    I get that, I just don't have a solution atm. At night it gets to near freezing, so the plates are needed, but how to turn them off when its > 100F? I have removed one, in hopes the chicks can find enough room to stay at a temperature that will suit them.
     
  10. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    All of my birds have been fathered by BCMs.
     

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